Friday, June 20, 2008

broke and bipolar

During my time in europe, I have been so careful about not spending too much money, since I still have 4 months of travel ahead of me and europe is unbelievably expensive -- I pretty much live on street food like doner kebabs, dunplings, pierogies, etc., and I couchsurfed in cities where I´d be spending more than 2 days so I could cut down on costs. I've bought a couple of souvenirs for Michael, but that's it. I decided not to go to the taj mahal because it was $25 to get in; similarly, I bypassed the kremlin in moscow because I deemed it too expensive. not to mention the tv tower and jewish museum in berlin, wawel cathedral in krakow, the list goes on and on. granted, I didn´t particularly care about going into these places -- the whole, 'if you've seen one castle, you've seen them all' and 'I'll see them next time' mentality -- but still, I caught a lot of flack for not seeing some of these cultural icons. unfortunately, all of my penny-pinching was blown in about an hour of shopping at 4 of brussels finest chocolatiers and biscuteries.

Belgium is perhaps the chocolate capital of the world, so Michael and I agreed that I should buy a few bars of chocolate for us to try together when we reunite. 'A few bars of chocolate' turned into:
9 mini bars of chocolate in assorted flavors from Neuhaus, the legendary belgian chocolatier;
2 huge bars of chocolate in milk and dark, a pot of praline sauce, and a small box of truffles from Wittemer, the best chocolatier in Brussels as reported by the two belgians who worked at my hostel;
250g of chocolate covered spice cookies, 250g of chocolate almond biscuits, and 100g of florentines from Dandoy, a little biscuterie with awards plastered all around the walls;
2 bars of chocolate in dark and mille feuilles, 2 tubes of chocolate covered pralines in milk and dark, and a small box of assorted chocolate covered pralines from Galler, a trendy boutique chocolatier.

Total for impulsive chocolate binge: €95. the exchange rate is $1.60 to the euro, I think you can do the math.

what went through my mind as I was spending more on chocolate than some families make in a few months? well, nothing, until I had just stepped out of Neuhaus -- it was the 3rd of 4 stops, and afterward I suddenly thought, shit, I think I've already spent €70 on chocolate. my next thought? 'oh but I told michael I'd go to 3 chocolatiers and that biscuiterie didn't count. so far I have Neuhaus as a control, but only one other brand of chocolate to compare it to. onward to Galler!' where I proceeded to blow an additional €25 on chocolate.

when I finally realized the insanity of what I' d done, I called Michael in near-hysterics, alternately flaggelating myself for how foolish I was, lamenting how he couldn't possibly want to marry someone who could spend that much on artesanal chocolate, and scolding him for not being here to stop me from such lapses in judgment.

the lesson here? don't bring your credit card to the chocolate shops of belgium.

(I almost took a picture to post on this blog, but considering how much money I spent, the chocolate takes up embarrassingly little space. tear.)


velander said...

Ridiculous! Save me a piece!

corazon icasiano-francisco said...

It's money well spent for something you really , really desire.

Michael said...

*surely* it makes you more eligible ;)