Today I take the train from Gare du Nord to meet up with the chief at the Brussels airport – he’s flying in from Vienna full of sausages. I’m excited because I love the train and going to any of these train stations is always fascinating. Really brings out my 8 year old train geek side – hopefully I’m able to subdue that in everyday social situations. The Thalys is really fast – only about 1 1/4 hours to Brussels from Paris. The trick is buying a ticket and making the airport train connection while dodging heroin addled crusties with their cute little rabid dogs. That is a tall order since apparently you have to have a belgian credit card ONLY to buy a ticket from the machine. I know I can be thick but I could not figure out any way to buy a ticket from these machines that take no cash. There were no ticket windows anywhere that I could find so I missed the train. In fairness, I had about 4 minutes to get off the Thalys and get a ticket and figure out which platform the train was leaving from. Anyway, I missed the train and wound up taking this old beaten up empty ghost train. It was really cool though I did think I was going to end up on some train spur somewhere murdered by an axe wielding belgian. Well, it all worked out, I met the chief and Simon picked us up and we are setting off for the bar to have the best beer in the world from Lara from Intergalactic Lovers.