Jean Claude Van Damme in Anderlecht

Yep, that's him, Mr. Awesome. 
Imagine my surprise when my host-mom, and sister advised me my child-hood hero, Jean Claude Van Damme (known locally as the Muscles of Brussels [not mussels as some might thing]) is coming to my hood, Anderlecht. Flipping exciting doesn't even begin to cover it. I used to enact out his karate moves while watching Time Cop, Double Impact and Blood Sport when I was little. His flexibility and trademark high kick were something I practiced until I had perfected them. Unfortunately I no longer can do it, but my adoration for this man is as great as any Belgian.

So when Queen's "We are the Champions" rumbled the streets of Anderlecht outside of Westside Shopping Mall, and Van Damme with his adorable grin, and sunglasses made his way to the stage just five hundred or so feet in front of me, I screamed like a teenager, raised my camera in the air and tried to absorb one of the greatest moments of my life.... Sharing the pavement with Jean Claude Van Damme.

His reason for arrival was a Rocky-like statue of him in standing in his famous pose overlooking the residents of the Lecht. While I'll admit that the whole concept of it being in front of a shopping center is a bit weird for me (likely for him too). I love the fact that it's here, and that I got to experience it. I'm definitely going back for pictures. I expect this to be a huge tourist attraction in Brussels.

The only thing that would have made the day better is getting to meet the man. Since I'm just lowly American in the crowd, I found his occasional jokes in English much funnier than the rest of the crowd. Often in total silence I'd bust out laughing and everyone would look at me. At one point, I think he game me that look. Sure I could be completely wrong... but (blush) Van Damme can come to my neighborhood any day.


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