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When I stretched the comics' frames and stepped in

Jumping in a Storyboard

BELGIUM | Thursday, 8 May 2014 | Views [90] | Scholarship Entry

I'll never forget the day that I spent in that marvelous European capital.
Having only one day to explore this big city, I expected that by the end of the day I’d be sitting on a train with a bag of chocolates and some colorful photos; but I left with something else.

The moment my foot first touched the ground of the city; I saw him, and as I started roaming the streets and admiring the architecture of the buildings, I noticed how he appeared everywhere around me. He was either laughing in this drawing on this bookstore or running in a full-size illustration leaning on that building. His smiling face seemed like a logo on most shops near the central station. He was everywhere. It seemed he was like the mayor of the town or the icon of the city.

I couldn't help but smile every time I saw him, because though lovable and cheerful as he is, he never got that kind of attention anywhere else. Maybe I was happy for him, although that wouldn't make much sense since he’s a fictitious character.
Nonetheless, it was delightful to see all this admiration directed towards him because it made me feel he was real.

The best time for me was the start of my tour in the Moof Museum, which is a cartoon museum, when I found that several sections were dedicated completely to him; almost half the museum was made only for him and his friends. The statues were showing almost every single expression of his that I had seen and loved in the comics before - the comics seemed to be really coming to life that I thought I sometimes almost heard him narrating the dialogues. One illustration of him sweating in the desert almost made me feel his breathlessness. And the sculptures were made with such attention to details that one couldn't help but be amazed. Additionally, there was a room depicting him in space with his lovely white dog and his friend the funny drunk captain that would make anyone chuckle. Another was showing a life-size statue replicating one movie poster. I walked between the rooms, my smile growing wider and wider.

At the end of the day, seated on the train and looking back at that exceptional day, I concluded that I not only had the chocolates and the pictures to go home with, but I was also leaving with knowledge that TinTin was alive in Brussels.

Tags: 2014 Travel Writing Scholarship - Euro Roadtrip

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