Turned out you were supposed to drop them in the hot water, where they unwound like those little fireworks snakes and became warm cloths to wipe off dirty hands and hot-and-sour-soup sweat. Oops.
Yesterday when Ben had recovered a little from his journey, we went out to find the Augustijn monastery in Gent, where once was brewed one of the finest of Belgian beers (now made by a conglomerate that uses the monks' recipe). We got quite lost. When we found it, we convinced a tiny, ancient monk to take us through the place. He gave us a personal tour, using a mix of his Dutch, his mediocre French, his nonexistent English, my mediocre French, and my Dutch (you can get pretty far with "please" in Dutch, it turns out). It's a beautiful place, founded in the 12th century but rebuilt in the 18th after a fire.
Tonight we're going to a local nightclub, Trefpunt, to hear our friend Michel Delville perform with his band, The Wrong Object. Apparently they play a mix of progressive jazz and Frank Zappa. I am trying to get my head around that.