Thursday, 13 March 2008

I *heart* Belgium


After a whirlwind tour of 3 countries for a business meeting earlier in the week, I found myself in Brussels where I had begun my day and I have to say, I love Belgium, I love Brussels.

In fact, Belgium doesn't really exist. There are at least 4 Belgiums : Flanders, Wallonia, Brussels and Limburg and never the tween shall meet. Even the king isn't the King of Belgium, he's king of the Belgians (not to mention the Belgian monarchy is actually of German origin and and his wife is Italian).

But why do I love Belgium, my neighbors who the French mock for being dumb, incomprehensible, and poor dressers?

  • There is always 80's music playing in the Brussels metro.
  • There are oreos in the vending machines
  • There are yellow VW vans all over the city that sell fresh waffles, not the ones you find in a diner, but the Liege ones with chunks of crystalized sugar in them
  • Flemish. It's such a funny and cute language.
  • Beer, beer, beer. And it's cheap!
  • The Greek restaurant near the train station in Brussels where you choose your food from large pans sitting on top of the oven in the kitchen.
  • Dark chocolate covered spice cookies.
  • The make up their own words like technopolis.
  • the country is multi-lingual and are generally interested in the world beyond their borders. You can feel that the people are "different", I hasten to say more open?
  • There are Dutch stores and French food. The best of both worlds!
An anecdote for Belgium : driving back from the Netherlands into Belgium after my meeting, we crossed the border into Belgium. There was a sign for Flanders then the normal signs indicating the speed limit then a sign saying "Welcome to the Province of Antwerp" but no sign for Belgium. Needless to say, I still think it's cool to cross borders without customs and without passports.

3 comments:

Mme. Meow said...

From your description, it sounds delightful! BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEER!!!!!!

(I could really go for one right now, too. Potty training is turning me to the bottle)

The Late Bloomer said...

Wow, after that description, I have to say Belgium does sound even more appealing to me! I've been there once or twice, but I didn't know about all of THOSE perks! :-)

Sarah said...

This post makes me want to drop everything and head for Belgium! I've only been there once, but loved Bruges and renting a bike to go riding around the countryside. I remember eating good pastries there as well.

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