Category Archives: Belgium

Road Trip: Germany and Belgium

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Nobody leaves Germany without trying their national street food – wurst or sausages. They come in different varieties: bratwurst, currywurst, rindswurst…

 

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Been a rainy Sunday in Germany. “Koln” on the sign is German for Cologne.

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We are now in “Bodge-ium”, the term we use for Belgium because everything seems to be a “bodge”, meaning, nothing works or something is always missing like toilets or they just don’t exist at all.

Two yrs ago, we stopped on this same autoroute stop to have our first taste of “frites” (french fries which is the national food of Belgium). Now it’s closed down, grafittied and abandoned. Motorists mistake it even as a toilet walking round & round looking for the signs ‘Men’/’Ladies’. They don’t realise that in Belgian autoroutes, toilets don’t exist except where there are restaurants.

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In fairness, we love the green oasis that Belgian autoroute stops offer.

 

Grieving for Brussels Series: Brussels, city of comic strips

Previous:  Grieving for Brussels Series: The Mannekin Pis – Symbol of Belgium

Not only that it is the capital of Europe for being the seat of the European Union , it also prides itself as the capital of Comics.  Not that there is a correlation between European policymakers and comic characters, but if you have been a fan of Tintin when you were a little boy (or girl), did you know that Belgium is the birthplace of your heroic reporter who was always trying to save the world?

Aside from Tintin, we can also count many generations of comic strip heroes that originated in Belgium and that’s why the country, particularly its capital, Brussels, is very proud of them that they made them visible to every passing locals and tourists.

Come, join me on a trip to the Comic Strip route of Brussels.

 

Adventures of Tintin

Adventures of Nero

L’Ange De Engel

 

Broussaile and Catherine

Victor Sackville and a friend

Blondin and Cirage’s Life Scene

And of course, our hero – Tintin and his dog, Spirou

Even the locals have developed a comical-mind attitude.

Grieving for Brussels Series: The Mannekin Pis – Symbol of Belgium

I was watching my morning program on TV when the Breaking News  bulletin  came flashing on the screen,   “Explosions at Brussels Airport, many dead and injured! ”

OMG.   I felt numb.  Shocked.  This must be a terrorist’s attack.   My heart was pounding as I struggled to hold back my tears.   I know Brussels very well.  It’s practically our third home.  H kept going back there for the last several years for various consulting jobs which had us renting business flats for 3-4  months at a time.   I must have walked every street and alley of the capital, waited at every Metro station including Maelbeek, arrived and departed from Zaventem, the last two having been the target of the deadly attacks.

That day, as I watched the devastation on TV, it reminded me of the heartbreaking scenes of war in Syria.  This is Europe, for goodness sake.  I cannot hold my tears anymore.  When will this insanity of men, using religion as their cause, ever stop?

I am joining Belgium in its grief by re-posting old articles about the country I used to call home.


 

The Mannekin Pis – symbol of Belgium
(Posted on 23 May 2013)

If the Eiffel Tower is the icon of France, the statue of the pissing boy – the Mannekin Pis – is the symbol of Belgium.

Legend goes that he saved the city of Brussels from burning when he pissed on the fire that would have devastated the city.

I’m in Brussels for a couple of days and while H does his business call, I went exploring the Old Town and look what I found! The Mannekin Pis in all its forms, sizes and situations!  He is just about everywhere that you can’t help but notice his presence!


You probably saw him as well in some fountains in other countries of the world.

Continue reading Grieving for Brussels Series: The Mannekin Pis – Symbol of Belgium