The Philippines is in the EU….. hurray!!!

 Now here is one that really made my day!

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art in the EU

There is an open-air art exhibition going on in the grounds of the EU organised by the German Research Center in cooperation with the
German Aerospace Center to honor the German Presidency of the EU Council for the first half of 2007.
The Theme of the exhibit is: The Earth as a Work of Art.

Would you believe, our very own Mayon Volcano is among the pictures!

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Satellite photo of Mayon Volcano

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 The text

Here is the website of the exhibit, and if you care to explore further, you will find the interactive map very fascinating!
http://www.helmholtz.de/en/News/Auss…erk_Erde_.html

The European Commission Headquarters

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…or simply, the EU

This is where the heads of European countries (now numbering to 27) deliberate on such things as:

– replacing the blue British passports into their present red look!

– obliging French cheesemakers who have been in the business since time immemorial to change their cheese-making methods in compliance to EU regulations

Anyway, I had a grand feast in photographing the EU!
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Notice that a part of the window panels automatically closes when hit by the sun. As seen here, the right half side is closed and the left half remains open

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Through the barbwire

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A fence of barbwire

Well to be fair, I have been to the EU several times but that was the first time I saw the fence of barbwire.
There was a protest rally going on some 200 meters away.

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The colourful bus stop

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There is an EU annex nearby where SIL and I barged in for the purpose of buying some postcards (We saw a shop in the lobby
selling such). Well, it was not really the postcards but just plain curiousity to get inside the building.

As soon as we got in through the revolving glass door, a sudden whip of strange air engulped us! What was that?

It looked like the lunchtime alarm just went off – it was 2pm – hordes of employees suddenly appeared out of nowhere.
Employees gigantic and large….oh, I’ve forgotten that Europeans except the French are giants and big-framed!
They were all over the lobby, some on their way out to take a f-a-g (smoke a cigarette, Brit slang) and some just
stood there chatting.

I could still feel that strange air. The faces of these employees seem to be dislocated from their bodies, for there is no sync
in the way these two body parts emote!

Here was a grand example of a stressful workplace! Yes, you could see the stress in everybody’s faces!
Only a holiday on the beach – as what they love doing – could make them spring back to life again!

In the flat, that night, I was discussing this ‘strange air’ with SIL and she surprisingly told me that she felt it too.
She even found a term to call it – that offensive air!

Disappointed in Brussels ….Part 3

DAY 2

Our itinerary for today is a visit to the Cinquantenaire, then to the EU headquarters.
What is great about sightseeing is that, you write a list of things-to-do/places-to-visit but end of the day
you realize that what really made the day more exciting are the unexpected sights and sounds that you come upon.
Big events, small incidents, they are usually the experiences that will forever be engraved in your memory and will hopefully
help shape your character.

I will not delve on the Cinquantenaire anymore (it’s in my Post #325). I took SIL there for two reasons:
one: there’s no entrance fee and, two: I am really fascinated by the Aviation Museum!
Well, fascinated by the early forms of flying machines but disgusted by those killer planes carrying rockets and
weapons of mass destruction (hey, did i hear that before?) whose main purpose is to decimate humanity!

On SIL’s proddings, we probed farther into the more somber entrance to the War Museum and found ourselves travelling in time!…
from the 1st world war of 1914-1918 up to the 2nd world war of 1939-1944.

I cannot imagine the fear, the destruction and the sufferings both those soldiers who went to battle and those
who suffered at the hands of those soldiers went through. All I can say is that, I am so lucky that I was not born then!
And may I say again that I am lucky that I was not born in Iraq … nor Afghanistan….for these two countries are forever in a state of war!

Anyway, back to topic…

After that creeping experience in the War Museum, we crossed the park of the Cinquantenaire and walked towards the EU.
Oh, in case some of you don’t know it yet – It’s the European Union or, used in this thread, the headquarters of the EU.
It is actually 4 metro stops from where we live but if you are feeling bouncy and the day is pleasant (meaning, not raining),
you can easily walk to the EU just to take a look at what this world-famous institution looks like, architecturally.

Well, to be honest, I warned SIL that it is an ugly building but at least, she can later tell her friends, with pride, “Yes, I’ve been to the EU! How about you?”

But crossing the park, we noticed some people with colourful flags and placards. Seems like there is a rally going on!
I’m not surprised…. we are nearing the EU and buildings like this one, all over the world, are always made venues for rallies
(same as that 3-people rally crowd infront of the British Parliament, and in some U.S. embassies).

But we later found out that that particular day was the International Women’s Day and similar rallies were being held
around the world as well.

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This rally comprised of Muslims – professional-looking men and women! There were even babies in strollers! Students, mothers and fathers!
The rally was so damn peaceful that SIL and I were actually enjoying walking through the crowd and taking photos of interesting people

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Disappointed in Brussels

My sister-in-law came over for a 6-day visit, with the intention of discovering what Belgium has to offer.
So while the hubby eked out a living, I played the role of a tourist guide only to become a disappointed tourist myself,
completely flabbergasted in this how-did-it-become-the-capital-of-Europe?-only-dumbbells-know! country whose architectural marvel and glorious past have been abandoned in pandemic proportions in favor of progress! Continue reading Disappointed in Brussels

Disappointed in Brussels..Part 2

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The king’s house in the Grand Palace

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A sweet shop

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A picture-seller in the Grand Place

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Thank heavens, this photo is blurred! otherwise we might get censored!!
Can you figure out what are these touristy items of the manneken pis for?

After a disappointing trip to the Botanique, and after checking if our Metro tickets are still valid to take another metro ride
for free (meaning, the one hour limit has not yet passed …..so you see, the Botanique is so boring it only needs few minutes
to walk around!!), I suggested to SIL (short for sis-in-law) that i take her to the Grand Place. I have concluded long time ago
that this small space of 100 meter radius is the only pride of Brussels, nothing more!

But there is something in the Grand Place that takes my breath away! Yes, I must admit, I drool like a baby everytime
I see these beautiful guilded buildings! It is so damn mind-blowing!!!

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After the oooohhhs and aaaahhhs blurted out at the sight of the Grand Place, we proceeded to one of the top crowd-drawers
of Brussels…. the Manneken Pis!
And how lucky could we get! we even met a family of Pinoy tourists! Doc and Mrs Ted Cabiscuelas are probably reading this thread
right now…. Hi Doc!! Hi Tes!!… as I promised to post this photo here. Unfortunately, I have to erase the face of “yours truly” as I still insist that I remain anonymous and faceless

Doc Ted and his wife, Tes, are the couple on the right while the lady on the left is Tes’ sister, a nurse who has been living in Italy for 23 years.
The cute girl is her daughter. Ted and Tes are here on a European tour – having been to Paris, Amsterdam, Rome, etc
and will return to the Phils end of this month. Would you believe, I was practically shoo-ing them to get out of Brussels asap
as there is nothing more to see here!
I assume they already saw the Grand Place that morning and just stopping by the Manneken Pis before proceeding to yet another European city.

Incidentally, notice the size of the Manneken Pis!!!! For all its simpleness and small size, it is actually one of the most-photographed in Belgium!!

formerly 'A Pinay in Europe'

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