Wednesday, 15 August 2012


What can be more enticing than a post titled "Belgium."?

Well, we lived there for a couple of years, and while it was maddening and strange and the people were generally QUITE grumpy, it was also kind of magical and delightfully bizarre.

Never mind the veneration of the peeing boy statue (Mannken Pis) or the lesser known and truly disturbing peeing girl statue (Jeanneke Pis); the incomprehensible politics; the language hatred that makes the Canada-Quebec business look positively cozy; the shameful colonial past -- despite (because of?) all that, the Belgians are a bit wacky.

One of the things they do every couple of years is cover their beautiful Gothic central square (La Grande Place) in an elaborate tapestry of flowers... There's no real reason for it, but like their hot chocolate (MOTHER OF GOD) or their love of an odd parade, they do it really well...

So have a look at these pretty pictures and join me in boggling at this funny country. As my Flemish teacher told me, Belgium was created after the Napoleonic Wars to be the "tampon" between France and Germany...

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