I joined a virtual flash mob (in Russian) 100 facts about my country.
These are my observations on Belgian life.
They are very subjective and not without exaggeration. Just be careful :)
- Everybody knows - Belgian chocolate is good! We are just spoiled here - a banal economy double pack of black Côte d'Or is usually bought 'just for for cooking'. Chocolate is what truly attracts people to the country and keeps them stay, whether there is government or no.
- Climate. Sad story. Belgium's climate is the worst: humid, not too cold nor too hot, grey-grey-grey sky all the time. If you do not get depressive in Belgium, you are guaranteed to keep up anywhere! The chocolate is just a necessity...
- Roads in Belgium the most lightned in the world or Europe, no matter. Given the small size, Belgium looks from satellites (or Mars) rather like a big city than a country. Every single road has street lamps, and Belgians avoid to cross borders to neighbourhood countries by nigth. Its too dark out there.
- Belgium speaks three official langauges: French (on south), Flammish (on north) and German (at the east part). If Brussles often speaks both French and Flammish, the rest of country is linguistically
split. Example: ten years ago a train crashed because two railway
workers, a french and a flamish speaking guys, cound not understand each
other over the phone. Time has healed the collaboration, but I still see this episode as a fair illustraion of linguistical co-existance.
- Wine. Yes there is Belgian wine! But it rarely goes outside of the producer's yard. Btw, Belgium is the top consumer of French wines.
- Beer. Of course, Belgian beer is another known goodie. Just
know that sweet, heavy, dark abbey and trappist beers are traditionally
drunk by breast-feeding mothers. This is how real "conaisseurs" are grown and educated.
- Beer and Students. Students buy beer not by liters but by meters (search photos of mètre de bière).
Also, between October and new year, cross-roads and traffic lights witness students beggying drivers for money to celebrate one of many students feasts and to buy meters of beer.
- A friend defined Belgian cuisine as a "French cuisine in German quantities". This is a fair definition.
- National rain shower (la drache nationale) happens on July 21 every year. This is almost a symbol of Belgian National Day.
- Jaques Brel - wrote songs against philistines, although it is Belgian philisitnes who listened and listens his songs and who sincerely love him.
- Belgians is a source of jokes to French: they.. we are slow, stupid, dumb. See French site blague.info. Jokes on Americans - 34; French - 24, Corsicans - 28, Belgian - 268! Pure statistics.
to be followed ....