Ok,... I admit,... I’m a Belgian, offspring of Flemish brewers and farmers.
You know about Belgium & Flanders :
Brussels as capital of the European Union, providing the first European President Herman Van Rompuy, home of ancient castles, fortresses & citadels, Pieter Breughel, Victor Horta, René Margritte, James Ensor, P.P. Rubens, Jan Van Eyck, manneken Pis, the Atomium, Antwerp, Bruges, waffels, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, the Brussels Griffon, home of the genuine (first working) Speech Technology, Bakelite (the first plastic), Yperite (musterdgas WW1), poppy fields, the first country to ban land mines (easy for us,... we have none), tennis icones like Kim Cleysters & Justine Henin, the Ardennes and WW2, Belgian chocolates, Belgian chips / fries (no not French but frenched!), the chips revolution, officially having the Worlds best open air festivals Rock Werchter and Tomorrow Land.
Julius Caesar said that Belgians are the bravest of ‘em all (after beating the crap out of them in 57 BC), Belgians who fought the Vikings between 851 and 864 AC, the first crusader to fight the moors in 1096 was our Godfrey of Bouillon who became the first King of Jerusalem, Flemish troops defeated the French army in 1302 during the Battle of the Golden Spurs, Flemish fought the Spanish army in 1576, housed the Battle of Waterloo where the Brittish Duke of Wellington quarreled with the French Napoleon Bonaparte, chased the Dutch in august 1830 after watching “the mute of Portici” in the Brussels Opera and in the aftermath we created our own country, ended the Great (first) World War in 1918 by drowning the remaining exhausted troops at the river Yzer, but only after the bloodshed of half a million young men from all over the World in battles of Passchendale and battles in Ypres,... and let us not forget WW2 either that ravaged (not only) Belgium,...
Picture taken (in a pub) in Canterbury, England, where I bought a new flat hat.
Today, on the Old Continent, we sing the European Hymn : “Alle Menschen werden Brüder” (All men will be brothers). Beethoven’s masonic hymn is a great piece of music though the lyrics by Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller do not seem to represent the spirit of the ancient Belgians? Perhaps in contrary : Living on a multiple historical battleground, we realize more than any others the value of tranquility and peace. I guess as far as the peace and tranquility is respected.
If you have half an hour, watch this HD movie about the country.
I got mail from Kelly Adams(A Canadian beer-connoisseur.)
He urged me to mention the Belgian Chimey Bleu quality beer. Yea,... good choice. I’ll mention (spontaneously / traditionally fermented) Geuze- (in fact Lambic-) beers as my favorite local brews. For the record : The (in memory) American beer-expert Michael Jackson chose the authentic Geuze-beer named ‘Girardin’ (unfiltered - black label) as the best beer worldwide. This beer is a secret blend (in Flemisch : geuze-steken) of one year old and two year old lambic beers that aged in oak barrels, than bottled in champaign-alike bottles where it undergoes a second spontaneous fermentation. The beer-brandname Geuze refers to the only region worldwide (around Brussels) where there are the unique ferments in the air that allow the specific spontaneous fermentation. Well,... I lived for 2 decades near Brussels in the small town (1700 souls) of St. Ulriks Kapelle where this famous Girardin Geuze is brewn by two hardworking farmers / brothers of whom one is most of the time sober. Once these fine men quit brewing,... the best beer in the world will be gone. Besides that,... the Girardin family owns their fertile land on a hill near Brussels and their survival skills slow down the expansion of the cancerous city towards the west. My thanks. Great how stubborn brewers-farmers make a difference and keep our world in shape for a while. Anyway, what I wanted to state : Don’t drink cheap commercial brew when you can get a Belgian quality beer. There’s a Belgian joke saying that when a local brew does not respond to the highest standards, we feed it to the horses. After that the Dutch company Heineken bottles the piss and exports it. Oh well,..., perhaps you’ve heard about good Belgian brew like Duvel, Palm, Mort Subite of Delirium Tremens? Any specific beer questions,... don’t ask me, ask Kelly. He’s the expert.
Belgians can travel abroad in a matter of an hour.
High speed trains, a network of highways and an undersea tunnel connect us with all neighboring countries and abroad. Example : The train through the undersea tunnel between Calais (the north of France) and England takes 30 minutes. We go for an afternoon shopping in Paris (France), London (England), Schweinebraten (Germany) or Amsterdam (Holland). Without traffic Jam, within half the hour, we go to our cities like Brussels, Antwerp, Bruges or Ghent. Unfortunately, everyday, Belgium is congested by terrible traffic jams from 6 AM to 6 PM and beyond.
Belgium : Europe in the palm of your hand.
The small multiethnic nation of 10 million has mind-numbingly complex bureaucratic systems. The tiny country is divided in 10 provinces, 589 communes and run by one national government and at the same time six overlapping regional governments representing the French, Dutch and German language groups and as a second overlapping division the Brussels, Waloon and Flanders regions with each their own parliament and more ministers than there’s hair on a dog. Our national slogan is :”Union makes force”. Most Belgians say “Union makes farce”. The fragile balance is often interpreted as a typical Belgian quality to find a consensus for every problem. We hold the longest - 589 days- run on record for a caretaker government in the developed world. Us Belgians think that this is very funny and tell jokes about it. The crumbling country is evolving into a federal state with largely independent regions. In that option, Belgium is the nucleus of the European community. In the 20th century, it were the Belgae who placed the cornerstones of the monetary union linking the evolution of their “Frank” to the German “Mark” and equalizing their frank with the Luxemburg Frank. The Belgae were also the people to boost a first economic European pact among carbon and steel producers. So if today’s Europe seem like a hen house with to many roosters, blame the Belgae ;-)
I’ve lived and still work in Brussels, now capital of Europe. Believe me when I say that’s it’s still a small town village in the mind of most inhabitants.
Born and raised between the green slopes north-east of Brussels in times when men still dreamed of walking on the moon, the Beatles did their first gig, a highway was something never seen by most farmers, God was still Almighty and the major, the Flemish priest and the local nobles spoke French as a token of upper class. Today, Belgium offers fiberglass and wireless high speed internet access and in the cloud technology in every day’s life. Young kids have their cellphone-PDA-computer-MP4-player. These modern Old Continental Twittedly Facebooked- & Youtubed kids think that milk is created during an industrial process, that it is a white variant of Pepsi & Coca Cola. Should I shock and tell ‘em that their favorite drink comes from between a cow’s rear legs? Nah,... they’ll find that on Google or a Wiki!
Today, I live on the slope of a hill in the Flemish Ardennes, among the deers and squirrels. I’d like to see the domesticated cows in the backyard as the closest link to civilization.
I am an old fart that (besides MP3) still listens to Jimi hendrix, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin & other Uriah Heeps on vinyl.
My all-time favorite musician was (in memory) Tommy Bolin - www.tbolin.com. In the Beatles versus Stones test I went for the Stones. When I was a young teenager, I also listened to the Sweet, Mud and Suzy Quatro. Later to the rock & blues of Thin Lizzy, the Runaways, Warren Zevon and Rory Galagher. My today’s favorite is the American punkband Nirvana. Don’t erroneously call it ‘grunge’ because it’s punk, finally played by genuine musicians. Eurgh... what? Lead singer Cobain is dead allready? Has been for many years now... already forgotten by youngsters? Gosh, time flies. I must be getting old. Fortunately, in Belgium, we have some great rock- & blues dudes that survived burning their candles both ways. Yes, Belgium has an excellent heath care system.
Enjoying life with a lovely woman who is a speech therapist. She knows about the logos. I have 2 great kids : One fellow, an active mason, a construction worker. The oldest, light as a feather, she’s a nasty dog trainer (referring to the dogs) and after a degree in agricultural science soon to be a police officer. My partner equally has 2 kids : One young woman, now at the university learning Japanese and the other still a boy, having the time of his life. For sports, we go for long high speed walks. My favorite daily ride is a horse. Our fun-vehicle is a restored 1982 1600cc VW transporter, Westfalia camper edition, with a comfortable top speed of 90 km / 60 miles an hour.
I work as a nurse in a beautifully located Brussels Hospital. This historical academic hospital was build by Victor Horta (Ya know about Art Nouveau) and also contains a building made by the famous architect Lacoste. I manage a small company with an associate where we teach professionals about palliative communication, violence prevention and aggression management. More on Linked-in.
This Nondisputandum.com website.
Eurgh... Let’s say that I started it due to personal needs as I never seem to remember a url and forget how exactly it is to fix a Windows based computer. Fortunately I also discovered Apple computers many years ago. Comparing a Mac with a Windows computer is like comparing a Ferrari with an Oldsmobil. They both hit the highway but only one of them roars. The advice in this website is 100% Windows based. No complaints whatsoever are accepted. Use software at your own risk.
My native language is Flemish aka Dutch.
Flemish & French speaking in my private life though to keep things simple mostly French speaking in Brussels where the French language has become the Esperanto and the original Flemish-Brussels dialect is extinct. German speaking when visiting the eastern Belgian regions of Germany, English speaking for global comfort and Flemish at home. It makes me no exception in Flanders.
Fun, jokes, pranks and more about Belgium and Belgians.
The below movie was shot in the city were I was Born : “Aarschot”, pearl of the Hageland.
Et si Omnes Ego non
Nondisputandum.com Linguistic disclaimer : Consider that English is not my first, neither my second language. It’s perfect as nowadays Esperanto. Info : The painting in the top banner is a fragment of the School of Athens, painted by Raffaello Sanzio. Read More. Zeno of Citium : Epicurus : Federico II of Mantua : Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius or Anaximander or Empedocles : Averroes : Pythagoras : Alcibiades or Alexander the Great : Antisthenes or Xenophon : Hypatia (Francesco Maria della Rovere): Aeschines or Xenophon: Parmenides: Socrates : Heraclitus (Michelangelo) : Plato (Leonardo da Vinci) : Aristotle : Diogenes : Plotinus : Euclid or Archimedes with students (Bramante) : Zoroaster : Ptolemy : Apelles (Raphael) : Protogenes (Il Sodoma, Perugino, or Timoteo Viti) Fight Spam