Thursday, March 1

Trapped in a loveless marriage called Belgium

Our man in the orient, Yorkie Pittstop Jr, has discovered the virtues or having other people do the writing for your blog. So I thought I would get in on the act and let the Chicago Tribune do my donkey work.

Here is how they led into an article on Belgium, that actually received quite a lot of attention in the local press……..

"They've been a couple so long they can't remember what brought them together in the first place.

But now they've grown apart. They don't watch the same TV shows or listen to the same music. They don't even speak the same language. About the only thing they have in common is a taste for beer and chocolate.

They stay together mainly out of habit, and also because it would be such a headache to break up the household and divide the communal property.

If you know a couple like this, then you will understand the Belgians."

Read the full article here.

One would have thought that the usual chocolate and beer clichés would have had the Belgians choking on their nutella sandwiches but it seems that starved of attention as they are the article is being viewed as one of the better attempts to explain the workings of this endlessly complex square couple of kilometres.

The point made about a ‘lack of a founding myth’ is interesting, the Brussels issue obvious, but what really makes the article for me is the line ‘trapped in a loveless marriage called Belgium’.

Someone buy that man a Maes.


MKWM said...

Who did your donkey work, The Seattle Times or The Chicago Tribune? Never mind, the article is indeed a good one. What really makes it for me is the line "the demise of Belgium is not a question of if, but when". One can not remain trapped in a loveless marriage for ever.

Why should someone buy that man a beer? Are you perhaps assuming men only can be trapped in such a marriage?

Daphne Wayne-Bough said...

Very interesting article, I was amazed to see we furriners make up 56% of the population of Brussels, which is not likely to endear us to the locals. My own relationship with Brussels is a marriage of convenience, after a long and passionate affair with Paris. It's grey, damp and dull but it pays the rent.

Hercé said...

MKWM - i was just trying the most pathetic reference to the 1980's ad for the British beer Bass ("buy that man a bass"). poor, i know.

I also think the author was a man...

Daphne - the Thalys must provide some comfort?

I think that a hefty proportion of that 56% are probably Parisian tax exiles. Or is iy just Johnny Hallyday...?