Belgium ~ Bruge – 2004
I re-watched the fantastic film In Bruges recently, and it reminded me of my trip there over ten years ago! Back then I had no idea about what to expect from this idyllic little spot…I remember asking my Mother, and her telling me something about riding a canal boat.
Didn’t exactly sound like party central to the thirteen year old me!
But what I found in Bruges, was a treasure trove of beauty, and a haven of delicious things!
I mean the beautiful Gothic center alone, some of which dates back to the 1200s, is simply awe inspiring…and reason enough to visit as it’s an amazing place to just wander around. It is one of those places, that is nice to get lost in…unfortunately, after a while your arm hurts from all the whoa, look at that pointing when you spot little things of interest…but that’s actually alright, because you can sooth your pain by eating your body weight in some of the finest waffles on the planet!The best emporiums make it in front of you, which is a bit of a tease, but makes the experience all the more special…then you layer them in cinnamon, and sugar…I can’t stress enough, how good these things are – they are crunchy on the outside, and chewy in the middle (if done right!)…oh sweet Jesus, Mary, Moses…that stuff is the thing of heaven.
I can picture that first bite now…that taste that made my whole life flash before my eyes…
Speaking of which, I remember buying a couple of bags of them, to bring back, and share with friends at school. They were battered, and broken by the time we arrived back in the UK…I remember the surge of secret glee I felt at considering they would probably not want them anymore…I’d pretend to be hurt for a bit, then take them home, and scoff the lot myself! Fools!
But that didn’t happen, and I had to fight back bitter tears as I watched the waffles deplete one after another, till I was left with a load of empty plastic bags, and even more regret. So word to the wise, triple what you think a normal sane person would bring back…and then triple it again. In fact, you will want to pick up some of the delicious chocolate too…so best to just bring an empty case, or throw out all of your clothes, and possessions before you leave so you can have plenty of space for that which is more important: confectionery items. In fact, it is totally okay to tie whoever you are travelling with up, and use their plane seat as extra storage for all of the tasty treats you want to bring home with you.
I know I am waffling a lot, about…well, waffles…but if you are going to waffle on, then what better subject than waffles? I can’t get waffles out of my head…there’s nothing else I can remember about the place…
Oh wait, no ~ did I mention beer?!
I was underage by quite a bit, but from what I remember this wasn’t a huge issue, I mean having a little try isn’t a big deal…right? Well apparently not, so we headed to a brewery, which doubled as a museum – and were shown around…we saw all of the machines in action, and were told the history of the place by the cheery owner. He would stop us every so often, and let us try small tasters of each type they produced. I felt like a rebel with every sip, but looking back, the only person who thought I was being naughty was…well, me!
After a short while the tour came to a close, and I will never forget the Belgian’s closing line…and I quote directly;
“So you have seen what we have, and you have tasted what we have…so I now hope that you no longer drink that English piss. Thank you very much!”
He then did a little bow, as the group laughed and applauded. I mean, yeah – our beer does taste like horse-piss…even worse when you compare it to the Belgian stuff…but come on, low blow. Mind, he wasn’t all bad, as after that jibe he handed out coupons for one free pint of any beer we wanted! Perfect, the day was getting better, and better!
“I’ll take that! You won’t be allowed it anyway…” that was my Dad – all I could see was a cloud of smoke, as he sped off to pick up my beer for himself. My Mother snatched my sisters, and quickly followed after him.
There was only one thing for it, only one way in which we could drown the sorrow that accompanies huge losses in life…“another waffle?” I suggested…
And you know what? The world felt right again. So in short my friends…although this was a funny line in the film…
I can’t say I agree! Because, well…I didn’t grow up on a farm, but I was still pretty impressed!
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