Treasure Hunting # 3: A Belgian Blessing

Since we went to Europe last time, it’s only a small effort to visit Belgium – so here we go.
There’s quite some treasures to find here of course. You probably know the beer, the chocolate, the ancient painters (Van Eyck? Rubens?), waffles, French frites and so on. Long story short: you won’t be hungry here, nor thirsty… Which is great!

But that’s not all. With all the States drama and the Russia controversy and Syria fights, I have come to the conclusion that here in Belgium, we live a good life. As small and innocent as we are, we’re not in a fight with anyone, nor do we stop functioning when something goes wrong. We’ve had our political problems, but we didn’t shut down the entire country. If you lose your job here, you will find help. If you get ill, you will find help. Everyone pays a lot of taxes, but in return we can count on the system to keep us alive when needed. We have a relatively good climate. I mean, people here will complain – “It’s too hot!” “It’s raining all the time!” – but we barely reach extremes. In this small little country you can find both mountains (more like hills actually), the sea, and many cool cities. We have historical buildings and everything, we’ve got a history I’m quite proud of. We’ve fought in wars, and the Dutch part of Belgium fought for the right to speak Dutch, or Flemish, as you please. We got that right. Thanks to the linguistic diversity most Belgians speak at least two or three languages.

We don’t have that much to say in the world, though the European Parliament is settled in Brussels, but somehow that might just be a good thing. People don’t hate us – because honestly, what can you hate about Belgium? (Though abroad they tend to think we’re German, and Germans aren’t appreciated everywhere, so that sometimes causes some less pleasant situations.)
People don’t have guns here, there are barely shootings. Most people are atheists, so religious fanatics are rather unknown. Being gay isn’t accepted by everyone, but our prime minister is openly gay (and rocks the bow tie) – it could be a whole lot worse. Everyone can go to university because the costs are quite low. That means many students eventually give up their studies, or try many different studies, but it also means everyone gets a chance – not just the rich.

It’s good here.


On the music:
*The first song is Ne me quitte pas from Jacques Brel. It’s a song on a breakup; he begs the woman not to leave him and promises her a whole lot – a quite sad song which I like. In French, one of three official languages.
*The second song is I’ll stay here from Balthazar, a Flemish group. The title fits the text, as I actually want to stay in Belgium for the rest of my life perhaps…