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…

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Obama for the win – literally

Before you start reading this post, I should tell you that I’m not really interested in politics. Don’t be fooled. I do like to know a little bit what’s going on though, and it was quite impossible not to know elections were coming in the US… Someone here left a paper in the kitchen, so when I was eating my soup a few hours ago, I decided to read the part where they had collected English (or rather, American) pieces on the elections.
It definitely made my soup a whole lot more interesting. And it caused me to have reasons, motives to dislike Romney! Huzzah! In theory, I always get mad at people who deem before they know what they’re talking about. In reality, I’m often one of those people. I do my best to not do it, but it’s so subtle and small and you don’t always notice it, right?

Anyway, I started reading something written by a man who was quite pissed at Romney without losing his professionalism. I mean, he was not so much pissed as well ‘feeling very strongly about it’. As I was reading, I started to feel very strongly about it too. There’s a certain about birth control and abortion that always gets the debate going, right? Everyone is either for or against, and people who don’t share your opinion are immediately a bunch of idiots or retards and so on.
Okay, no, that’s a bit too harsh. But I do feel like everyone who does not share my opinion, has missed something. Maybe I’m just very non-believing and western and spoilt, but I don’t see why birth control would be a bad thing. Because face it, if birth control wouldn’t exist, we would have a bunch of babies that we should take care of. There’s a limit to the amount of people you really can take care of. There’s always a lack of money. Add all those ‘unwanted’ babies and there will be no more money left to take care of everyone, whether planned or not. And face this too: if we wouldn’t have had birth control, we’d possibly not have been where we are now – in a comfortable world with food and clothes for everyone.

The same counts for abortion more or less. I do understand that it feels like murder. Yes, it’s a child, it has the right to live just like we all do. But if you’re so pro ‘the right to live’, then end your wars now, at this very moment. Don’t be hypocrite – people in Afghanistan have rights too. yes, they’re human. O, and if you still have death penalty, then what’s the point of forbidding abortion? Don’t get me wrong- I’m for death penalty, in certain cases that is. Not the unlimited way it has been done for too long. Don’t just kill random people, right? Kill the ones who don’t deserve any better. Those people exist. Maybe they wouldn’t have lived if birth control or abortion would have been easier.

No, okay, that’s too bluntly. But you get my point – man alive, be consequent for god’s sake. I read even vetoed the right to use emergency birth control after a rape. Rape is this thing that people don’t see to be able to handle. Whenever a politician says something about it, it will cause debates and discussions everywhere. A dangerous place to be… Imagine how you would feel when this happens to you.

Next to all of this, I agree on the Belgian Facebook page: ‘Obama should win because he’s a chill nigger’. (NOTE: nigger isn’t necessarily a curse word here, especially here it isn’t meant to insult. Let’s have this right.)  Last but not least, I also see no point in trying to prove that Obama wasn’t born in the USA and stuff…

That’s as far as the political things will get here.