What does this have to do with cafés?
I just want to write about the awesome people of Belgium because this past weekend, I had the pleasure of revisiting one of my favorite places in the world with one of my favorite people in the world, the effervescent, Kotoriちゃん*, who just so happens to be Belgian.
When you think of Belgium, what comes to mind? Probably their gastronomical cuisine: steak & frites, waffles, chocolate, and of course, beer, but when I think of Belgium, I can’t help but smile in dumbfounded admiration because Belgium just so happens to be the residence of the world’s coolest people!
Let me tell you 10 reasons why:
Their French is on fleek.
French, like all romance languages can be quite challenging to follow, and if you ever want to learn French, it will be easier to learn with a Belgian than with a Frenchman for the simple reason that the former has a tendency to enunciate rather clearly when they speak. Spend one week in France and then, go to Belgium. You’ll hear the difference immediately. Or check out this guy’s channel: Un Francais En Belgique
Sun, wind, rain, and snow in the same hour? No problem.
It won’t stop un belge from attending an outdoor carnival with only a light spring jacket and an umbrella in hand. Don’t believe me? Check out the snow at Costumés de Venice aux Jardin d’Annevoie here.
Belgians are known for driving too fast.
So much so that some commercially sold cars are illegal to purchase in Belgium (par exemple: Nissan Skyline GT-R). After driving with a few friends while there, I COMPLETELY understand why this is the case. The smell of burnt rubber permeates the air, but if you’re into the whole bad boy thing… (●♡∀♡) space
There’s a countryside lovin’ soul inside every city slicker.
Belgians need the best of both worlds to survive. From the bustling of Brussels to the natural landscapes of Namur, Belgium sufficiently provides.
They know good music.
I’ve never received as much sympathy from someone as telling my Belgian friends that I once went to a techno club in Paris. “La pauvre,” they’d respond. Belgians know all the best underground DJs no matter the genre: techno, electro, trap, hardcore, house, etc. Also, did you know that adding dubstep to any music makes it strangely 100x better!?! Look up reggae dubstep. Do it!
They are weird, and it’s A-ok.
My dearest Kotoriちゃん*, who was introduced to me by our mutual friend: Yayaちゃん*, is a collector of all things Burlesque, Pinup, Lolita, Golden 30’s, and Rockabilly 50’s, but that’s not even the best part! She has the biggest, sweetest, kindest, most generous heart. Typically when my favorite clothes don’t fit anymore, I, like many of us, will hold on to them just for memory’s sake, not wanting to part with things that bring us pure joy. Then there’s Kotoriちゃん*, who even if her fun-themed clothes still fit, will give them away to friends or to a charity because in her own words, “I want to share the joy that these clothes bring rather than let them collect dust in my closet.” She’s a selfless giver; a rare thing to behold in this day & time.
Vintage shops! Oh my!
It’s no big deal for Belgians to find clothes from the Fabulous 50’s, Swingin’ 60’s, and Disco 70’s in their vintage shops. Any clothes from the 80’s and thereafter are considered “too modern” for their tastes. Check out the phenomenal collection at Gabriele Vintage if you’re ever in Brussels.space
They are super adorable when they are miffed.
If you ever want to see a Belge lose their sh*t, say: “Yes, I know Stromae. He’s that French singer. right,” which without a doubt will be followed by the longest “no” you’ve ever heard. (*´艸`*) What else not to say to a Belgian: here.
Celebrity culture means nothing to them.
Their “celebrities” (i.e., musicians, actors, athletes, etc.) take the metro and go the supermarket just like everyone else. To them, it’s just a job.
The best reason of all. Their sense of humor is amaranthine:
Even in the aftermath of tragedy, their sense of humor is a limitless source of jest, which extends past hatred and political correctness, and unites the nation. Since the bombings on March 22 (2016), Belgium’s tourism has come to a crushing halt and as a result, Brussels has become not unlike a ghost town. Many shops and restaurants have closed their doors and have either moved away or cease to exist entirely, and consequently, the Belgian economy is hurting. Despite this, their spirit remains strong and is charged with a splash of comic relief. Found this witty sign on the tribute site for the victims of the Brussels attacks. “Make Waffles, Not War” indeed!
So, go out and make friends with a Belgian or two. I promise you, you won’t be disappointed. You might even be considered cool by association. (⌐■_■)
As always, thank you for reading and joining me on this #internationalcoffeejourney
*names changed to protect the privacy of the individuals