Les gens qui ne rient jamais ne sont pas des gens sérieux

Be who you are and say what you mean, those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Frites vs Pierogi

Today was the Assumption of Mary (those of you not in countries as Catholic as Poland may have to follow that link). On top of that, it was some army festival too, linked to Piłsudski's lot defeating the Russians a while back, and this miracle being attributed to the Virgin Mary.

So, there was much celebrating (and another day off work for those with Proper Jobs) and things to see and do in Warsaw that are not always there. There was a parade and market type thing where you could eat army soup (er, no thanks...), and soldiers wandering about. You could clamber on a tank or two as well, which some people were very excited about (mentioning no names) and there was a fly-past which we may have missed most of. There were a couple of helicopters that flew past the end of our road though...

It reminded me a little of the Belgian National Day in Brussels last month, except for the fact that the Belgian National Day in Brussels was tinged with the same kind of Crazy that affects all Brussels fetes.

Let me fill you in. Skypeing my parents in Brussels often goes something like this:

Me: So, what have you been up to?
Parent 1: Well there was the unveiling of the pissing dog statue
Parent 2: It got stolen, remember?
Me: Um...
Parent 1: Yes, they reinstated it and unveiled it today.
Me: Er...
Parent 2: They gave us salmon mousse and champagne after the speeches.

Or this:

Me: Any, er, statue unveilings recently?
Parent 1: No, it's been very quiet actually.
Parent 2: Well, there was the giant omelet of course.
Parent 1: 10,000 eggs they used and big wooden stirrers.
Parent 2: They did it with lardons and chives, very tasty it was too. We got a bit.
Parent 1: Well it was the road's birthday...

Brussels is just one of those places where they take an extreme amount of pleasure in putting on weird and wonderful shows, inventing celebrations, or dreaming up outrageous events, just for the hell of it. Presumably, the city council has a very large 'random and strangely disturbing events' budget. They do everything bigger and better.

This was the park in Warsaw today

People milling about, looking at tents with games for kids and historical information for adults, stately fountain in the background

This was the park in Brussels

Brightly Coloured! balloon and Brightly Coloured! games with masses of kids getting fully involved, crazy splashing fountain in the background

This was the queue for the lumpy-looking (but I didn't taste it for all I know it was delicious) army pea soup

This is just one of the 649 food places that were scattered around offering hot dogs, frites, waffles and other tasty unhealthy fare

These were the Polish flags by the edge of the main square that saw all the action

Quite big, it's true, but not overwhelming in their magnificence

These were the Belgian flags on a side street

You think this is all of them, but they went on and on, down the road and on into the distance

I realise Belgian National Day is not exactly the equivalent of Warsaw's Assumption of Mary and Army Day celebrations, but if you know anything about the Poles' religious fervour and national pride in their armed services, you would be forgiven for thinking otherwise.

Poland must do better. Next year, we need something that beats these blow-up flag-coloured Belgian crowns...

Get thinking.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brussels did not have these sexy french


11:55 pm  
Anonymous claire said...

i want a giant omlette... and a crown!

9:57 am  
Blogger Becca said...

Sorry to disappoint anon, but they had them too. They ahd UN, Brits, French, God-knows who. The military processions were about the same.

Sounds like you need a trip to Brussels then Claire... I've emailed you about Detroit - Matt's plan...

10:06 am  
Blogger Steve said...

i never get let in the plans, wierd that...

4:20 pm  
Blogger Becca said...

I did wonder Steve... I just emailed Matt to ask if you were in on it. I thionk we need a big group email...

4:22 pm  
Blogger Krista said...

I am proud to say that I attended both the unveiling of the pissing dog sculpture *and* Giant Omelette day.

I had a lot of free time on my hands in Brussels...

11:02 am  

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