Sunday, June 17, 2007

"La bataille de Waterloo"

Monument to the Battle of Waterloo

It's interesting, I've never really been a history buff, you have to wonder about the effects of the past on the present. Let's start with the Dutch and the French thing in Belgium. You can see here that the English, Dutch, and Germans a very important alliance took down Napoleon. So why didn't the French go home? Has to kind of make you wonder who won that war.

Now here's one of the first big European alliances and the French were on the outside. So today there is NATO, and yes they are a member nation, but they have pulled out there military support. So they get the advantages of the treaty without the cost. Which go beyond the cost of providing military. The relationships the French have with some nations would not be there if they were more involved with NATO, and that would effect the cost of resources. It seems what the French don't like is the US running the show, but Belgians I talk to feel that the US is paying for it they should run it.

I'm in the bakery this morning and asked why it was so quite. They told me it was because of Napoleon, now this bakery is across the street from the Wellington Museum, most of the time you'd think Napoleon was the only person there. A battle of 200,000 solders, 60,000 killed.

Wellington gets a bit of notoriety in Waterloo, he was the British General at this famous battle, but still people refer to Napoleon much more often. What she was referring to was the re-enactment of the battle which took place all weekend on the sight of the original battlefield.

British troops taking position for the first part of the battle,
mount of the monument in the background

The battle field

This kinda reminded me of going to the Crosby golf tournament and trying to see Arnold Palmer but all you could see was the umbrella's in front of you. Today you would be going to the AT&T to see Tiger Woods, here you'd want to get a glimpse of Napoleon, Wellington, or Amelie's favorite Jerome, Napoleon's brother.

Thursday, June 14, 2007


You see a lot of signs as your driving around, "Friterie", is a place that sells "frites" what we would call fries, or french fried potatoes. Now if they called them that it would be " pomme du terre au Francais frit", a little long since they call the potato, apple of the earth. The fries here are a big deal as you can see, they are served as a lone snack all over the place, with salt or mayonnaise, another Belgian thing. The reason they are called French fries is they are french cut potatoes fried.
You see car lots on the side of the road, the cars have signs that say "occasion" they use this word as we do but in this case they have another meaning, opportunity.
Another word I saw a few times under a road speed sign, had me wondering. Is this something I need to worry about? "Rappel" again they use it as we do, to rappel down something with a rope, but in this case I think it is a reminder, of the speed limit. The judges say YES.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


We had Anne's mothers 70th birthday party, about 40 family members were there. I don't have the group picture but it hit me a little strange when I was the only one saying "Fromage" everyone else said CHEESE. I talked to my sister in Italy about this. She said they say cheese there also. Did you know that in Italy and here they understand GREEK so if something is complicated they say, "c'est du chinois" it's chinese to me.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Grand Oiseau est mort

The other day we went to this park, again on the grounds of an old castle. They had fenced areas with birds. This one reminded me of "Big Bird" on Sesame Street, of course they have a French version, "Rue Sesame" but no "Grand Oiseau" no "Kermit la grenouille" they changed it all around. Anyway it hits me a little strange, as you might notice frog or "grenouille" is feminine "la" but "homme-grenouille" is masculine frogman.
The castle is fixed up very nicely with a modern resturant bar, where we had our afternoon cafe.
as you can see, "il n'y a personne ici" nobody is here, another strange word you might think you understand. If you heard "je n'ai vu personne" any english speaker can see that is, I saw a person. Judges say WRONG, it translates I saw nobody. A few people were there but as you can see when the wind blew all the water in the umbrella's was blowing around, pretty wet. It's 2.5 eu's to come here and they have tennis courts, boats, miniture golf, and all sorts of things for the kids.