15 February, 2012

Arrival in Belgium

We arrived in Denmark in a snow storm. Well perhaps it wasn't a storm but there was snow on the ground. And it was ice cold. There is an hour train ride from Kastrup airport outside of Copenhagen to Humlebaek where Dick has a room he rents. We had two days off, so I took to my bed for a good rest. Dick had work to catch up on and I left him in peace. Between reading a great book: The Island under the Sea by Isabel Allende: and a bit of TV the days went quickly. Svetlana was at home, so she cooked us dinner at night, good basic food. It snowed both days, so I was glad I had my boots.

Dick's first gig is in Geel, Belgium. It is a little village that is stuck in the middle ages. Beautiful buildings, I hope to photograph, when it stops raining. I should be happy it isn't snow.

Belgium is a small country, very small, hardly big enough to call a country. But it has a population who speaks Flemish, Dutch and French. There are 11 million people and the area is the size of Maryland. But they are fiercely nationalistic. Especially about their languages.

Driving through Belgium for one hour to Geel from Brussels, there were some interesting observations: all houses are made of brick. The man who picked us up said that Belgiums are born with a brick in their stomach, meaning that everyone wants to own his own house. Many  have solar panels. For a period of about four years, you could buy solar panels very cheaply, which made it possible for the panels to pay for themselves in four years. The government let the people take the cost off their taxes and helped their people pay for them.

There is little countryside, one house ater another from village to village, like the West and East coasts of the US. The UN has its offices in Brussels, which makes it quite important and the EU is also stationed here. So enough for now, hope to tell you more tomorrow.

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