A Lesson in irony

As I have already said, this whole BelgiumIsBoring is supposed to be IRONIC. Do you get it? Probably not - but that is OK. It is not your fault 'Mijnheer / Mevrouw Irate Belgian'; it’s just one of the cards that fate has dealt you when you were born under that Black, Yellow and Red flag.



Let me explain.



When God made us all in His own image, everything was good.



But then we had those nutcases throw a spanner in the whole works by building their bloody great big tower in Babylon trying to get to heaven and before we know it, we’re all speaking in languages other than English.

(Of course everyone was speaking English beforehand!)



Some of us started wearing clogs and drinking milk, others thinking that eating onions, wearing berets and developing a lack of spine is suddenly en vogue; whilst even more others begin dumbing down with each generation born, talking loudly about things they don’t understand whilst mis-pronouncing words like aluminium (It’s AL-YOO-MIN-EEE-UMM for those in any doubt)



The Irish were 'blessed' with a frankly frightening capacity for alcohol consumption with an even more capacity for talking crap, largely with these two traits existing as all too comfortable bedfellows.



Our near neighbours, the English, were of course blessed with an endearing sense of travelling the seven seas, claiming anything they saw or came into contact with as their own. Not an entirely original idea, but for a while there, they became pretty damn good at it.

Until of course the natives, rather understandably, started rebelling once they realised their’s was a future that involved standing in orderly queues, suffering crap weather and following a crap football team and decided that this was not for them.



And then we come to the Belgians.



As time rolled on with each passing century the inhabitants of Europe went on a bit of a wander, occupying wherever they saw fit. Whether the locals liked it or not. For a lot of these wanderings, the locals would have been the Belgians (although of course we all know that the whole concept of a Belgian was only introduced to the world just a few short decades ago).



Sited where they are in the centre of Western Europe, the little piece of land that is now known as Belgium, has been a favourite hunting ground for all sorts of warmongers to take out their frustrations and have a bit of a scrap.



So there you have it – the Belgians were blessed with location. I suppose you could go as far as to say they’re the European equivalent of a 'Behind the Bike Sheds' of Europe with a short commute to the city and within driving distance to the airport, the coast and the big multi-cinema and retail village complex just erected on recently reclaimed green belt.



Rather unsurprisingly this has lead to a bit of an inferiority complex amongst your typical Belgian with national pride coming way down on a list of priorities that includes smothering their fries in bucket loads of mayonnaise, followed by indulging in mountains of chocolates and then washing it all down with vast amounts of life-threatening strength beer.



Does the life of a Belgian citizen really toe the stereotypical line?



As an ex-pat, I came to Belgium without knowing much more about Belgium other than the three things I have just outlined, save for perhaps the footballers Jean-Marie Pfaff and Enzo Scifo, and the fact that Anderlecht used to be a good team, Brugge played my beloved Liverpool in a final at Wembley and that Royal Antwerp FC played in a final at Wembley some time later.



We, as ex-pats have this rather arrogant attitude towards Europe and unfortunately many of us are of the opinion that Switzerland is the most boring country in Europe, with Belgium a very close 2nd. Hopefully with this ironically titled corner of cyberspace I will help to dispel these rumours.



Although if anything - I’m more likely to end up having everyone running off to Switzerland for Toblerone and cuckoo clocks. Because that’s all they do there, am I right?

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