Belgium For Beginners In 10 Easy Lessons

Belgian FlagIt has come to my attention that people are often confused about Belgium. A popular conspiracy theory even states that Belgium doesn’t exist at all. While I’ve been programmed to believe it actually does, I’ll try to shed some light on this odd speck on the world map and hopefully not confuse you even further. I present to you: Belgium For Beginners In 10 Easy Lessons! Continue reading

Samurai Sauce

In addition to the recipe of Luikse Wafels I want to share another recipe for a Belgian specialty: Samurai sauce or ‘Samurai saus’, as it is called in Dutch, a devilish spicy mayonnaise.

In every ‘frituur’ in Belgium you can be sure to find Samurai sauce on the menu. I’ve never seen it here in Germany, but the reason can also be that I just never enter a french fries restaurant here. Anyway, whenever I’m in Belgium I go and eat french fries with Samurai sauce. Ever since I tried this sauce I thought french fries with boring mayonnaise and/or ketchup were not so very enjoyable anymore and at the rare occasions when I made french fries in the oven at home, I was craving for Samurai sauce. That’s why I searched for a recipe and I found this incredibly easy one on a Belgian homepage for recipes:

For a two person portion:
mix 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise
with 1 teaspoon of Sambal Oelek.

The alternative would probably be a trip to Belgium to buy a bottle of Samurai sauce. :)

Paper Plane

Scala is a youth choir from Aarschot, Belgium, roughly sixty teenage girls, directed by two talented brothers, and enjoying national and international recognition.

From today on, their new album Paper Plane is entirely available to download for free (in MP3 format) from the official website. This is the first time a Belgian band releases a new album online for free. The lyrics to all songs can be found on the Kolacny website.

To give you an idea of what they are like: below is the video clip from Raintears, which is also on the album. The song is about holding on to memories of a lost loved one. Continue reading

Paradisio Revisited

Tom already went to Paradisio with some friends last year, when I couldn’t join. Since then Tom promised to visit the park together with me again, and that’s what we did a few days ago. After his last visit Tom posted quite enthusiastically about how amazing everything was and I really have to agree with it! We had a lovely day with lots of beautiful, friendly, funky and sometimes also a bit scary animals. Continue reading

Luikse Wafels

Some people already know it: I just LOVE waffles!

But with waffels I don’t mean any kind of waffle, they must be ‘Luikse wafels’, which are also known as ‘suikerwafels’. In English known as ‘Liège waffels’ or in German as ‘Lütticher Waffeln’.

Lately I spent 10 days in Leuven (Belgium) and had a warm waffle almost every day in a waffle shop in the Leopold Vanderkelenstraat (at the corner of the Bondgenotenlaan). Now that I’m back, I of course can’t just stop with it. I searched for a good recipe and I didn’t give up until I found one. I immediately started preparing some and they where so delicious that I decided that everybody should know how to make them. Here is the recipe: Continue reading

NETELLER

NETELLERI’ve been experiencing the silliest things lately with the money transfer & online payment called NETELLER. After opening an account there, it is required to arrange a telephone call to verify that you are indeed a real person and not some smart poodle surfing the internet.

So I gave them my number in Belgium that automatically gets forwarded over the internet to Germany, because I was in Germany at that time. I made the foolish mistake of letting them in on this and all of a sudden, this number was no good anymore; I needed to be in my country of registration. After some discussion, people calling their bosses and listening to some relaxing music, they finally agreed on calling me on this Belgian number as well as on a fixed line of choice in Germany. Well, alright then! Within the hour some guy from a call center called me on both numbers. The absurdity level of this stranger twice asking me for my user ID and (something similar to) what my mother’s maiden name is, is hilariously high! Continue reading

Texas Hold 'em Poker

PokerSince almost a year ago, we’ve seen an enormous increase in popularity of the game poker, the Texas hold’ em variant to be more specific. I think it was around the time that the latest Bond movie (Casino Royale) was shown in theaters that I started to take some interest in the game. Sure, in high school we played some draw poker, but no game was ever as much fun as a regular hold ’em one, simply for the reason that there’s a lot more interaction in this variant. The main reason for this are the ‘community cards’, a set of (eventually) five cards lying in the middle of the table that are shared by all players. Just two cards, called the ‘pocket cards’, are being dealt to every player at the beginning of every hand. These two cards are the only ones that can give you an edge over your fellow player. The community cards add a lot to the game and they offer a feeling of interaction. The game isn’t just about your hand and your luck drawing some cards anymore.

Update (October, 7th): NBC airs a great daily show called Poker After Dark and puts all episodes online for free. Watching the series is a good way to learn more about poker and to get to know some of the successful players out there. It’s really exciting and fun to watch! There are also some nice shows on Joost that are highly entertaining, e.g. the WPT (World Poker Tour) finals. Continue reading

Paradisio

ParadisioSome time ago I went with some friends (Guy and Joris) to a zoo, called Paradisio (in Belgium). The good thing about this one is that many animals there (not all unfortunately) are being kept in rather big pens or even open territories and as such, aren’t crammed into tight little cages as all too often happens in zoos.

As an example of just one of these territories, there’s e.g. a complete island surrounded by water – just some bridges connect to it – on which ring-tailed lemurs live freely. When they feel like, they can come to fool around with the passing visitors or just hide in the dense vegetation.

EagleWhat was one of the most breathtaking events was the bird show: eagles, vultures, owls, etc. are flying above the heads of the audience. The best was when a huge vulture was flying directly towards me and over my head, so close that I could’ve touched it if I wanted – probably would’ve bumped my head if I didn’t duck down, not very sure. If you ever wanted to see a bird show and didn’t do so yet, then go to this one, it’s really amazing! Continue reading