Tuesday, 20 October 2009

How not to run a country - Part 2

I’m hoping that somebody might explain something to me.

If it has snowed, and folks are slipping all over the pavements, why is it necessary for the one Belgian who actually made it into work before lunchtime to chip sheepishly away at snow covering grass 18 inches away from the pavement? Do they have grit and salt? Maybe they are waiting for the paperwork to be processed, allowing for snow clearance, in which case we can expect work to begin in early July.

This morning, two headlines grabbed my attention: the first concerned a woman who murdered her husband by setting fire to his penis, the second stated that “Belgian MPs back their new government”. I’m not sure which is the least believable. The BBC website refers to the new Prime Minister, Herman Van Rompuy, as “an old style Belgian politician”. This can mean either one of two things: either he is stupid, or he is permanantly drunk. Either way, we can safely assume that this means he won’t show up for work on Mondays, Fridays, or any day that sits adjacent to a public holiday.

I once had an appointment with a Belgian police officer. I turned up only to be told “He is not here today, he had to go to a funeral yesterday”. After no less than 6 attempts to meet with this muppet, I learned that he had returned all my paperwork to the town hall as I “had not turned up”. Perhaps, when we made the initial appointment, I should have double checked with him that he actually wanted me to go to his office, and not some local bar.

Belgium: if it didn’t exist, you wouldn’t want to make it up.

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