BrusselsLife with Freddy Thielemans

Frédéric Solvel.

02 Feb 2007, 05:02 Last Updated: 04 Nov 2013, 11:11

Born in Laeken in 1944, Freddy Thielemans lived there during all his childhood. From this, he developed deep ties to Brussels region and life, a feeling of belonging to a tradition that flows in his veins: fan of the Brussels dialect, the Marollese (from the Marolles quarter), which he spoke with his grand father, he, anyway, learned its diversity and culture mix through his mother who was born in the "Klein Brabant".

His own vision of politics

His lifelong theoretical political interest is confronted against the reality he finds when he is offered to work with young socialists. In 1994 he becomes the short-lived Mayor of the Brussels town, an office he got back to in 2000 and which he should keep till 2012. Freddy Thielemans, being a through and through resident of Brussels, is also a very cheeky chap -they are not made anymore like this: it is an aspect of his personality which he does not give up on, and that he even considers complementary to his functions. A mean to relax, perhaps? Without any doubt, but not as much as when he goes on a jaunt with his Harley Davidson: "My bike, it is my freedom", he states proudly.

Tof or not?

Your tof café? La Brouette Your tof restaurant? Le Cerf and les Armes de Bruxelles Your tof place for enjoying your evening? Le Mezzo Your tof place for enjoying your Sunday? At home, with my wife, my daughter and a good book! Your tof place for developing your culture capital? Théâtre National and KVS Your tof district in Brussels? Laeken, of course If you had to show Brussels off to a foreign friend, where would you take him first? Grand' Place What is the tof of all in Brussels? What is it that means that you would never move out of Brussels? The brussels way of speaking, dynamism, open mind and zwanze What is really not so tof in Brussels? What would make you flee from Brussels? No comment... Tell us if this idea is tof or not tof: - A swimming pool floating on the canal? Tof but so expensive! - Congestion Tax for cars in the city centre area? Zot - Non-smoking restaurants and bars? I don't smoke, so I don't know! - Banning chip shops? I'll be the start of a revolution!