Welcome to Brussels Mr. Obama

Written by Olivia Davis - (Updated: 12 Jan 2022, 04:30)
Welcome to Brussels Mr. Obama
President Obama plans his first trip to Brussels on March 26, 2014. Our American intern at Brusselslife.be wrote him a letter, a mini guide to the city, so he will be like a local in no time. Bienvenue à Bruxelles, welkom in Brussel, Mr. Obama!

Dear Mr. President,

My name is Olivia Davis. I am an American from Atlanta who has been interning in Brussels for the past 7 months. You are coming to Belgium on Wednesday!

You are American, I am American, so I can be pretty sure that you will have some similar, let’s say, cultural misunderstandings as I had. I thought I would share my biggest and weirdest shocks with you. That way you can make the very most of your short time in this great, very particular city.

I don’t need to explain to the President of the United States that greetings generally consist of cheek kissing in Europe. But perhaps it would be useful to know that it is one kiss - and only one - in this little country, most of the time with your right cheek. Just in case hand shaking gets boring.

Once I had a Belgian friend tell me that the first thing he bought for his house after he moved was a friteuse. Not a fridge, not a table, but a fry maker. Yes, Belgian fries are famous, but at home fry making is also the norm here! Weird huh? Can you imagine having your own mini fryer sitting on the counter in the White House? I wonder if Di Rupo has one.

While I am at it, talking about culinary delights, I would also recommend a sweet addition to your fries: the waffle. For your own pastry culture, there are actually two (main) recipes: the Brussels and the Liege waffles... So while you're here, why not try both.

Hawaii and Belgium are about the same size. Imagine having 3 official languages in Hawaii. Ok, most of us in Brussels speak French, with a good helping of local expressions. For example to say “yes, of course”, you would say “non peut-être”, which translated literally means “no maybe”. Logical right?

And if you want to have a beer with my boss, order a mix of coke and beer, a Belgian drink called mazout.

Last but not least: Manneken-Pis. Mr. President, people are obsessed with this urinating statue. I’ve got to mention that he is indeed little, only 55 centimeters tall, so don’t be disappointed. This symbol of Brussels folklore gets costumes for special events. On the last 4th of July, he was wearing an outfit of American colors with one of your campaign slogans on the hat, because Yes Manneken Can. He is an integral part of their national pride. Belgians have a goofy sense of humor.

There you have a little preview of Brussels through a fellow American’s eyes. If this letter makes it through to you, I sincerely wish you a good and productive trip through Belgium, the Netherlands, and Italy. I apologize for not handwriting this note, I know you would prefer that (bad excuse: not writing it early enough to send by post!)

Enjoy your time in Belgium, and don’t forget to lock eye contact when you toast.

Warmest regards,

 

Did you like this article?

Share it

Next Article Loading...

Newsletter

Each week, new content in your mailbox

Newsletter

Découvrez plus de 12 000 adresses et événements

Profitez de toutes les sections de BrusselsLife.be et découvrez plus de 12 000 adresses et un grand choix d'événements, d'informations et de conseils et astuces de notre écriture.

Brusselslife.be Avenue Louise, 500 -1050 Ixelles, Brussels, 02/538.51.49. Template.vat 0472.281.221

Copyright 2022 © Brusselslife.be Tous droits réservés. Le contenu et les images utilisés sur ce site sont protégés par le droit d'auteur. la propriétaires respectifs.

www.brusselsLife.be/[email protected]fe.be