Monthly Archives: March 2009

Marché aux puces

Giving the name of this blog, it probably doesn’t come as a surprise that I love flea markets. The best one in Brussels is on the Place du Jeu de Balle. Not that I would buy much but to walk over it on a sunny Sunday morning is one of the most relaxing things to do.

The very best  is to run my fingers through the boxes with buttons – it’s like reaching into a treasure and selecting the most exquisite pieces – and of course watching people buying and selling stuff of an amazing ugly- and uselessness.

Vives les puces au marché!


Vocabulary question

A few days ago, I came across the expression of mental digestion for the first time.

The concept as such reads quite good and makes sense. But, considering what the ‘outcome’ of physical digestion is, what would be the equivalent of a mental one?

Always curious,

La puce


The native population is, following the song,

  • not too malin (clever)
  • not sérieux
  • not top motivated (avoir le morale)

Love it.


Ixelles is one of Brussels’ communes and, in my humble opinion, the best to live in except for the administration.

My last commune (Forest), I went with 4 photos during the opening hours, registered after 1 1/2 hours of waiting and was done.

In Ixelles, I went to the registration office first week of March. Last weekend, a policier de quartier passed by my place to confirm that I live where I said I do. Now, I have an appointment to register for the first week of… May! Just a tiny two months after my first démarches.

Now, I have to call them again and find out if this is too late for the European elections. Why, for manneken pis’ sake, does it take two months to get me an appointment?

FYI – Last time I registered in Ixelles it took me three months to get a residents card being 5 months valid. Very balanced input-outcome ratio. And yes, I have to register. Otherwise, I get a fine which I bet would not take 2 months to arrive.


After a really busy weeks with final exams, a lot of work and a couply of nice parties on the weekend, a trip to Liège was exactly what I was able to do on a not to sunny but still ok March Sunday.

Liège is not really big and not really worth visiting imho. There is a market on Sunday with the main attraction being living animals for sale and a citadelle to walk up to (with a very ugly hospital on top of it) worth doing for the view over the city.

A friend had advised me to go visit the cathedral where we got hushed out because of a conference (not a mass – a conference!) and St. Jacques for its beautiful ceilings but unfortunately only open from 10-12…

Still, I had a good 3 hours walk, got out of Brussels and saw some of the first spring flowers.


I love working in a multi-cultural environment, I really do. But every time someone sees me putting salt on the butter on top of the bread, I feel a bit lonely. Apparently, putting salt on buttered bread is totally unknown in the English speaking part of the world and everywhere south of Wiesbaden.

However, today, I learned that the Irish wave at one (1) magpie* as it is considered bringing bad luck. And, they have poems… about Magpies:

One for sorrow, two for mirth,
Three for a wedding, four for a birth,
Five for silver, six for gold,
Seven for a secret not to be told.
Eight for heaven, nine for hell,
And ten for the devil’s own sel’.

I also learned today, that in Spain you wear new red underwear on New Year’s eve because it brings good luck in love in the new year.

Sometimes, I wonder…

* les pies, Elstern


The way of modern communication to write something in stone: Make it a pdf document.


I know I have seen this person before in life – same size, same look, same way of laughing. I questioned some other people discretely about origin, name and job. I feel my brain twisting and wringling to bring up more information but I have no clue whatsoever…

* Doppelgänger, lookalike

One thing

I really want to learn in life:


Very annoying

Error in the database. The uploaded data for subscribers is not read correctly. Result: Emails to subscribers go out as text instead of html. BIG BIG issue.

Why does this kind of thing always happen on a Monday morning or on a Friday evening?