Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Its My Party

Nivelles has recently had it's annual carnival.When I got wind of it, I was a bit sceptical.Belgians/Carnival;well you just don't associate boring Belgians with serious partying do you?Well it won't be no Rio, or so I thought.'Carnivals' in England usually go on for a day,then end up in a riot or a few stabbings.In Nivelles this was serious drinking and partying and more drinking and more partying and and and....
Day 1.The Friday.I got to the bar in the late evening.Most of the young ones were already the worse for wear.For the first time my instincts were telling me that trouble may be around the corner.It was.A young gobshite decided it was Ok to keep repeating "For sure....For sure" in my face. I humoured him.He kept up.I humoured him.As he was about to leave he decided to pour what was left of his drink into my drink.Not funny.Lord Roby had his adams apple between ones thumb and forefinger in no time.The security guy was over like a shot and turfed the gobshite out.Fortunately it was Lord Roby's local and he was the stranger! Lord Roby lasted til 1am and 'retired' pissed.I say retired because the beat of the music and drums was right outside, and below my gaff.It may as well have been in my bedroom!!
It ended at about 5am.At about the same time it started again for Day 2!The Saturday.Saturday I was up for it.An all day sesh!I did my best but was in bed with by midnight.It went on again until 5am.At which point Day 2 ended and Day 3 began.Where were these guys and girls putting it all.The drumming was incessant because everytime a costumed carnival goer moves,the tradition is that a drummer follows them.Even for a pee!The Sunday,Day 3,I had plans to drive into Germany.I had had no sleep for the second night, so I decided to go out for a coffee at 10am.
As I negotiated the drunks on my doorstep a Belgette confronted me with a free glass of Champagne.Some things I never refuse.As it happened I had a bottle of LP in the fridge.By midday I/we were blitzed on bubbly.This carnival just got better.The Belgettes were dangerously drunk by now.Lord Roby managed to slip off to bed for a couple of hours before the 'Parade' started.The parade was a 500 strong procession of various factions.Some men only ,some girls only,others for kids as well,and some parodies,like " Shalom Rabbi" which just repeated the same song and dance for days on end, all dressed in orthodox Jewish costume.
Sunday night I had to 'cool' it, as I had work the next day at 7am.No point.The partying went on in my absence.No sleep again.The party ended(thankfully) AT 5AM.Day 4.The Monday.This is the day for the locals to celebrate(as if they haven't already).The evening was a family affair, after a day of throwing thousands of blood oranges around.Day 4 ended with burning of effigies over birch twigs in a pagan stylee,while all the locals sang in tongues and swayed.It was all getting a bit like an episode of the Avengers.But nontheless pleasant.I got to bed at about midnight.The party went on.No sleep again.The drumming was by now monotonous in the extreme.
I got home on Tuesday,Day 5 and it was still going on.It ended at 8pm with a firework display right outside my window.I had survived it.
This carnival is repeated on consecutive weekends throughout Spring,albeit in different towns,for 3 banish the Winter.Who says the Belgians are boring!

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Great Big Kiss

Well the inevitable finally happened. A Belgian kiss! I didn't even ask for it or give him permission.I just leaned forward to hear him a bit better, amongst the noise of the carnival.Honest! And he took this bob as a come on.I'm worried now that if I bump into him tonight, for round two of the carnival, that he will expect me to return the 'favour'.Am I now his Belgian Bitch?. It's been 5 months in coming.Is there a waiting list for Belgian kisses?Do you have to earn your lips? As luck would have it there quite a few more today.Thankfully they were all from Belgettes.Strange then that all this affection should come after my first run-in with a local gobshite the night before.I guess the Carnival brings out the best and the worst in some people.Vive La carnival.