first_imgI like Belgium and I like Belgians. Not like-like, I mean, I don’t love any of them, but they are genuinely  nice people, and genuinely welcoming too. For example, I have just come back from taking my boots to  the cobbler. I used to take them to Bob the Cobbler on Turl Street and he’d spend his time mending them once ever three weeks. This time, I took this pair of boots to the cobbler’s and he inspected them  then said, ‘Amen, ils sont mort.’Then he giggled. He just wants to mend my boots, and he sees he cannot.And then the other day I went into a church and this old lady gave me a guided tour, and she knew tons  of things about each detail of the baptismal bucket (one of the seven wonders of Wallonia, the Walloons  are wonderful), and was happy to tell me about them. She kept waving her hand around it, setting off the alarm.My mum came to drop some stuff off for me, and though she means well she is not a directly amicable  person. Nevertheless she gets herself invited to a dinner at one of the other teacher’s houses with me,  she sits there, supercilious, but these are genuine people she has in front of her, and genuinely nice.That’s why I felt so bad about my discourse on the fun fair incidents. The girls I went with are genuine  and friendly people, and really open, and as hard as I try to be the cynical distanced intruder, I’ve given  up. May I? May I quote Gatsby? “Reserving judgements is a matter of infinite hope.”That doesn’t mean I’ve given up the blogging, it simply means I’m a little more – integrated.May I?  “I was a guide, a pathfinder, an original settler.”last_img read more

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