"You hear laughter breaking through, it makes you want to fart. You’re heading for a breakdown, better pull yourself apart. " - John Cooper Clarke

>There are an awful lot of bicycles in Brussels.

>
I’m back after an exciting week that involved early mornings, late nights, bicycles, fatigue and a couple of hiccups.

Last week was the week of a huge bicycle fair hosted this year in the fair city of Brussels. May is normally a fantastic month, weather-wise, but the clouds got together and made plans otherwise. But rain doesn’t stop a ‘proper’ cyclist from taking to the roads of Brussels as was proven last Tuesday when 700 Expo visitors cycled from the venue to Place Saint Cathérine. In the rain.

I opted to go home.

Thursday was hiccuped along. It started by Yours Truly cutting the tip of her finger with a pair of scissors and as it wouldn’t stop bleeding she wandered along to the Red Cross and asked for a plaster. God, those people must have been bored, and it was only 8.15 in the morning.

“O lala, Madame, c’est très deep. You definitely need a stitch and we can’t do that.”
“Eh?”
“Il faut aller à hospital.”
“Hospital?”
“Oui, come with me.”

So sitting in the front of the ambulance with the sirens going, feeling like quite the plonker you would feel if all you had done is cut your finger open, I was taken to ER. There, the nurse took one look and told me that I didn’t need a stitch, but “merci, madame, for not having called an ambulance for … that.” I sheepishly grinned and let her carry on, had a tetanus shot as I really can’t remember when I last had one and walked out with a finger wrapped from top to bottom in gauze.

And all I wanted was a plaster.

Later on that day the people attending one of the sub-plenary sessions in another part of the hall started leaving the room. Admittedly, there was a raging storm outside, but they did have speakers… and then I was told that it was raining in the cornered off part and the beamer had blown up.

The next thing that I knew was that rain was pouring in the area where I was in about four different areas and all the lights fused. The toilets, which were downstairs had to be closed as they were flooding and there was sewage floating outside. It was one of those rare freak storms that had parts of Brussels under almost a meter of water.

Strangely enough, there were 10 cycle tours arranged for that afternoon and every single one of them left, completely full. The lights and music came back on in the Expo hall after a bit and in the evening I took my finger out to the gala dinner at the Atrium in Brussels where the rain started to leak in through the ceiling there too, and I finally crashed at 3.30am.

I ache all over from lugging my laptop to and fro the Expo and there are parts of me that hurt from dancing to Madness. Well, that’s the only reason that I can think of.

But several baths and about 24 hours of sleep later, and I almost feel ready to take on another week.

But only because it’s a short week.

8 Comments

  1. Posted Monday, May 18, 2009 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    cut your finger with a pair of scissors? You will have to start using the child proof ones. You know that can’t cut anything.
    Other than that, was it a BMW that blew up ?
    confused?

  2. Posted Monday, May 18, 2009 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    Golly, your life abroad is exotic and glamorous…. 🙂

  3. Posted Monday, May 18, 2009 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    We once had a huge freak rainstorm like that in my part of the world, too. And the sewers backed up then, as well. We had no bicycle tours planned that day, as I recall, but we did have to close the school I was teaching at. Which meant phoning every single parent to come pick up their little darlings – close to 500 of them.
    And like Andy said, was it a BMW that blew up? I need to know, because I own a BMW, so I should be prepared for an explosion just in case.

  4. Posted Monday, May 18, 2009 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know the make of the beamer – it wasn’t ours’, thank god.

  5. joanna
    Posted Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 12:45 am | Permalink

    Out of all of the fingers you could have had a plaster on… xxxxxxxxxxxxx

  6. Anonymous, too
    Posted Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 3:43 am | Permalink

    Tell the truth. Who were you flipping off, and why were you standing close enough for that person to bite your finger?

  7. Posted Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

    If you do that to your left hand I dread to think what you do to your right. Try a nail file.

  8. Posted Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    Ouch! I’ve just got my thumb back after mashing it in my car boot lid, so I know how you feel. (Stupid, as well as sore.) ust taking bets now on how long I can keep the thumb-nail.
    Wishing you a speedy recovery, and the removal of the comedy bandage…