李明熙、Kimberlogic:布魯塞爾的啤酒與尿尿小童

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布魯塞爾的 Monts des Arts 庭園充斥著尿餲味。

布魯塞爾快閃一天/李明熙

比利時啤酒最出名?一定要去看尿尿小童銅像?我們一出布魯塞爾火車南站,光天白日就看到流浪醉漢惹事生非,滿街都是尿餲味,確是留下應景的第一印象。

未看到尿尿小童(Manneken Pis)就被尿餲圍攻,嚴重程度好比在南美國家的落後地區。是啤酒喝得多,抑或大家都不願付錢上公廁?暗街窄巷有餲味,情有可原;地鐵站內,空氣不流通,困獸鬥般難受;最不可思議的是在漂亮的 Monts des Arts 庭園中,亦瀰漫著公廁般的臭餲,要掩著鼻子急步離去。但在尿尿小童銅像附近,卻諷刺地沒半點餲味,相信是遊客太多,醉漢不便解手。

尿尿小童銅像的由來,眾說紛紜。有說戰爭時他撒尿撲熄了炸藥引線,救了全城;有說富豪走失兒子,動員全城,尋回後立像致謝。而我相信的版本是,幾百年前巿中心大廣場小販無數,尿尿小童是一個賣尿的地標,小孩來到銅像下,出售自己的尿液作耕作肥料,銅像成為小孩和農夫的交易所。

Kim 愛比利時啤酒,因為夠苦,我反而愛帶甜、較易入喉的,但在比利時酒吧,我幾次都忍不住點了一杯熱朱古力,因為當地的熱朱古力,並不是用朱古力粉沖水,而是一大塊朱古力放在杯中,再沖熱鮮奶,自行掍拌融化。朱古力的濃度和口味,沖鮮奶或熱水,單單這幾個組合,就佔了餐單上一整頁紙。

除了朱古力,比利時還有不少出名的街頭小食,而窩夫和炸薯條,兩種都源自比利時。站在布魯塞爾街頭,點一件窩夫配雪糕,一份炸薯條,一杯熱朱古力,在大廣場找一個(沒有尿餲)街角坐下,欣賞金碧輝煌的建築,就是一個午餐。幸好我們只是在布魯塞爾快閃一天,不然控制不了每天的攝糖量。

Belgium Beer/Kimberlogic

We’ve been enjoying our time in Europe so far, but compared with the other continents we’ve visited, we are moving much faster through countries than we previously have. This is because the countries are smaller in Europe and there are so many that we want to see. Since we had been moving so fast, when we got to Belgium and only had one full day in Brussels, we decided to join a free walking tour to learn the most about this city in a short amount of time.

The main plaza in Brussels, Grand Place, is absolutely gorgeous. There are only two buildings there that are not decorated with gold leaf and these two buildings are the only survivors of the bombings from French King, Louis XIV, in 1695. After the plaza was destroyed, the many guilds of the city were able to rebuild their own meeting places. Since they were all in competition to have the most beautiful, they all decorated these new buildings with gold leaf.

Out of all of the buildings, the Brewers’ Guild is the only one in the plaza that is still owned by the original guild that built it all those years ago. So although the Baker’s Guild may have been the most wealthy back then, the Brewers’ Guild never lost its popularity to this day. And that could be the reason before coming to Belgium, the only thing I knew about this country was their amazing beers.

Many of Belgium’s beers are made by monks in Trappists. The Trappist beers are special for two reasons. One, these beers tend to be much higher in alcohol than your average beer. And two, Trappist monks produce beer not for profit. All of the money made from the sale of their beers goes back to fund their process and to help the community. So, as you are enjoying your beer, you can also feel good about making a charitable donation.

After walking around the city of Brussels learning history and current events (while tasting beers) we came to one of the most famous landmarks in the city, “Manneken Pis”. This statue has become an icon of Brussels since the 15th Century. The statue is of a young, naked boy who is peeing into a fountain. With all of the attention that this statue attracts, I thought it would be something grand, but in actuality, it is just a small garden fountain.

The statue is only about the height of my knee, but just about everyone that visits Brussels pays him a visit. He is so popular that there is a museum which displays his 900 different costumes. That’s right, for holidays or sports events or anything important to the city, Manneken Pis is dressed for the occasion. Also, during the beer festival of Brussels, his fountain is filled with beer instead of water and people wait in line to have him fill up their glasses.

Brussels seems to have found the formula to mix history, government (the EU headquarters is here too), architecture and fun together to create the perfect atmosphere. That could be what attracts so many people to this city, as 62% of Brussels population is not from Belgium at all. There is something for everyone here and so many visitors just end up becoming residents.

我們的 #Home2HomeTravel

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李明熙、Kimberlogic 雜碎集

我們沒分東方或西方思想,只想以雜碎的遊歷去建立自己的世界觀和價值觀。We are neither eastern nor western mind. We just want to establish our worldview and values through traveling. 【李明熙】 曾用七個月時間從柏林踏單車回港,又不自量力參加蒙古越野單車賽。現從事影像製作、旅遊、教育等,自我催眠周身刀。著有「陌路回家」、「單車遊牧」及「良業遊民」。 【Kimberlogic】 An American who resides on the small island of Peng Chau, in Hong Kong, has a passion for traveling, partaking in local food and drink, different cultures and customs and watching people react to the world around them.

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