I gather from peering into someone else’s copy of Le Soir on the tram, that in Michael Moore’s new flick “Sicko” he gives the nod to the Belgian health system. Which is, indeed, excellent. Mind you, it is sustained by whopping taxes. It’s all about choices. I’m probably with the Belgians here.
I saw a fantastic film about the influence of the orient on Venice. Do you know the French word espèces meaning cash? Well that’s what it means, now you know. But did you know that it comes from épices, meaning spices; I didn’t think so. And further that in the middle ages when you went to pay your bill, people asked whether you would be paying in cash or spices? Venice had a monopoly on pepper; boy were they rolling in it. There’s a pun there somewhere.
NaBloPoMo N is for Nothomb
Amelie Nothomb is a Belgian author who apparently lives in the Galerie de la Reine (very swish) and is mad as a hatter. I have read two of her books and they are excellent and the langugage is easy (perhaps not a hurdle that my favourite English books have to jump).
“Stupeurs et Tremblements” is a semi-fictional account about a young girl going to work in a Japanese company. It is hilarious and also sad. “Metaphysique des Tubes” is about the first three years of her life (spent in Japan where her father was a diplomat). Much of this time was spent lying and not moving but she was eventually brought to her senses by her grandmother feeding her chocolate. This is even funnier than “Stupeurs et Tremblements” and quite a lot weirder. Apparently her stuff is a bit hit and miss but I have had two great hits.
I had a miss – a book-length dialogue that takes place some time in the future.
People asked would you be paying in cash or spices
Hence peppercorn rents.
Aformentioned bookclub also inflicted Amelie Nothomb on me. Miss!