Thursday, November 10, 2005

birthday in a be. mode

One the most delightful Belgian traditions, in fact, maybe the most delightful Belgian tradition, which has been observed at both places I've worked here so far, is that of offering your colleagues pralines on your birthday. Even people you don't know and have never spoken to will stretch that magical golden, ingot-shaped box in your direction. Few things light up a workday like the unexpected reception of a few grammes of Leonidas.

My birthday (the 27th) is tomorrow, but it's on a bank holiday (Armistice Day, which explains my peaceable nature) and I didn't want to miss the occasion, so I did the rounds of the 30-odd people on my part of the second floor. I'll be doing another with the far less numerous members of my evening Dutch class. In all, one kilogramme (and 16 euros) of happiness brought (briefly) into the world.