Sunday, May 29, 2011

Barbeques IV.

175. How many people does it take to complete a Gazpacho's biking experience? 

Five. Pierre, to pay for the rent of a bike with his credit card. Gazpacho herself, obviously, to bike and to curse the stupid bike for not letting her lock it at one of the Vélo stations. Pierre, again, to try to succeed where Gazpacho fails, for almost fifteen minutes, while two strangers stand around looking pretty and being generally useless. Zoe, to lock the bike, in five seconds and on her first try. 

How long does it take for Gazpacho to bike the distance of 30-minute walking? 

51 minutes. She knows this because she checks on the bike account this morning. (Zoe was right. The bike is only free for the first 30 minutes. Sorry, Pierre.)

176. On the edge of a terrace, two pigeons are chasing each other. Reaching the end of the terrace, the one being chased stops for a few seconds, perhaps to calculate whether her pigeon-y wings could carry her to a nearby roof. She apparently decides that they could, because she starts flying, and then lands successfully on the roof. The chaser, by now also at the end of the terrace, goes through the same thought process, then chickens out. He turns around and walks to the other end of the terrace, where a third pigeon has just arrived. For a minute or two, nothing happens. The three birds stand still where they are, a temporarily actionless and plotless love triangle.

Observing them from an opposite terrace, Zucchini comments, "These birds are really not active at all!" Since arriving at the barbeque a few hours earlier, she has not moved once.

177. Since I have started writing this blog, there have been days when I wonder whether I would want to remember any of it. And then, there are days like today, when I wonder whether I could write down every awake moment, or at least every awake moment that I am with my vegetables. 

Riding my bike on one side of the road, while Mushroom bikes and Zucchini walks on the other, then hearing her laugh from behind when someone throws a bucket of water out on the pavement right in front of my path. Being on a bus that replaces the tram 7, which is temporarily out of service because of the 20km race, and explaining to Mushroom and Zucchini that the bus goes this way, one hand motioning to the moving direction of the bus, and then Zucchini wondering out loud how I ever got my PhD no one would ever know. Carrot mimicking an animal in the movie Madagascar, standing on her toes, hands with paw-like fingers pulled up in front of her chest, me having no idea which animal she is trying to imitate but still finding the act incredibly funny and cute, and then later Celery mimicking a dog, me once again laughing, and realizing that they are a perfect fit. Zucchini exclaiming "Let's screw with the guys's cards" as soon as Mushroom and Celery leave the table to get more Maredsous, then Carrot and I joining her in the secret scheme that ensures Mushroom having all blue UNO cards and Celery all green, only to have them show each other their cards and discover our cheating at once. Mushroom making all the UNO-announcements with geeky words, like determinant when the required initial letter is d and matrix when it is m. Celery and Zucchini singing  "What shall we do with a drunken sailor" over and over again, possibly thank to all the empty bottles of cider and Maredsous. The list goes on...

At one point, Zucchini, a propos of nothing, points out that this time next year, I will not be in Brussels anymore. She is right, of course, but I hope these memories of Brussels will stay with me.


  1. @Gazpacho: was is not your idea screwing with their cards???

  2. @Zucchini: Not that I remember :)

  3. Clearly I have already started to forget the details by the end of the day, let alone in a year's time...

  4. @Mushroom: Oh no, they've gotten to you too... I'm the only anti-sigh now...

  5. @Gaspacho: No don't worry, it was completely sarcastic, Celery didn't got me after two months using this word.