No Sprouts

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These are all the pictures we have in Brussels. Was feeling kinda tired plus it was rainy and windy out (it’s been rainy and windy for practically the whole week) so we stayed in and watched lots of quiz shows on the BBC! have been watching the BBC recently because finally some hotels have the sense to screen shows in different languages. The hotel we stayed in in Brussels had channels in Italian, German, French, Dutch, and English, and so did the Qbic hotel in Amsterdam Zuid (South). Somehow the English language programme is always BBC, and the one in Brussels had Eggheads and Pointless! I highly recommend them if you are in the UK or have a UK proxy. hongquan offered us his oxford vpn but we need a real pc (not a tablet with android) to run the client. They’re both trivia shows; Pointless works like Boggle in that you have to give the most uncommon answer to win, and eggheads features a panel of boffins that quizzing teams have to try to defeat. The depths of some people’s knowledge is quite amazing. Surprisingly, the eggheads didn’t know when Dan Brown published Angels and Demons (the options given are 1990, 2000, and 2010).

After all the trivia shows, we finally managed to drag our asses out of bed to go hunt for some dinner. took the 66 into the city center (nearish to chinatown) in hunt of some good chinese food cause i have the impression that chinese food is the best for when one is sick, given how a lot of it is steamed or stirfried (not deep fried) or boiled in soup. The restaurant had pretty great caixin and radish cake. The xiaolongbao had slightly thick skin and not enough soup inside, and the charsiew rice was pretty awesome. Very cheap too! which was just as well considering we blew 80 euros on lobster and scallops the day before for lunch at Brendel in Bruges. This was our best memory of Brussels considering the place we stayed in (uphill) was pretty dodgy and seemed to be near Little Turkey (Petite Anatolie?) and had a bunch of really shady Calormene looking people. dark, deceitful, shrewd looking and I didn’t want any business with them. When we showed the receptionist at the hotel our reservation on the tablet he and his friend greedily eyed the tablet and said “I keep this?” when we passed it to them to see the booking. It’s not even funny.

Well, there’ll be plenty of opportunity to visit in the future, but at present I am perfickly satisfied staying indoors and watching the BBC. Another of my favourite channels is the classical music one. Last night they featured a fantastic chinese pianist who I believe was playing an encore, and played Chopin’s Prelude in E major and it was such a beautiful gesture. Sort of like a satisfied sigh at the end of an electric concerto. I wish I was at the concertgebouw tonight listening to the Tchaikovsky violin concerto. Too bad we’re only in Amsterdam for 4 days. There were no concerts on the 6th, the 5th we were having dinner with my cousins, and the 4th we were fooling around with hq.  That channel was the sort you can just turn on and listen to in the background while doing other things, kinda like a stereo, but a live performance, and without the need to not cough or to be quiet. It may be even better than attending the concert in person! You get a perfect view, the cameras cut to the pianist’s fingers and expression in HD while giving you perfect audio.  Reminds me of the book I read in the Milan Triennale gift shop about how the operas at La Scala used to be completely social, you could invite whoever you want into your little box, gossip as indiscreetly as you want above the murmur of the orchestra and the prima donna; and some boxes even had a portable stove at the back cooking risotto to be eaten during the opera!

edit: liangze tells me it’s not in fact a BBC channel but the Dutch arts channel. It was in english though!

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