Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Fries! Camera! Action!
Beautiful weather today, as it was yesterday and will continue to be tomorrow. So during lunch-break, I decided to go for some walkies in the general direction of the Place Jourdan. It is mere coincidence that this nice, green, lively square has one of Brussels’ most famous fry shacks called “Maison Antoine”. Rumours have it that this is the best fry shack in Brussels, and even in the whole of Belgium. According to my friend Zoe, it’s better than the one I got so enthusiastically about a couple of weeks ago, but I beg to differ. What, begging? Hell no, I will never beg. I demand to differ! I need no ones’ permission; I differ when I want to! It’s my bloody universal right to differ!
<lies down on his bed for half an hour>
<returns to computer, chases cat of keyboard>
Anyway, I have to admit it’s a popular venue. They have three windows to serve people, and in front of each window there was a cue of several people. It’s more of a fry factory than a fry shack; they even have ordering instructions hanging out to speed things up: first order your meat and then order your fries. So mine was a large one with mayonnaise, a fricandel and a brochette (sate). The fries weren’t bad at all and served in the traditional paper bag. The meat wasn’t great though. All in all, I do prefer the old fry shack at Place Saint-Josse. But on the other hand, the setting of ‘Maison Antoine’ makes good a lot.
So I was quietly enjoying my fries, sitting on a bench under one of the large trees and observing the people around me. Mostly kids and students, mixed with civil servants, politicians and delegates from the nearby European Parliament and other EU institutes. It’s a bit surreal to see those stiff expensive suits with their white security badges eating such a plain dish as fries out of a paper bag.
Suddenly, a car from the RTL-TVI television pulls over. A cameraman and an apparently well know presenter (RTL-TVI is a French language TV chain, in general I don’t like to watch those because they tend to drown you in endless blah blah blah) get out and start interviewing the fry-eaters. Some of them are Eurocrats that don’t master the French language, so the reporter switches to an awful kind of English. “Doo yoo like zoo eat ze frieys?”
They didn’t interview me, because I’d already finished my fries. A serious mistake, if you ask me, not interviewing me. I could have told them about my new blog, which is an infinitely more interesting subject than people eating fries on a sunny day. They could have had the scoop of the day! Journalism isn’t what it used to be, I tell you.