Monday, March 09, 2009
Bring Us To Your Leader
It is said that a Belgian is born with a brick in his belly. So it’s no surprise that every year, we flock ‘en masse’ to the ultimate building festival known as Batibouw. Twelve giant halls with a total of 150.000 m² of doorknobs, roof tiles, windows, garage doors, bathtubs, radiators, wall sockets, gazebos and the lot.
My sister had got hold of a couple of free tickets, so little brother and I made the long trip by public transport to this building and renovation bonanza. To be honest, it was all a bit overpowering. There were thousands and thousands of people making their way from one stand to the next, staring at demonstrations, touching the different fabrics and materials, shouting at their children, looking in desperation for their children and feeding hamburgers to their children in the hope they’d stop whining. I sure was glad I left Wolf at home with his mum. After all, renovation is a men’s affair, not something for feeble little women. (Will have to disappear in hiding for four weeks after this one.)
Every year, there are different main topics. Apparently, hot tubs were one of these main topics, because there were hundreds of them. You could say they come in every size and colour. Lots of colours. All mixed together in horrendous mixtures of purple and blue and green all together in twirling patterns that could give you an epileptic seizure in minutes. And other had lights! That changed colours! And ‘rustic’ sounds with ocean waves and digital songbirds!
You wouldn’t believe the number of jets contemporary hot tubs have. There are jets behind your back, there are jets under your bum, there are jets under your arms, there are jets under your feet and behind your legs. If you put them on all at once, I bet you burst right through the ceiling.
And all this can be yours for a measly twenty-six thousand euros, so you can take a bath for the price of two medium-sized cars. On the other hand, I bet you could fly one of those things if you turn it upside down. In fact, they really are UFO’s, the jets are really part of an advanced propulsion system, and the pulsating lights and strange sounds are a dead giveaway. That’s what we do with extraterrestrial life here, we don’t start interstellar wars, we turn it into something useful.