Brussels – Take 3
November 6, 2012

Last night we had the gala dinner. These affairs are generally rather dull so the organisers had some wandering magicians to entertain us.  The one guy came to our table and did a card trick and as hard as you try to see what he is doing you can’t. 10 people at the table all watching him and not one of us saw how he did it. The most impressive thing he did was ask one of the people at the table to hold the pack of cards. Then he told us he was in fact an illusionist and really he fools us into seeing whatever he wants us to see and that she isn’t really holding a pack of cards at all. She immediately opened her hand to protest and show him and (of course) she was holding a perspex block instead. How he managed to do that in front of us all is ridiculous. And it wasn’t even the end of the evening when we could have explained it away due to the alcohol drunk at the table.

The dinner was pretty ordinary. I guess it is pretty hard to cater for 900 people (having never done it myself yet). But what surprised me is that they served Quail as he main course. It is surprising because where do you find 900 quail to serve at a dinner? And how much more must that cost than chicken? And why would you serve it anyway as it has the smallest drumsticks and thighs I have ever seen or eaten? And how many people would have been offended to eat it? I have concluded that the Belgians are a little crazy actually.

As you can see I did manage to overcome my software issues overnight so I could add a few photos of Brussels and the conference centre. The conference centre is the one on the right. Looks impressive but once inside isn’t. The other photo is of the old city centre and where my hotel is located.

The one thing I can compliment the Belgians on is their breakfasts. The waffles were ok at breakfast but the pancakes are simply superb. I am a pretty good pancake maker (I am good at most things of course) but things are much better than anything else I have eaten. I was trying to see how I could sneak a few into my pockets to bring back home. And the raisin loaf … well that I could write a whole blog post on by itself. I am a bit of a raisin loaf connoisseur and again these guys know how to make raisin loaf.

I have to get off to the conference now. It finishes today and I have to leave before the closing session in order to catch my flight back to London in time. If anything interesting happens I might post again from the airport tonight. Otherwise you will hear from me again next week as Helen and I are going on a hardship business trip to Nassau, Bahama’s (fortunately Hurricane Sandy is now long gone).

And thanks to the one additional Twitter follower … you know who you are!


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