I have never written to a country before and the last time I wrote to a city it wasn’t the nicest letter ever, remember Cadiz? But you don’t have to worry, Belgium, this one will be a lot more positive.

 

My dear tiny green dot in this huge world,

It was about a year ago since I last saw you, but apart from some small structural changes left and right you haven’t changed much, even a new king had very little impact on you. And so, you have remained a safe haven for me, a very reliable place I can easily call home.

Because that is how you make me feel, time and time again.

Effortlessly.

 

I must admit you probably would have a very hard time accomplishing this without your loyal inhabitants, who among other things create some of the best food in the world and definitely make the best beer in the world. Sorry that these are the first things that come to my mind, but traveling for a year has made want and appreciate the products that emerge from your soil so much more. But, this would mean nothing without the wonderful people who are living in your country; some of the finest I have met so far.

So, I think it is time to send these people a thank-you note, but seeing as you are always very busy, I will do it for you.

 

Thanks to all the people who manage to create such a nice atmosphere in the authentic cosy places all over Belgium. Thanks to all the friends and family, who make us feel welcome, as if we never left. You make every visit more than worth it.

And a special thanks to Antwerp, one of the nicest cities I have lived in so far and more than worth a visit; thanks to Café Stanny, Dansing Chocola, Cafe Zeezicht (Dageraadplaats), het Kegelhuis, de Camino (vrijdagmarkt), Korsakov (het Mechelse Plein), Chez Fred, park Spoor Noord,

Thanks to the makers of quality americain prepare and stoofvlees; you will always be on my favorite food ever list.

Thanks to the brewers of Sint Bernardus/La Chouffe/Gouden Carolus (just a few of the 1000 different brands out there).

 

You probably weren’t the healthiest influence on my body lately, but what you lack in that department you make up in Flemish cosiness and welcoming familiarity.

 

Thanks for remaining my trusted friend!

 

Ps: You could do with a little less rain…