Monday, July 7
Id forgotten to mention that some months ago we found ourselves in Belgium. You can see this was a very memorable trip for me or not as the case may be. So without wishing to be at all offensive to our Belgian friends, I have to say I find it a rather odd country. I know people talk about the differences in Flemish and Walloon culture, but most definitely Belgium is neither France nor the Netherlands, but unfortunately it doesn't seem to be itself either.
Anyway on to all things disabled as thats what I usually write about: Belgium seems to have little concept of the needs of disabled people. Dropped kerbs just don't exist, or if they do you have to be dead centre in a large city. They are very far and few between and when you do find one, they're eccentrically placed. Disabled toilets don't exist much and are strategically placed at the bottom of a steep flight of steps. The thing with Belgium is while everyone is very happy and helpful, they never ever expect a disabled person to be out on their own. Society doesn't seem to allow for disabled independence.
Here's a photo of a ramp that made us almost fall over with laughter. It was actually steeper than it looks and you'd need a team of Sherpas to get up and down it. What the photo doesn't show is just how near and how big the wall at the bottom is. SPLAT!! Need I say more....? And you wonder why everyone loves a Belgian joke!