Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Bruce Springsteen - The Price you Pay


A Healthy 9%


I was sent to Brussels to assist in a cut over to a Cargo Automated System. As usual in these situations, I asked the local guys to find me a cheap hotel.  Well who wants comfort when you need all the extra money to fund your culture experience in Belgium. Did you know that they have hundreds and hundreds of all different types of beer?. I felt it was my duty to sample as many as I could in the two weeks I would be there.

The Hotel was being polite a dump. It was owned by a real character called Draco who originally came from what was the old Yugoslavia. He was what you would call a tight arse. The heating was never turned on until the temperature  went below zero. Even then it was only turned on for a couple of hours at a time. It was freezing all the time. It was the coldest winter in Belgium for over 50 years.

'I didn't feel so called then' 

I remember seeing a thermometer reading and the temperature was -14 below.  Breakfast at Draco's was white bread and jam and lukewarm disgusting coffee. But at the price I was paying I did not complain. There was always the staff canteen to fill me up before the sampling began.

Across the road was a large bar restaurant and it boasted that they had 245 different type of beers. I was in my element and was determined to sample as many as I could.

There were Trappist bears that tended to be very strong. They were originally produced in Monastery. All in the name of Religion of course. Stouts, Pale Ales, Table Beers, Wheat Beers, Christmas Beers, Sour Beers, Fruit Beers and You name it Beers. My particular favorite became Quack, I think that was probably due to the glass and holder it was served in. It was also a healthy 9 percent strength. Enough to fell a dray horse. But not a full blooded healthy Scotsman on a cultural mission.

One night after a long nights session I became very hungry and sampled the guaranteed mega hot chilli. It went down a treat. In fact it was so good I ordered another steaming bowl. During the night I had to get up to the loo down the corridor.  I was sitting there cursing everything I could think of when the lights went out. Bloody Draco had the lights on a timer. I had extreme difficulty finding my way back to my freezing polar room.

That next day and most of the next, I farted every 30 seconds without fail. It was worse than a bad case of hiccups. Maybe next time it would be advisable not to have a second bowl of chilli. I should have checked TripAdvisor.

One of my favourite Boss tracks somehow seems appropriate not only because of the chilli but because of his recent UK concerts.

By Old Pa

Related Posts

Bruce Springsteen - The Price you Pay
4/ 5


8 June 2016 at 14:55

Probably my worst ever 'morning after' experience was many many years ago (well before I became a vegetarian), when, for some reason, a few of us had a night on the Guinness. I've no idea why - it's way too heavy to be a session beer. Anyway, after far too many pints of the black stuff, we remembered that we hadn't actually eaten anything and the only food available at the pub was pork scratchings - so we had several packs each. Dear me. The next morning (or more accurately, later that night) it all became very unpleasant - I won't go into detail!
Yet another great tale from the archive Old Pa, even if it did prompt some uncomfortable memories!
(By the way, there's an excellent little pub in Norwich called The Belgian Monk, that sells exclusively Belgian beers - recognise any? I had a bit of a Grimbergan session there a few years back.

9 June 2016 at 10:33

Quite a selection there TS and a timely reminder not to mix pork scratching and guiness. Well noted.