Whilst I am already a sort of cultural ambassador for Belgium to a small section of the anglophone internet, my ambitions are actually broader than that. It is definitely my turn to be Prime Minister of Belgium. I don't suppose the money is great, but it's almost certainly better than sitting at my kitchen table twitching.
Pros of running Belgium:
1. Free goats
2. Nothing to live up to (43 consecutive terms of Yves Leterme, the goat loving, anthem forgetting idiot savant).
3. Probably get to meet Fabiola.
4. When it all goes to shit, you can always blame the Treaty of London and say your country was misconceived from the outset.
5. The Atomium is beautiful.
6. Did I mention the free goats?
7. You do not need to know basic facts about your country, such as what the National Holiday commemorates, or what the national anthem is (non French speakers: in this notorious clip in which Yves Leterme sings La Marseillaise instead of La Brabançonne, a number of prominent Belgian politicians are also asked what the national holiday commemorates and get it impressively wrong. I particularly like my old friend Guy Verhofstadt's answer when asked why they celebrate on 21 July: "Because it's the national holiday". EXCELLENT ANSWER). Convenient.
Cons of running Belgium:
1. Country on brink of schism.
2. Country largely bankrupt.
3. Country butt of French jokes, considered 'boring' by rest of Europe/World.
4. Strong likelihood of being replaced by Yves Leterme within weeks.
5. The Manneken Pis.
6. Large swathes of country look like this:
(These memorable images were captured on my trip to Ikea with Beatrice yesterday. In the course of two hours we were accosted by every sturdy beggar and maniac in the west of Brussels and I was subjected to TWO 'contrôles aléatoires' by the Swedish deathstar. Other than that it was highly successful and I have a replacement for the inflatable spider gut I melted - no, you don't want me to explain - and cinammon rolls, which make everything ok).
I think this means I should definitely stand for public office. Possibly.
In other news, a highly secretive dog owning assassin of my acquaintance has emerged from deep cover to request €550, plaintively. This suggests his intelligence gathering skills leave something to be desired, since if I had €550 I would have spent it on fripperies like the rent and luxe hot chocolate and so on.
I told M.
E: So I asked the old ladies in the park, and apparently I'm the THIRD single mother he's tapped for money this month.
M: Ahahahahaha. Oh my fucking god. You are a nutter magnet. They should do scientific studies on you. What's the fifty for??
E: Yeah, I wondered that. Perhaps he thought it would be like those beggars that demand a really specific amount of money, like, 14 pence, with a really specific story about a train ticket or something. Makes it more plausible.
M: Please can you lend me €549 to cover my gambling debts and €1 for a Bounty?
E: Yes! Hmm. That's actually quite convincing, I'll get my chequebook.
M: Make it €1.50 for the Bounty.