Here we are with the review of the events on the 25th and 26th of December, by Katerina and Hans. To make it easier for the readers, we will call them reporter
. After picking up our photographer
, who also took care of the professional catering
we were ready to set off for Brussels.
First we were meeting our manager
in the Conrad hotel. It had been more than 1 year since we last met the manager
and it was really high time that there was a manager-press meeting. We both cannot thank the manager enough for the nice presents she brought! Note from redaction: the manager should know that the reporter in reality used another word than "nice" for her coat, and that started with an h and ended with a t.
The manager is also the ultimate example of professionalism, she had gotten a map of downtown Brussels already, showing how to get from the Conrad to the Grand-Place. After the meeting between the manager, the press and the photographer in that luxurious hotel room, we decided to start going to the DC for the fan meeting. That was around 2000, and according to a very reliable and professional resource
, we could do it by foot in about 30 minutes. But when we got down we realised we had forgotten the map of downtown Brussels. So the manager ran back to her room (and they can run those legs, we had already seen evidence of that in Cologne last year [*note from redaction]) and came down with the map in no time
[*note from redaction]:It was the last day for Hans in Cologne, some minutes before his train was due. He and manager still had to cross THE bridge over the Rhine to reach the station, so he told the manager that they would be late and they had to run. The manager said: no we will not run. "And then she started speedwalking".
Although he never confessed it, judging by the amazement in his voice when he talks about it, I have a sneaking suspicion, he had it difficult staying next to the manager and not being left behind.
In the mean while our lovely rep
had already sent some text messages that the first fans were arriving in the DC. The walk through he streets of downtown Brussels took a bit longer than expected, and it was around 2100 when we finally had found the right alley. Of course this does not mean we got lost, not at all, we just took an interesting way to get there.
When arriving in the café, it took some time before we spotted the other fans, because the reserved tables were somewhat in the back, and there were so many beers
on the tables, we did not notice the people immediately. And it was so easy, all we had to do was follow the direction the voice of Gianluca (oldscorpsfan75) was indicating.
There were so many fans there already, and to make the list shorter, we will try to just sum up the different nationalities, hoping not to forget any, in an order that is purely depending on our good mood and personal affection: Greece, Belgium, Singapore, Italy, Lithuania, England, Russia, Bulgaria, France, Romania, Poland, and even from Roeselare
. Well, the last one we couldn't understand very well
, but for the rest it was so amazing to have a common language to communicate with all these people, and this time not from behind a computer screen , but really eye to eye. And those people, who had difficulties to speak proper English, like Ashlie and Maureen, were ever so kind to rephrase whenever someone asked.
After greeting everybody, and hearing some comments about the arrival time of the Belgian host, your press servants sat down and distributed the sweets, so kindly provided by Cindy. After carrying the sweets for almost 1 hour, it was also a real pleasure for both us
, to finally taste them. We were a little bit afraid that the vlaai would be too exotic for people not used to it, but it seems that even our friends from overseas
could appreciate it.
Ron (cameleon), the keeper of the Belgian FOS flag
, had also brought the flag (to be honest, we have actually never met the man without his flag, and are assuming he is sleeping with it, which could explain why it looks a bit dirty). Really the flag needs to be washed, we noticed that some people (whom we will not name here, to not embarrass them) have even written their names on this symbol of the Belgian identity! At a certain point, your reporter and Ruta decided to hide this filthy piece of cloth in Ruta's purse, because, after all, there was food on the table. But after some time Ruta took it out again, probably she suddenly realised that the inside of her purse was too clean for that
Some could say that this girl from the East of Europe was trying to steal the flag, and got remorse afterwards and therefore put the flag back on the table, but we know, that she only acted in the interest of public health and general safety. Your reporter has also been observing Kristof, who happened to be looking in the direction of the purse, while the flag-hiding was happening, and it looked like he did not believe that our lovely rep could be familiar with such a concept as remorse.
Most probably Ron didn't have any such thoughts, because at a certain point he was saying nice things to us like "Happy together, together happy! Under the same sun!" but he soon realised that the last part was a mistake and changed to "...or under the same moon eh!".Someone(!)
asked for more spicy action on this forum, and judging by the reaction of some people when they saw us together, someone(!) got what she wanted. We are more in particular thinking about Ruta's reaction "Hummm, now THAT is news". Clearly not everybody was so surprised, for example Adriano said, after congratulating us at least 3 times, and after the redaction asked if he knew the identity of the reporter: "I know, but I don't know".
And there is even more spicy!
Marta was sitting with Ruta and Adriano, and we thought we'd join them. But at a certain point Marta took Ruta and Adriano, and the 3 of them disappeared in a remote corner of the café, behind a column. They were gone for quite a while, and we really don't know what they have been doing there
. Malicious tongues could say that Adriano is a lucky bastard.
After some group photos, we started realising that most of the sweets were eaten, so there was not really something keeping us there anymore
, and we decided to head back to OCC (Oosteeklo Control Centre) headquarters. But before ending this first part of our review, we both would like to thank everybody for the warm comments and wishes we got about us as a couple. It was through this forum that we first met, and it is something special to get that kind of appreciation. And special thanks to Nadin and Adriano for the invitations to St. Petersburg and Toscana, and to Ruta for the beers and chocolats. Because we didn't really have much time to enjoy them, we kept these presents in a cool and dry place, in the basement of OCC. The reporter has given his word to the redaction that they shall remain there in the state they were left behind. Note from reporter: I assure, with my hand on my heart, that the bottles are still there.
And just to make it clear to everybody, we did not have to pay to reserve the tables for the meeting, but it was very kind that so many people asked if they had to pay something.
This was the first part of our review, written with love, more will follow.PS: Hé Ron, kalm hé!