La Poulette

Tastes like chicken.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

It's all about location, location, location, my dears.

Which is why I'm outta da blogspot hood and off to my glamourous new gated community in Wordpress:

Mi casa es su casa.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Unfortunately, I'm not QUITE ready to share how I made a fool of myself in front of the Commissioner.

The lack of posting should be attributed to excessive drinking and socialising at various Christmas parties. I have a life and, it appears, a bottomless thirst for alcohol. I did think I'd outgrown this juvenile drinking phase in my student days. Darn it, I was wrong.
The good news is that my move to Wordpress is imminent. I've been working on filing my posts under various categories, one of which I'd entitled "Shame is my name". With all the stories that took place over these last few days, I dare say it won't stay empty for long.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Like a (chocolate) virgin no more

If you ever plan on looking me in the eye and telling me you take chocolate seriously, you had better have a Belgian passport to prove it. It takes one to know one and back in the day a naive, clueless version of my current self would have probably been much like you, dear non Belgian passport carrying chocolate lovin' reader. How I would take pride in the fact that I never covered my ice-cream in store bought chocolate sauce, but would always go to the pains of melting some dark chocolate in a dollop of milk and a blob of butter. That long-gone version of me would indulge in a Snicker bar a day, snootyly shunning inferior Croatian brands of my sweet brown addiction. I even considered strangling my mother when she innocently substitute milk chocolate for dark chocolate in her cake recipe on one memorable occasion - and remained completely and utterly incapable of understanding the grave error of her ways when confronted with this blasphemous behaviour to boot!

Granted, I was on the right track. But my little efforts in the way of chocolate snobbery were pathetically reminiscent of a small barking Chihuahua who is falsely convinced that it's shrill yapping is no different to the grown-up growl of a Rottweiler gearing for an attack.

Alas, thanks to Mr. Schumann and the rest of our wise founding fathers who came up with the great European project, I have been fortunate enough to discover the chocolate lovin' nation that are the Belgians. These people might look deceivingly Christian, but don't be fooled. In truth they pray to the god "Chocolate" and I am right up there with them, lighting my fudge candles in the first pew. Sayonara Snickers! Goodbye Gorenjka! I am moving on up in the world, people, and nothing less than Pierre Marcolini will do henceforth. If you think I'm referring to some local chocolatier, I can only scorn and pity your plebian ignorance and suggest you give this post a miss, and go back to munching on your Choco pops. Because we're not talking about some ordinary run of the mill chocolatier here. We're talking artiste. In Mr. Marcolini's world chocolate is not viewed as something as banal, as passé as mere food (puh-lease!). Allow me to illustrate: the man produces seasonal collections, in the fashion sense of the word, tongue firmly NOT in cheek. His flagship store is located in the chic Sablon area of Brussels and comes in the form of a three storey building where you can see chocolate creations displayed as though they were Cartier jewelry (and yes, some of them contain gold, which everyone knows is totally edible). Just in case you're still not convinced, the prices will surely drive this comparison home.
As always, my mission here is to serve and enlighten. As a Poulette public service I therefore hereby present you with a few rules that should be observed should you ever swing by Brussels and pay cher Pierre a visit:
- please don't bother entering the chic Marcolini establishment if you're not outfitted in your latest Prada rags. For the hopelessly unhip and boringly bourgeois among you, a classic Burberry scarf will do;
- please keep your voice down to a classy, reverential whisper at all times;
- please refrain from revealing your lack of cool factor by only purchasing a single cake;
- please understand that the cakes only come equipped with a sign informing you of the awards they've been bestowed with - NOT an explanation of what they actually consist of;
- modeling agents: please do not bother trying to recruit the supermodel like staff. Pierre has them hooked on free chocolate samples;
- please do not question why or how ingredients such as early gray tea, violets and basil are incorporated into chocolate. They are. It works. Stop talking and have yourself a mouthful instead;
And finally: don't mention the word Godiva. Ever. Because any whisper of chocolate cred you might have had, will fly straight out the window just like THAT.

Friday, November 25, 2005

The sort of thing I couldn't exactly Ask Jeeves.

Should one be bored at work, one might have a number of scientific questions pop up out of nowhere. A few such examples might include...

a) Exactly what type of hormonal imbalance is responsible for having women of a certain age decide that a short perm with a mahogany rinse is a Good Idea? Furthermore: can we put this behaviour down to the same culprit that causes them to view leopard print details a good way to spice up their wardrobe? Or worse yet, stir-up pants delightfully acceptable? Perhaps I should ask my mother. Or her friends. Or my boss. Or perhaps not.
b) Do regular sessions in a sunbed involve the obligation to prance around the girls locker room at the gym stark naked for an unnecessarily long period of time? And if so, would my theory that the greater the intensity of the tan the longer the said period hold any water?
c) Is a long period of living abroad with the possibility of never returning to the homeland reason enough to suddenly stop caring about political affairs back home? Whatever the answer, is it acceptable that one should feel a weight has lifted off ones shoulder should one finally choose to do so?
d) Is there some etiquette regarding responding to comments and should one adhere to the maxim that all men deserve equal treatment, hence all comments should be granted a response? Would the fact that one has such thoughts flittering through ones brain in the first place suggest that one is, perhaps, slightly far gone? Which opens up a whole other bag of worms called blog stat jealousy and virtual friendships - but perhaps I should leave it at that for now and let sleeping dogs lie.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

The show can't go on.

The cool thing about Belgian architects is, they love their light. Most apartments come equipped with large bay windows and every room of my humble abode has a natural source of light coming through some cleverly devised source or another, while the open space kitchen/living room/dining room boast wall to wall floor to ceiling windows on one end and a huge semicircular lot of windows on the other. As a DIY challenged single girl I had qualms about living here when I first moved in, but if poor people elsewhere can live without a roof over their heads I can certainly make do with curtainless windows. So no, there's no unexpected Poulette-like twist in the tale at this point, for indeed I did manage quite well. The human capacity to adapt is amazing people, I tell you, ah-maze-ing, and pretty soon I was living my own little Truman Show in my very own little glass box. I'm not a complete doofus mind you, so I was vaguely aware that the neighbouring apartments had a pretty clear view of the goings on within my castle. But bah! reasoned I, it's not like these people know me so why exactly should I care (because most people are born with a healthy sense of shame, you might cry out in reply, but perhaps this story will shut you up and you will realise that my sense of proportion in life can be way off at times)? And I didn't. What I did do was a number of embarrassing things we all do when home alone (oh no bitches, don't you go all hoity-toity on me and pretend you don't. Because I know. You do). So yes, I practiced some Britney dance routines to her videos in front of the TV. Uh-huh, I did my yoga stretches too. There might have been some mouthing along to the lyrics of my favourite tunes into empty beer bottles invovled and I wasn't always careful about ensuring that only my fully clothed body would be in plain view. Ok, here goes: UNTIL. Until a few months ago I went down to my friendly local White Nights DVD rental place, told my friendly local DVD rental guy I'd forgotten my membership card, to which he replied: oh never mind, you live on Rue xxxx xxxxxxxxx right? Wicked meaningful wink. Wicked. Meaningful. Wink. I mumbled my reply, grabbed the DVD in a floury of activity and left, my brain empty save for the flashing red letters that read: NOTE TO SELF: BUY CURTAINS.

Y'all will no doubt be pleased to note that the remains of the Poulettes modesty, they have been preserved since. That said, with all the action that was going on in front of the TV earlier while the Pussycat Dolls were rocking on MTV? I'd say my DVD dude missed one helluva show.

Picture: a handyman installs the Poulette's curtain rod with the masterful touch of his large tool.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Queen boy

She could feel someone's gaze upon her. She looked up, flipped her hair and two myopic pairs of eyes locked across the smoky bar. The rest, as they say, is history.

If this sounds like the begging of a cheesy romance novel, don't be fooled. It is in fact a true account of how I met my Brussels based Gay Best Friend (GBF), J. I still remember that our first conversation revolved around Flemish-Waloon politics and when I questioned the animosity between the two he dismissed it with the words: "Oh we're all Belgian, we all have the same Queen and we all love our Queen!" I've yet to meet a Belgian who gives the Queen a second thought, but at the time I figured that he must know a thing or two about such things, most notably because he later confided "Darling, I want to be an ambassador!" Guess the fact that the boy had just majored in engineering and was working as an advanced mathematics teacher at the time should have made me take his political opinions with a pinch of salt. But whadda ya know, our friendship blossomed without further ado regardless. Soon we'd be holding regular meetings with a bottle of wine at the Ultime Atome or splurging on oysters, champagne and a dark chocolate truffle with raspberry sauce at the Belga Queen. Amateur relationship psychology would usually be the predominant theme of the evening and oh how we marveled at our own brilliance when we came up with what we perceived to be priceless nuggets of wisdom such as "Some men are like shellfish - it's hard to get them to open up, but if you succeed, you just might find a pearl inside" (and yes, I can hear y'all retching). Don't think we stopped there. No effing way José, we buuuuuuilt on it further until we came up with such ridiculous concoctions as "Shellfish are like bison - they need lots of space". Cue grave nodding so as to allow the wisdom of this profound truism to sink in. Hey, I never said we were the smartest peas in the pod, but dammit, at least we looked good doing it.

While all this was taking place, J. changed his professional aspirations from ambassador to Opera director (he did a brief stint working for the Opera de la Bastille in Paris), until the discovery of my salary kicked his capitalist pragmatism into overdrive and he promptly decided that the EU institutions were the only way to go. Good luck, I thought with no shortage of smug superiority, because everyone - tout le monde - knows that the only way to get a job at the institutions is through a fluke of gross negligence by the human resources department (as was the case with me) or by being an EU enthusiast who sets his mind on this goal before deciding to enroll in engineering school. HR flukes, they are rare. But two years on since our first meeting, my favourite Flemish Pretty Boy is a rising star at one of the Institutions and his career prospects have him laughing all the way to the bank. Incidentally this also means that we see a helluva lot less of each other, as it just so happens that he's now stationed in the far off land of Italy.

So anyway, let me cut to the chase: the truth of the matter is that only three of the Poulettes real-life friends are aware of her secret life as a bloger. But after careful deliberation at the Poulette headquarters here in Brussels, it was unanimously decided that perhaps this little milestone merits another coming out.

*Peeks from behind the door and waves shyly*

HI DARLING!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

You could be my flamingo cause pink is the new kindda lingo

Things have been pretty busy here at La Poulette - first the beau chateau, then Paris, then London, a brief period of intense studying for an 8 hour exam last Friday and the immediate subsequent escape to a girlie week-end getaway in Amsterdam. Funny how surprising it is to discover that one does have a life beyond blogging after all.
But fear not my diehard fans, the site shall resume back to its normal, regular self (cue earshattering collective sigh of relief from the Poulette's gazillion readers) and hopefully migrate to a superior Wordpress location ASAP - it's what I call jumping on the bandwagon before the train leaves the station. Considering that this blog wasn't seriously expected to last beyond a week, the template was never a major concern. Now that things seem to have spun beyond my control, however, I feel that that the times they are a-changing and the template should follow suit. I still maintain that pink and Poulette go together like banana's and peanut butter, which is to say, like, totally. But shadewise I'm thinking less Barbie more Babe, less Hello Kitty more Chanel Chance, less Paris more Proteus... with some luck, all coming to a Poulete near you bientot.