Wherein I am Astounded to Learn that Belgium is, in fact, a country and not just a road as I had previously assumed.

As one of my favorite characters is so fond of saying, “Winter is coming.” And with Christmas just around the corner (if that corner is about six months long) I figured it might be appropriate to relate the second part to my popular series Adventures in Christmas Shopping. 

And by popular I mean the chickens like it, and the imaginary crowd has yet to riot over it.

So let’s set the scene shall we?

It’s a frigid day in Seattle. For once no rain falls from the sky on this dreary December day. Following close on the heels of my family’s adventure to a tattoo parlor (the details of which can be found here: http://captainofchickens.com/?p=213), we alighted in the downtown region. After much cursing and gnashing of teeth we found a path through the maze of streets that is Seattle (if you’ve not had the pleasure of driving through Seattle please don’t, you’ll pull out your hair).

Wandering through the streets, coat clutched closely about my frame in order to hoard every joule of heat, we arrived at a mall. In this mall was a store known to all and sundry as a fine purveyor of chocolates and other such things.

Me, being the curious sort that I am, enquired as to the provenance of said chocolates. I was astounded to learn that they hailed from my mother’s maiden state of Pennsylvania (another accursed place that should be shunned by all right-minded peoples). Laughingly I  asked if they might be from Hershey, Pennsylvania (the home of a famous chocolate manufacturer). The kind lady helping us stared at me nonplussed before offering an awkward laugh. I suspect she received that feeble joke a lot.

Moving right along (probably in an effort to shuffle this odd father and son out of her fine establishment) we were then informed that the origin country of this shoppe was Belgium. She then clarified that Belgium was a country. In Europe.

Let that sink in. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

Now here you might be assuming that she was telling us this for our benefit, as if we were a couple of rubes or simpletons unaware of our Earth’s geography. If you could’ve been there you would’ve instead caught her tone. She unveiled this little piece of information as if it was the most surprising thing she had ever heard and shared it, almost conspiratorially, with my father and I.

So there you have it folks. The story as to how I learned that Belgium is a country in Europe. Fascinating stuff I know.

Please stay tuned for the next installment of Adventures in Christmas Shopping.