Wednesday, 15 June 2016

The frietjesmachine in Bierbeek

Today, we started off at 74 and then made our way to 75, 76, 115, 72, 73 and back to 74. We didn't take many pictures, for it was a bit foggy but the conversation was very interesting.

As we came out of the car, we saw a truck transferring potatoes, and I said, "I wish I could be a farmer someday." After a pause to look at it I said, "Don't you think there are one too many potatoes being transferred. I knew farms were big but not that big!" "Maybe this isn't only one farm, but used for many farms," Tonio replied.

When we reached 75, I remembered something and said, "Oh I just remembered. Blaz's dad (Blaz is my friend) every month or two runs about 70 km!" Then he said that he was thinking about stopping marathons. "Noooo!" I shouted. "You can't stop now after you've just had a bad marathon." "It wasn't bad it just was my worst one." "But shouldn't you make your last marathon a good one so you have good memories?" "But if I end with a good one I will think about continuing." "But why would that be a bad thing?" "Well, you have to stop at one point. And you know how much suffering I have to do every training session for just one marathon? Every last 30 minutes of training I have to drag myself back home." "Well if you really feel like that then why didn't you stop before?" "Because the suffering has increased through the years."

Then we saw a house. I was about to go in it to rest on a bench for a bit but Tonio stopped me. He said that it was a little bit dangerous and he pointed out that the house was leaning to one side a little so we stepped away. "But wouldn't there be a no enter or stop sign if it were dangerous?" I said. "Yes but I don't know why," Tonio replied. "Say, if that house would fall and people under it would they show it on the news?" I asked. "Well, in the local news yes but I don't think in the national news," Tonio said.

And of course the views were excellent as we went through the forest.

And finally, as we came back, we saw that the truck was still transferring potatoes. But there was another truck just behind it. "You were right as always!" I said. Then we went into our cosy car and drove home...

Did you have fun? If you have, then join us on our next adventure in the amazing adventures of Dijleland!


[Tonio:] The "adventurous" part today was until we drove to the start of the walk.

We had to get to number 74, which is located at the edge of a forest and could be reached through narrow and rough country roads. After a couple of consultations of the map, I parked next to what looked like a farmhouse next to an agricultural processing plant of some sort. There was a conveyor belt which was pouring potatoes into the back of a large truck. Soil was being deposited on the ground, while an elderly man was watching the contents of the belt and taking out the bad potatoes. Next to these works, a billboard explains (in Dutch) the whole process how "frietjes" (fries, the Belgian national snack) are grown.

There was a lot of running activity going on in the area. While still taking our bearings, coming out of the car, a runner stopped to ask for directions to Bierbeek. I could help him out, also thanks to the map we had been consulting, then he noticed my favourite bright orange tee-shirt from the Rotterdam marathon, so we had a little chat about marathons in general. Later, during our walk, we saw groups of runners waiting for each other, running together, alone or accompanied by a dog. This was rather unusual as normally we hardly ever encounter any runners on our walks. It must be an area that is popular with runners, in fact one particular tree-lined path looked exactly like one in the Arboretum which is part of my own standard run. Besides, it was Sunday morning, traditionally the time most runners carry out their weekly longest run.

As usual, our adventure was unusual, in that it had its own peculiarities. Another unusual event today was the fact that it rained. Granted, rain is hardly a rare event in Belgium, but it's rare on our walks because when the weather is bad we tend to stay at home. Today we decided to take our raincoats with us, which was just as well because there was a heavy downpour even before we reached the wooden post with number 74, the "official" start of our walk.

As usual, again, we had some interesting discussions. We considered the best time for me to retire from running marathons. Gianluca suggested that my last marathon should be one with a good performance, so that I end on a high note. I pointed out that if I run a good marathon it would be a pity if I stopped, and I would want to run another one. We entered deeply philosophical territory - what happens when we're dead, belief in reincarnation, the actual meaning of belief, the incredibly narrow odds of someone actually being born, and various other topics... Later, when we walked through a short stretch where we had already been in our previous walk, we recognised some features like mushrooms growing out of a tree, a gazebo that looks unstable... and mused on the strange nature of memory. Some details remain stored in our memory but we are totally unconscious of them, but then we are reminded of them and the memory is so clear.

It was these discussions and events external to the walk, rather than the scenery itself, that was so interesting today.

No comments:

Post a Comment