Meeting the little man that pees

The great Belgian adventure of 2010 is underway…and I spent less than 24 hours in Belgium before leaving that country for another.

At the moment I am in Luxembourg, where we’ll be spending the next three days of our IFAJ 2010 pre-congress tour.

IFAJ is the International Federation of Agriculture Journalists – and this year I’m fortunate enough to be attending their annual congress as one of the winners of the IFAJ Alltech Young Leaders Award.

Every year, 10 young journalists with leadership potential are chosen to receive this award and have the opportunity to travel to the congress to experience the workings of this international organization.

The main congress starts on Saturday in the Belgian coastal city of Ostende, once we wrap up our visit to Luxembourg, a tiny speck on the European map between Germany and Belgium.

The nation numbers just over 400,000 people, but has three official languages – French, German and Letzeburgisch (my spelling of that is likely waaaay off but something close to this), a dialect that is a mix of French and German. According to our Belgian guide today, it’s also one that is practically impossible for non-speakers to understand.

In my less than 24 hours in Brussels, we did have a bit of an opportunity to do some exploring. Grande Place (photo here) is the gorgeous historic square in the centre of the city.

And the little guy peeing in a fountain is “Manneken Pis” (photo above), a sort of mascot for the city that tourists flock to.

And if seeing him for real isn’t enough, there are shops selling chocolate replicas of him in varying sizes and colours…

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