Legends from our own lunchtimes

Wednesday, July 03, 2024


Just when I thought “winkelwagen” was my favourite bit of Flemish, perhaps beside “Waggelwaterbrug”, along comes “blikvanger” to challenge for the top spot.,  It turns out doesn’t really have a  translation in the context of this discussion, but we think we can pretty much work it out.   

Blikvangers (not their real name) are positioned along bicycle paths for the convenience of commuters.

Imagine riding your bike to the station, sucking on a can of your favourite fizzy pop, when along comes an opportunity for a spot of Blikvanging.  

Who could resist? 

There are no points awarded, but a successful ejection of the can is far better than turning up at the office with it stuffed down one’s shirt front.  There’d be the never ending quest to get it into the first hole I’m sure.   Failure no doubt means appearing on television, perhaps “Belgium’s Most Wanted” if that failure also involves failing to stop and trying again. 

As an aside, all over Europe public lawns and verges are being allowed to grow with the bare minimum of mowing to keep things a little tidy, which is why apart from a few mown pathways the park in the background looks a little overgrown.  

This is in the interests of promoting bio diversity, encouraging insects and birds back to places they may have left, and it can’t hurt the local authorities gardening budgets either, although shares in mower companies might not be such a great investment at the moment.

In some countries, most assuredly not here, where blikvanging is not yet a thing, one can only imagine the nasty surprises that await the mower operators in all that undergrowth when the annual mowing comes around. 

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