Two Nekos do Urupe 8: Brussels

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Chocolate and lace

Sooooooo we are probably reaching the end of this Nekos do Urupe series as I ran out of European Cities to depict. There are some places that have the name of a city, but do not on any way represent the city or parts of it. However.. we might show them to, just because some people love their city even though it does not look like that city.

(Krisp says there is a place called Dublin that we went to but did not quite cover so we might go and look that place up).

Anyway, lets have  a look at Brussels that has been declared to be the unofficial capital of Urupe because it is the formal seat of the European Union. I must say we have a rather vague feel about Brussels. So what we did is find what we could find on youtube. And we ran into this guy.. Rick Steves. We took the liberty to offer a few  links to some his movies(see beluw).

We liked this one cause she looks cool, even though we did not have a clue what she was saying cause she speaks French and we do not understand French. But you know, it is a great way to learn some, cause that is the language they speak in Brussels. You see, Brussels is the capital of Belgium too and Belgium has a French speaking population, called Walloons and a Dutch speaking population, called Flemish. And there is even a small group that speak German. Brussels is on the border between the two parts, but most of it’s citizens speak French.

We recall once visiting Brussels and ordering some chocolate with a Leonidas store because chocolate is a thing that Belgium is famous for. And Leonidas is a famous Belgian chocolate store. So we were Dutch and did not speak a word of French, but we indicated what we wanted with pointing and that has helped in many countries of which we did not speak the language. But the Walloons and Flemish do not like each other very much, so speaking Dutch – which is similar to Flemish – no doubt acts on them Walloons like a red cloth does on an enraged bull.. So they pretended no to understand us. But well, my dad, who was there, just shrugged his shoulders and said in Dutch, “well then we buy something in the other store.” And he put his wallet back in his pocket. And for some reason they understood that and got us the things we wanted.. See…money talks!

At the top of this post you see us, to the left was a store that sold chocolate and to the right is another product that seems to connected to Belgium or Brussels, which is lace.  So Krisp is trying to make some and I am trying to get eat something.
Next to lace and chocolate Mussels seems to be a dish that is associated with Brussels, which is interesting as Mussels come from the sea and Brussels is smack-bang in the middle of Belgium, nowhere near the sea.

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Atomium

This is the Atomium, built for the  Expo’58 and, I am reading this from the wiki, represents the iron atom very large. It seems that it has not been used much in movies and such, which might be cause by the fact that someone has claimed intellectual property rights on it  till 2075 and any depictions of it, although not for private individuals depicting it for private non commercial reasons(which would cause a revolution, we think.). One wonders how the world would be like, when everyone was copyrighting their house, their car, their whatever. Oh, how about my cows? Or my windmill? A barren world will unfold. The upshot is no doubt that nobody wants to show it. Hence you get to see the Eiffel-tower,Trafalgar square and what not.. but not the Atomium.

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Royal Greenhouses of Laeken

Last picture^^ is a picture of a the  inside of the Royal Greenhouses of Laeken. It was not a big representation of the real thing, but with the proper light it actually looks a bit magic. The real life Greenhouses can only be visited during April and May. The Second Life version is never closed.

Rick Steves

Two nekos do Urupe 6: Berlin

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Kebab is not a German dish.. but it signifies the existence of Berlins large Turkish community. An estimated 10% of the population is Turkish or from Turkish decent. Berlin is not only a large city(larger than Paris) but also has a lot of immigrants from the middle-east and eastern Urope.

When we were thinking of another capital of Urupe we could not help but think of Berlin.  Berlin, of course, is the capital city of Germany, a country that is well known by the general movie going public at large for visiting other peoples countries uninvited. This is of course something that lies in the past, but, assumed that we do not get another world war caused by another country (or two) it will probably haunt Germany  for as long as it exists(like it will Japan.).   This despite the fact that Germany has not been involved in a war of any sorts this last five decades or so and is one of the strongest pillars the European Union rests upon.  You see, that Germany is a rich country. Very rich. In fact it is by far the richest country in Urupe(if we not counting Russia that is and the vote is out there whether Russia belongs to Urupe or not) and this without having any huge amounts of natural resources, except for people that is. In fact it is one of the richest countries in the world.

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The TV tower at Berlin; a defining landmark of the city. It was built by the German Democratic Republic: that is the former East German government. In a way it is both a symbol of reunification as of division.

Germany once was divided into two parts: one to the east and one to the west. The west part had its capital at Bonn, a town sitting near the French border which was abandoned in favor for Berlin in no time once Germany was united again and Berlin was no longer locked in the middle of  socialist east Germany. The socialists left a reminder in the TV tower.  Seems every nation want something sticking into the air just to remind you of… eh. well. remind you of something. Maybe just to remind you that they are there?

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We had to revisit Berlin because we wanted to make some more pictures. Look.. it is the TV tower! Yeah, this is another Neko. We got a lot of them..

One of the nice things about Berlin is that the do strange arty stuff. A fertile art culture seems a kind of good symbol, even when you do not agree with the art. The cubes are a memorial to the Jewish victims of the holocaust. The concrete blocks are called Stelae, which is an expensive name for upright standing stone block. Berlin has always been a very arty place.

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We thought to make a nice snapshot of the Berlin Project in Second Life.. as we had not access, us being nekos.  You see these did not yet hang out at Berlin in the twenties. So we had Fats take a picture.. That is the Brandenburger tor and I guess the woods to either side are the grounds of the Tiergarten(zoo).
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So well.. we asked to have Fats another picture with Fats himself in it. As Fats is not a neko and therefore fits into the Berlin scene he could take a picture at leisure. This is a picture of the Bannhof (station) at Alexanderplatz.which brings us, together with the previous picture, to Bannhof Zoo. And this brings us to.. Christiane F.
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Christiane F, or: wir kinder vom bannhof zoo is the sad tale of a teenager who became a heroine drug addict in the later seventies of the 20th century. The scenery is set amid the depressing grey high rises that populated West Berlin. The scenery is perhaps a tad darker when one imagines that just a few kilometers to the east people where shot by East German border guards for trying to flee the blessings of the socialist Valhalla while in west Berlin teenagers were trying to escape capitalist heaven on earth using drugs.
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Cube24 in Second Life is probably a representation of the Cube night club in real life Berlin. It is actually a lively place for Second Life and caters to the lovers of electronic music. Admittedly that is a broad spectrum of music nowadays, so out feeling was that it tended towards trance, minimal more than towards hardcore house.
We liked it..