The Kingdom of Belgium is world-renowned for its beers, chocolates, waffles and gothic cathedrals. Read on to find out more about the country which is home to the European Union and NATO and is sometimes referred to as the cockpit of Europe.
A closer look 說古論今
The region which currently forms Belgium has been home to many famous artists from the Renaissance and Baroque periods. There is a gothic cathedral or church in every one of its major cities and towns. It is also famed for its examples of Romanesque, Renaissance and Baroque architecture. The inventor of the saxophone, Adolphe Sax also hails from Belgium. Another famous export is "The Adventures of TinTin," a cartoon which was first published in the French Language newspaper Le Vingtieme Siecle in 1929.
However what draws most tourists to Belgium is its beer. A quirk in its licensing laws forbade the selling of spirits in pubs until as recently as the 1980's. The result was lovingly crafted beers which have become world famous for their taste, fermentation methods and strength. Belgium boasts the largest locally-produced variety of beers in the world with over 500 regulars and another 500 one-offs. Each of these has its own special glass, selected carefully so that the shape brings out the best in taste and aromas. Especially famous are the Trappist beers which are brewed from scratch in one of only seven authorized monastaries.
No trip to Belgium would be complete without visiting a local cafe on a winding street, sitting at table on the pavement sipping on a local beer and perhaps indulging in the national dish of mussels or steak with French fries (which the Belgians lay claim to the invention of) and lettuce.
Size: 30,528 km2 or 6/7 the size of Taiwan
Location: Western Europe
Border countries: France, Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands
Population: About 10.5 million
Languages: Dutch, French and German
Government: Federal parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy, compulsory voting system.
Currency: Euro; 1 euro = NT$ 42
Let’s go for a spin in my new set of wheels (4/5) 坐我的新車去兜風吧（四） A: So what do you think of my Mini? B: Well. . . apart from the fact it’s absolutely boiling inside without any air conditioning — and the wind noise is quite loud compared to a modern car — it’s actually pretty cool! It feels a bit like I’m in a go-kart. A: That’s because of the Mini’s ultra-wide wheelbase, which means it handles corners really well. Modified Mini Coopers won the Monte Carlo Rally in 1964, 1965 and 1967. B: Wow! It feels like we’re driving in a piece of automobile history. A: 那麼，你覺得我的迷你車怎麼樣？ B: 嗯……除了車內沒有空調，感覺快被煮熟以外──而且風切聲跟現代汽車比起來有夠大聲──其實真的很酷！有一點感覺像是在卡丁車裡面。 A:
Let’s go for a spin in my new set of wheels (5/5)
坐我的新車去兜風吧（五） A: Can you hear a strange noise? B: Now you mention it, I can hear a faint whirring sound. Also, there’s a slight whiff of burnt rubber. A: Uh-oh! I’d better pull over and take a look... OK, sit tight. I’ll pop the hood and take a look at the engine. B: What’s the prognosis? A: I think the fan belt has worn out and caused the engine to overheat. I’d better call a mechanic... A: 你有聽到一種奇怪的噪音嗎？ B: 既然你說了，我確實有聽到微弱的低沉呼呼聲。另外，我還聞到一點點燒焦的橡膠味。 A: 哦哦！我最好停車檢查一下……。好，你坐穩，我要把引擎蓋打開，看看引擎有沒有問題。 B: 你推斷的病情是什麼？ A: 我想應該是風扇的皮帶破損了，導致引擎過熱。我最好打個電話給維修人員……。 （Edward Jones, Taipei Times／台北時報章厚明譯） English 英文: Chinese 中文:
Pets are an inseparable part of people’s lives in the modern world. About 65 percent of US households have at least one pet. On a psychological level, pet companionship can bring better psychological wellbeing; on a biological level, our furry friends can boost human immunity. According to a report in Psychology Today, a review carried out by researchers from the UK’s University of Manchester found that the companionship of pets can result in better psychological wellbeing for people with mental health conditions. The diabetes research center of the University of Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital analyzed data from over 3 million people,
A: Hello, I’d like to book a table for two please. For 7 o’clock, if possible. B: Certainly, sir. Let me see if I can fit you in. I’m afraid we’re fully booked at that time, but we do have a space at 8pm. A: No problem, 8pm will be fine. B: Thank you. I‘ve reserved you a table for two for 8pm. Just to let you know, we operate a “bring your own” policy for wine, and corkage is NT$50 per bottle. A: OK. See you later on. A: 你好，我想要訂位，兩個人，方便的話晚上七點。 B: 好的，先生。讓我看看能不能幫您安排座位。不好意思，我們那段時間的訂位滿了，不過晚上八點還有空位。 A: 沒問題，晚上八點可以。 B: 謝謝您。我幫您預約晚上八點，兩個人的座位。另外，提醒您本餐廳關於「自行帶酒」的規定，每瓶酒酌收新台幣五十元開瓶費。 A: 好的。我們晚點見。 （Edward Jones,