He lumbered down the narrow staircase. Breath heavy, legs aching. His broad flanks brushed either side of the narrow, twisting spiral staircase. This was not why he had come to Belgium.

Finally, he reached the bottom of the Belfort. Dolores and Brad were waiting patiently.

‘Okay,’ he managed a cheerful smile, wiping the sweat from his brow. ‘Lunchtime?’ he asked in hope.

The Grote Markt – horses and carts transporting tourists round the old town, along the edge of the square rows of cafes, beer halls and chocolate shops, all with striped awnings of green and red.

A pint of local bière and a steak. Perfect. He recovered somewhat as he waited for the food to arrive. This was more like it. He tucked his napkin in, held his cutlery ready. The garçon approached with his dish.

‘What the hell is this?’ he shouted. The pink, raw mince patty stared at him, mocking him.


Linking up with the prompt at What Pegman Saw. The task is to write a story in 150 words or less based on the destination that Pegman is visiting. This week’s destination is Bruges, Belgium, a wonderful city of canals and narrow, cobbled streets that I was lucky enough to visit for one day as part of a holiday around the country. I remember the market square, beer, rather large Americans struggling up narrow staircases, a Tintin shop and a hamburger served raw with some cress on top!

22 responses to “PICTURE POSTCARD”

    • It did actually happen to me, although in my defence the menu translation in English read ‘hamburger’. It came without a bun and without fries, just a lump of raw minced meat. Fortunately the local beer made up for it! 🙂


  1. Hi Iain. It’s been awhile hope all is well. Great snapshot in time descriptors especially the sitting down and recovering..as a field engineer and traveling back in the day, I could relate. Peace

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Raw meat?! I’m laughing and shaking my head at the same time. I’m with magicmermaid, no amount I’d beer could compensate! Great to see you, Ian. Thanks for sharing this vivid and enlightening firsthand account.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reminds me of the literally “green” hamburger I was served my first meal on the Island of Grenada. I, being a young teen, freaked out! Green meat was bad… rotten. How could they serve me rotten meat. I gagged several times before the waitress (who was chuckling when she saw the initial shock on my face) in stammered English told me it was seaweed, and that all meat (red meat) was mixed with seaweed, especially beef as it was hard to get and very expensive. I cautiously took a bite… it was actually delicious. I think it was the only time I ate beef while I was there… but they did the same with the more popular and cheaper goat meat. After a while you just learn not to look at it, eat it, and be happy to have food.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. When I was in France two months ago I ended up in a small restaurant where they were out of the two dishes I wanted and I ended up with the tartare. It was good but WOW such a huge amount of raw beef. I’m not sure I finished it.

    I can see how it would be a surprise to a tourist not expecting it!

    Liked by 1 person

      • It’s actually pretty tasty, once you get over the cultural training against it. And hey, I was just in China, eating whatever I saw in front of me, none of which was properly labeled in English. And “mystery meat” or even better, “mystery seafood” can be more questionable than plain old raw beef. 😉

        Liked by 2 people

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