Return to Nivelles and the absence of water

At long last the final leg of this segment of our journey.

With the light fading we left the Prussian memorial and headed back along the ring road to a few more choruses of "Waterloo". We had already decided to play safe to night and eat at the 'Quick' which my French sessions leads me to believe is their equivalent of McDonalds without the sad git in the clown suit. More to the point everything on the menu (apart from the leftovers) was accompanied by a picture of what you could expect the food to look like if you got lucky.

Anyway, it was back to the motel for a scrub up but NO! There was no hot water! Well we just put this down to our misfortune and assumed Adam and Andrew on the other floor were up to their respectively sweaty armpits in scorching hot water. However, this was not the case, so we all met down at the English speaking reception to complain. Funny thing was nobody could understand us, even when Andrew layed it on them in French "Like man, theres no hot water dude." (L'eau c'est ne chaud pas) And they just gave us a merry Gaelic shrug as to whether this would mean a reduction in our bills.

Muttering to ourselves rather loudly about crappy hotels and damn foreigners we went out for the mad dash across the ring road to the snack bar. We all got across safely and sorted out some scoff. It was certainly better than the 'Grand American' but it was also almost as tasteless as a McDonald.

The fun then contiuned as Andrew tried to phone home. E.T. would have topped himself the way there phone system worked. Or should I say did not work. Andrew tried all sorts of combinations of coins and cards but, they would not phone England for love nor money.

Eventually we gave up and went back to the hotel where Andrew was keen on paying extortionate prices at the bar for baby sized drinks. Still it makes you rich folks happy - don't it five pints? To be fair, it was not that bad and there was a pool table so we had a couple of games while we drank. On the way up to the rooms for the rest of the 12 - 14% beers that had been chilling in a bath full of cold water, we saw a football table and were in the mood for a couple of games.

Adam rushed over and bunged in some wierd euro coins but the damn machine would not cough the balls out. Back to the reception! Still they could not understand but Andrew had caught hold of a passing waiter and rammed his head down by the slot gesturing freely that the machine was knackered.

They found some manager woman who fetched some manager bloke with a key and we eventually got to have a game. It actually worked fine after that and we had a great time. Cannot remeber who won but, don't think I did too well but, we had some laughs and some more beer.

Those of you who have been out when I start laughing may well have anticipated the next part.

We had some Belgian waiter come over to us and start babling away trying to get us to be quiet. That was the signal for the riot to start. Lots of loud "Sorry mate cannot understand you" " No, still don't get it. Do you speak ENG-LLI-SSH?"

He went away and came back with some other manager dude and we were really up for it by now. Could not understand a word the Johnny foreigners were saying! Even Annette was having a good old chuckle by now and the game rolled on noisier and noisier.

Eventually, they found another manager who spoke English and asked us politely to be a little quieter please. Which just goes to show that all those Xenophobic carry on films are right - if you want to be understood by a foreigner - just talk loudly!!!

Well the money had run out by then and so we went off chortling amongst ourselves to finish off the beers from the bath. God knows what I drank that night as all the labels had floated off the bottles! (Note: never had this trouble with the cans in Berlin) Anyway, I drank more moderately as I did not want to spend another night poised over the bog bowl.

Next day we were up and ready to go fairly early. We had all had enough of Hotel Nivelles. Despite our complaint about the cold water they charged us full wack so we grudginly paid up and I went out to scrump every pear and apple I could reach of their damn trees.

On the car park temptation got the better of Adam and Andrew. There was a brand new BMW car with the registration "BUM". As luck would have it we had a camera to hand so we caught the moment on film.

So ended our stay in Nivelles. Thank goodness. This is definitely a place to avoid stopping. There must be some other places near Waterloo. An old barn perhaps or derelict caravan, anything would be better. BUT, I'd go back for another game of football!!!

And so off we went after a quick trip to the cafe for breakfast and a trawl around the supermarket for more beer. Adam was absolutely delighted because he found the supermarket had a bottle collecting machine that coughed up cash and he returned all our empties. I think he got about 3 euros out of us.

Without a care in the world we set off rapidly away from Nivelles and off towards Ypres looking for the next place on Andrew's list; The Everymans Club".