Belgian Beer..

I got drunk last night.

Well, not “falling down” drunk. More like four pints, or whatever the equivalent is in Euroland’s metric measures. Now I could pretend I need ten pints to feel tipsy, but why bother lying? I can’t drink, and that’s the end of it.

Namibian’s almost the same, unless whisky is involved. So, more than one beer, and Namibian and I are awake like old men at five in the morning, bemoaning the big night out. I might have to contain drinking, in future, to a small finger of port after lunch – then perhaps allow myself forty winks.

A couple of hours in an Irish bar was more than enough, anyway. American AC/DC crew gazed at the huge screens showing rugby, bemused by the lack of shoulder pads and crash helmets.

Namibian patiently explained drop-kicks, and a converted try, to uncomprehending faces – one of which was mine.

Then it was back down my old stomping ground – De Muze Jazz Café. I took “Cookie”, a driver that regards jazz as ‘playing the wrong tune at the same time.’ However, any ideas of watching the stage quartet was eschewed, at Cookie’s behest, opting instead for loitering outside the ladies’ toilet two floors up. He grins. ‘I like it here, I do.’

Record collector”, near Antwerp’s cathedral, is a vinyl fan’s dream. There’s a great section in the back of the store for €1 bargains, complete with a turntable for checking scratches. And a nice sign: “BEER. Helps white guys dance since 1842”.

I treat myself to a cheap AC/DC CD to acclimatise myself to the tour – to be played at a moderate volume. If, perchance, you’re rolling your eyes in despair, let me tell you this. I recently had a teenager round to my house, oblivious that records have two sides. Now that’s got to be sadder than watching rock concerts with earplugs in, hasn’t it? ‘Rock n roll ain’t noise pollution, rock n roll ain’t gonna die…’