SOMEWHAT FAMOUS BELGIANS: A LIST
What Belgium lacks in size (and, apparently, in famous people) it more than makes up for with other charms. And not to sound defensive, but It really is tiny - the size of Rhode Island. So before you judge, let's see how many famous Rhode Islanders you can name...
- •Me, somedayTechnically I'm not Belgian, but I did live there for seven years as a child, which would have qualified me if I had applied for citizenship before the age of 23, only I didn't know that and I missed my chance, though I did live there again for three years as an adult, which almost half qualified me again. The fame part is trickier but when this novel sells, maybe? Authors of one published novel are totally all famous and constantly mobbed for their autographs, right?
- •Adolphe SaxOkay, admittedly, you probably haven't heard of him, but you HAVE heard of the musical instrument he invented.
- •French friesThe story - at least one of the stories, the one I like - goes that Americans first tastes frites during the War, and, thinking they were in France, called them French fries & imported the concept. But they weren't in France; they were in Belgium, and Belgian frites are so far superior to much of what passes for French fries in the U.S. that it's probably just as well they have a different name. They're essentially a different thing - French fries are to frites what instant coffee is to coffee.
- •TintinWhat, fictional doesn't count to you people?!
- •Audrey HepburnLook, it's the middle of the night and I really don't have the energy to read this entire Wikipedia article about acquiring Belgian citizenship en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belgian_nationality_law - which usually, admittedly, you get if your father is Belgian, and Audrey's was not. But she WAS born in Brussels, which, if you ask me, makes her at least as Belgian as I am.
- •The SmurfsOr, as I knew them when I was growing up, les Schtroumpfs. (Looks at all those clustered consonants! Is that not a delightful word?)
- •Not the inventor of the emoji, probablyOkay, clever cloggs, emoji are clearly Japanese in origin, but this is really just an opportunity to vent about the lack of a Belgian flag on my phone's keyboard.
- •Kim ClijstersOh! You say. I've definitely heard of her. And you have! She's a former number one tennis shoes player. So despite the lack of a Belgian flag emoji, I can use this: 🎾
- •Justine HéninAlso 🎾1⃣, also in the early 2000s. Not bad going for a tiny little country the size of Rhode Island. I'm trying to resist making a political point about how European socialism obviously has some plus points after all, but it's still the middle of the night, and my usually weak filter is currently non existent.
- •Anne-Marie SlaughterShe wrote the most downloaded ever Atlantic article, on why women still can't have it all. They can, however, have Belgian nationality, which is almost the same thing - though to my dismay (and not to step on what was otherwise fairly good, as middle of the night witticisms go), we can't quite claim her either since Belgianness is patrilineal, not matrilineal. Good grief, they don't make it easy on themselves, do they?
- •Hercule PoirotThere you go again, with your anti-fictionalist tendencies.
- •Maybe I should rename this list SOMEWHAT FAMOUS SOMEWHAT BELGIANS.