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Fondly for Belgium

April 18, 1993

Thank you for most enjoyable and nostalgic reads in your two pieces on Belgium ("Brussels Blooms," March 21, and "The Venice of Belgium," Aug. 9). I lived in Belgium for nine years during my childhood as a refugee from Cologne during World War II. Life was very grim then. I spent over two years in hiding from the Nazis in Rochefort. Yet I have very fond memories of the country.

I agree that tourists have overlooked Belgium for far too long and that the country is a treasure to be discovered and appreciated. And as to the neatness of Brussels, I can offer a couple of explanations: It rains frequently, and the shopkeepers diligently wash their sidewalks every day as part of their business ritual. This is what I observed when I lived there.

FANNY LABIN

Laguna Hills

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