May 15, 2012

May 15, 2012

EU Open House 2012

This year’s EU Open House was on May 12. It gave Europe’s embassies a chance to forget about their failing economies and media scandals by opening their doors and putting out cheese on crackers. Don’t think I’m mocking them; this event is one of the highlights of my year.

Friend-of-blog Patricia and I started at the Germany/France event, which was being hosted at the French Embassy (Germany’s Embassy is under construction).

One would expect them to have great food and plenty of order, but we found neither. The brie table was swarmed by the unwashed:

And the lines were chaotic and unmarked.

Luckily, they were handing out very good reusable totes, pens, and magnets. Sprechen sie freebies!

Next up, Sweden:

Sweden was my new discovery this year. It was bright and uncrowded. They let us go on the roof. And the staffers all had shirts that said “HUG A SWEDE.” Okay!

Then again, I’d expect nothing less than greatness from the country that birthed Ikea.

We took a harried Metrobus ride north to the Embassy of Belgium. The line was astounding, probably because Belgium gives out waffles every year. Word gets around, y’know.

Belgium opens up the Ambassador’s office, which is a nice gesture. (Only surpassed by Finland, who had the REAL LIVE AMBASSADOR in attendance. More on that in a minute.)

I forgot to take a picture of my waffle before inhaling it, but here is one of the Belgian volunteers manning the irons:

We headed to Finland with great anticipation, since this was one of the best ones last year. We didn’t know how they would top themselves. Until they did, with the effing Ambassador herself!

And plenty of food and beverage. And an accordionist.

Well done, Finland. Well done.

The final stop of the day was the UK. One of my highlights, obviously. They seem to be preparing for a sporting event of some sort.

New this year, visitors could sign a banner wishing QE2 well on her diamond jubilee. I signed as medevam and really hope doing so leads her to my Twitter feed and/or this blog.

Since it was after 3 pm at this point, we stopped for bangers and crisps.

What, were you thinking that was some sort of sex move? Perv.

My haul on the day was pretty good. I resisted grabbing most of the brochures, since I just end up throwing them out.

Whew. Good times.

0 Fish in a Sea of Diet Coke: