Saturday, August 23, 2008

Chinese Chocolate Guy

A small ode to my favourite busker of Antwerp - or as I like to call him, Chinese Chocolate Guy. He pops up everywhere from the big tourist attractions, to the small bohemian side streets, to random squares. He manages to choose his setting appropriate though to the acousitics in the surrounding environment (how aware he is of this, I'm not too sure - perhaps per fluke!).

What makes him unique in Antwerp is his cleanliness and friendliness. I enjoy the street artists which captivate their audiences, but I also enjoy buskers who aren't just begging. Actually, I'm quite sure by this guy's appearance, that he works a regular job and just busks for the fun of it. I'm also sure he has been trained in suzuki (I recognise the majority of his repetoir and the abililty he has to play for hours on end without a note of music in front of him). But what makes me smile most about him, is that for every cent he receives in his violin case, he stops playing (no matter where he is in his piece) and gives the 'donator' chocolate of some sort! It is actually very difficult to tell him 'no - just keep playing'!!

So my thanks goes out to you, Chinese Chocolate guy. I hope to see you for many more years on the Antwerp streets, keeping the air filled with classical music.

By the way - congrats to Tia Hellebout from Belgium! The first (and only) gold medal for these olympics, alongside the silver won by the 4x100m relay won by the women! I even had a tear in my eye!

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