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Mons, Belgium


October 1991

I had my first business trip in Europe to Mons. On the 22nd (yup, the day after the furniture arrived) I drove up to Mons, Belgium in the afternoon (about a five hour drive, doing 140 km/hr on the autobahn - a bit slow but I wasn't used to it yet) for meetings and introductions the next day. The Supreme Headquarters, Allied Powers Europe (aka SHAPE) is in Mons, and I was asked to be technical liaison for the U.S. contingent up there.

It was quite startling to see signs on the highway as I was getting off at Mons, saying "Paris, 250km." So close.... I picked up some Belgian chocolates at a Chocolatier in downtown Mons (1 kg - 2.2 lbs - was 400 Belgian Francs, or about $11.75). It is by far the best chocolate I've ever had. Truly amazing. Hand dipped, all butter and cream, rich fillings. Unfortunately, it only keeps for about eight days, or we would've sent some back to our friends in the States.  As it was we had to eat it all ourselves - and quickly!

After Mons, I drove up/over to Brunssum, in the Netherlands (Holland). There is a little wedge of the Netherlands that comes down between Germany and Belgium, and Brunssum is in that wedge. My main focus there was to build a facility where there was only a shell of a building to begin with. Before, all I worried about was the computer systems. Now I had to think about the computers, and the air conditioning, and the power, and the telephones, and the alarm system, and the heating, and all the other things.




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