Posted by: Mish | November 29, 2007

We Walked For That?!

There’s a café friends and I frequent by the name of Manneken Pis and if you’re ever in St. Jean, Quebec I highly recommend it. On one of the walls is a large poster of the café’s namesake, a bronze fountain sculpture. When I first saw it I had to laugh and share with my friends the following story, one that doesn’t revolve around me for once.

My parents decided we should walk around Brussels, Belgium and see a “world famous landmark”. Normally, that’s fine, but my sister (9 at the time) was getting cranky because she wanted to get out of the drizzle and nap. We walked endlessly, so it seemed then, occasionally ducking into small shops to admire the chocolates and lacework and frequent “are we there yet?” from Ness. Finally we reached the fountain of our destination, around which there was a small crowd also eager to see Manneken Pis. Ness took one look at the sculpture and exclaimed, “We walked all this way for that?!?!” She was not a happy camper, nor did she care that it was a naked boy urinating.

Manneken Pis Little Man Piss

I think a lot of people assume national landmarks are large: Eiffel Tower, Lincoln Memorial, etc. Ness wasn’t the only one disenchanted with the landmark’s lack of size, I found this on a website:

When most people see our ‘manneken’, the first reaction is always one of amazement: “Look, how small he is! Why does everybody want to see him?” The people of Brussels, however, accept him the way he is. After all, it doesn’t always have to be big to be beautiful. Imagine he would be the size of the Statue of Liberty: Brussels would be continuously flooded!

Oh, and if you’re wondering he’s 2 feet tall and was sculpted by Jerome Duquesnoy in 1619. As I said in a previous post, it’s not the size that matters and as grandma always says, “Good things come in small packages”.



  1. Thanks for the chuckle and reminder of a great family vacation! This was a joy to read.

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