Universal wood stove

Everywhere I turn in Belgium I see thermometers.

And I don’t just mean from one house to the next.

It’s not uncommon to have one in every room, plus one or two of them outside.

The reason for this is two fold:

One, the weather is notoriously fickle in Belgium. What’s being brewed up in the atmosphere at any one moment is a wild goose chase of watching the waves of clouds move overhead and beams of light pass through when they can.

(Even on cloudy days I’ve been amazed by the patches of crystal blue sky that magically appear in the sky … if only momentarily.)

Two, rooms are heated separately – sometimes not at all – depending on how they are being used, who is at home, and whether or not there is company.

It’s a country of wood stoves and radiators … and thermometers.

I am happy to report that a wood stove is a wood stove wherever you are: “Just add wood” … no Celsius conversion necessary.

And the numbers on the knobs of the radiators are also universally numbered, and simple: Just “1 through 5.”

(Converted into Florida units – “Carry the one and multiply by 2/3rds” … that’s also “1 through 5”)

As for the thermometers,

Next time I visit I’m bringing one from Florida … in Fahrenheit!

Or better yet: Fahrenheit on one side and Celsius on the other.

You see, I saw a room that was missing one …

That might be the one my wife brought to America. And perhaps the same thermometer that hangs on the wall of the little room in back of our little Florida home – all the rooms of which are pretty much all the same temperature thanks to air conditioning.

That thermometer reads Celsius on both sides.

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