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A double colission (26-02-24)

The fog thickened and thickened despite a bitterly cold wind. People cycled laboriously with their collars pulled up. As always in inclement weather, they all seemed equally ugly. The beautiful villas and hopelessly old buildings were barely visible.

Traffic crept along with difficulty between grey-white exhaust fumes because of the many stops and accelerations. And suddenly, things were going against me. The impact was barely audible, but the dent in both cars would become an item worth several thousand euros.
The car that was hit from behind had a Dutch number plate.

Both drivers got out.
The Dutchman had, as usual, the biggest mouth.
"Stupid Belgian fries eater, can't you keep your distance on those bad middle aged roads of yours with that fog?" he screeched.
'What? You mustn't stop all of a sudden, damn Cheesehead," the Belgian retorted.
Still, perhaps because of the cold, both cooled down surprisingly quickly and put their cars aside.
My name is Kees, said the Dutchman, we will fill in the papers in my car.
'Kees? How would be his name else', the Belgian thought and introduced himself as Sjef. When he got in, he saw a pigeon basket in the back seat. "Pigeon fancier?" he asked.
Kees nodded. 'Pigeons are my passion.'
"Here's another one," said Sjef.
Their hands tingled and they had no choice but to put them on their laps, which barely made writing possible. 'This is not going to help', Kees said. Jef nodded in agreement and said: 'A little further is a restaurant. Shall we go there?" No sooner said than done.

When they arrived, Kees was reading. 'Restaurant Den Engel.' He smiled.
'Which restaurant, hotel or brothel isn't called Den Engel in Belgium?' Inside, he beckoned to the waiter. Sjef looked surprised.
A Dutchman who gave a treat? Hmmm. He had to tell his wife.
The ice seemed to be broken, papers were filled in and Sjef asked what the pigeon basket meant. Surely not to toss now?
'I bought pigeons, they must have survived and I still have to pick some’, Kees said.
Then he started talking about his accomplishments. He regularly achieved super results against huge numbers of pigeons and that had not escaped the notice of the Chinese. He had been able to fill his pockets well via a famous Belgian sales site.

Sjef knew that foreigners gave a lot of money for Dutch pigeons, but that was because they were stupid. That's why he asked: 'Do you really think that Dutch pigeons are better?'
'Who in Belgium can present results like me?' retorted Kees.
'Few, or rather nobody', Sjef agreed, but that has nothing to do with 'better'.
Every weekend we race Quievrain, Noyon, Middle Distance and Long Distance, old birds and yearlings separated. You usually only have ONE race and also race long distance pigeons to train. Often they are not even clocked, but they are in competitions. That's how you get those huge numbers of pigeons.
Besides, if your pigeons are better, why do you come here to buy?'
Kees didn't like this. Sjef beamed and called the waiter. This was the first time he had been able to outdo a Dutchman and that was worth some money.
"I'm coming," the waiter said and quickly walked in the other direction.

The fact that many foreigners are willing to pay more money for a winner against 5,000 pigeons than for a winner against say 300 pigeons was known to Sjef, but that was because they were stupid.
The difference was in the pigeon culture. Of course, there were also good ones in the Netherlands, but they are everywhere these days, Sjef knew.
One loft races, the fairest, are even won by Czechs, Austrians and Italians, Kuwaiti.
By the way, do you know X? That's a compatriot of yours. That name was familiar to Kees. "Then you should listen carefully," said Sjef.

The X sold a lot and his pigeons were very profitable. But shall I tell you something? Belgian type. X races in a region where the competition is poor. And what his pigeons performed against thousands of pigeons in the Netherlands, the Belgian from whom he got them could not even do against hundreds of pigeons.
As a result, the Belgian could barely sell a feather. Where he races, it happens that 400 pigeons are entered by 75 fanciers. They only race the best, specialized for a certain distance. Where X races, 75 fanciers enter 4,000 pigeons.
There they race everything that moves, including many hopeless long distance pigeons. Also because the shipping costs are low, basketing is done en masse.
A child understands that where few enter a lot of pigeons, competition is less strong.  Kees searched for his words for a moment.

I can follow you, but why do flights from longer distances in the Netherlands go so much smoother? Because the pigeons are raced en masse on it, which gives you a better selection. In other words, better pigeons.
In addition, different standards can be applied to the selection process.
But you're right. A winner against 4,000 pigeons can be worse than a winner against 400 pigeons. 'And' said Kees, take a look at the Belgian National Ace pigeons. Take a look at Ace pigeons in Belgium. Pretty many wear a Dutch ring.

And yet? It had only been 2 hours since they had never seen each other, an hour since they called each other rotten, now they agreed to meet again. But in better weather and without accidents.
'Sport brings people together'?
Indeed. Sometimes.
And good pigeons? They are everywhere and bad ones even more.
Though. Zandhoven, Kessel, Berlaar and the surrounding area? That is a different than some regions elsewhere. In the Netherlands and Belgium.
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