This is a post I found at the
blogspot linked to below and I really like this one because it gives us a new
“search clue” we can use in trying to hunt down the Belgium Bingos:
~ Check out the first paragraph and
the reference of “slots” _ Very Cool ~
This is all pretty
straightforward. You are probably
reading this, thinking "Brussels sounds a lot like my city - there are
a handful of machines scattered around at various locations." That's true, but only for actual
pinball, what the French-speaking world calls "Flipper." Where things start to get weird is with
a game that the French-speaking world calls "Slots." These games are in every neighborhood
bar that I saw in Brussels, and they look like this:
Every time we
walked by a bar, my inner pinball alert went off - PINBALL! But no, Max told me, these were just
shaped like pinball machines, they were not pinball at all. Check it out, they don't even have
right? I didn't play, because I
learned years ago that I don't do well with gambling. But basically, you pick your numbers on the
screen in the backbox and then launch your balls and try to nudge them into
the appropriate holes. This seemed
so crazy to me! In America, we have spent years and years trying to
distance ourselves from pinball's gambling past, but in Europe (or at least
in Belgium) that past is thriving!
Max said that every bar had one of these machines and that there was
usually an old drunk, plunking his last few Euros into these machines, in
the hopes of winning enough money to buy himself another drink. We even walked by while one was spitting
out coins for a winner (the highest award possible is 20 euros).
I can't overstate
how commonplace these machines were.
In 10 days I saw hundreds of them!
We even drove by a repair shop that only serviced these machines. Crazy, right?! Now if we could only replace them with "Flipper"
for Max for taking me all over the city to find some pinball. I can now proudly say that I have played
pinball on another continent!
Thanks too to Colin for his great site. If you are playing pinball in Europe, you should set up an
account so you can add new locations and update others. I'll add a link to our sidebar.
On an unrelated
side note, I have a new pinball comic up over on the Stern blog, about something
funny that happened to Jon and me before I left on my trip!
Posted by Alec
Longstreth at 5:51 PM
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