Now, I’ve been to Brussels before. But I don’t remember it much. As I never pay attention to anything. Least of all Belgium. So this new appraisal is based entirely off the hour-and-a-half or so I spent there cumulatively in and around Brussels Midi train station during the last week or so. And frankly, I think that’s more than enough time to brutally judge the place.
My first issue with Brussels, then, is that on getting off the Eurostar and exiting the station we were confronted by 20+ English people, a fair few of whom we actually knew. What the hell is this madness? People don’t go to Brussels to see people they know and exchange pleasantries – they go there for international business or if they’re an MEP or if they really like Belgium*. That’s about a million per cent knocked off right there. Bloody English people in Belgium. What next? Brown people presenting the news?
It’s Belgian correctness gone mad.
Anyway, the second time we emerged from the station it became apparent that there was absolutely nothing to look at in the area. Just some boring buildings, lots of people in suits and about a dozen chalk menu boards stating what wonderful ‘business lunch’ deal they were offering.
And seeing as I’d been in the non-French bit of Belgium and the Netherlands for the last week, I also forgot they speak French in Brussels. This meant I forgot to speak French to the man in the sandwich shop, even though I am capable of doing so… to a degree. Anyway, this means Brussels conspired to make me look ignorant. Bastard city of hell.
But then it happened, and suddenly Brussels became the best city ever** – on wandering about, I caught a fair young maiden*** glancing my way. Enchanted by her emerald eyes**** I had to move to talk to her, and… well, she gave***** me some strawberries. And they were brilliant. And it made Brussels good.
*Technically impossible, but it’s no bad thing to cover all the bases.
**That I’m reviewing right now, and only for the next few moments.
****She might not have had eyes actually, now I think of it.