Tag Archives: belgium

Brussels – the definitive review (7/10)

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.

***”Market hag”.

****She might not have had eyes actually, now I think of it.


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Leeeeavin’, on a Eurostar

Tomorrow I be going to Belgium to attend a festival of the musical type. This will be my first attendance at a festival of the musical type since 2005, I think. Apart from PrestFest, where I worked and saw Speedway and Mark Owen and got to lift lots of crates of beer and got a tip of £1 that disappeared. Bastards.

But yes, I will be attending Groezrock with some chums, where we will watch some bands and eat waffles and French fries or something. And drink trappist beers, or something part II. I fully intend to act like my 17-year-old self, as I did when I used to go to the Leeds Festival on a yearly basis.

What this means is I will be sitting quietly, being annoyed that I’m not more comfortable than I am. No matter how much I wash myself I will feel unclean. I will drink too much but never get good drunk. I will buy shitty food that costs more than it should… well, maybe not that as it’s not in the UK so might not be so fucking expensive.

Basically I will be boring, like I was when I was 17. Then to Amsterdam, where pretty much the same thing will happen but with marginally more comfort and for a bit longer.

Yes, this is a phoned-in entry, but that’s because I’m packing. And here’s the rub: I won’t be blogging for a week as a result of all this. I’m a crafty veteran of this One A Day malarkey, so I’m allowed to change the rules to fit me. FACE.


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