Tuesday, 30 October 2007

advantages of my job #6 : a day in brussels

Brussels is a great city. Any traveller passing through for the first time will find it disgusting: the pollution caked building, the 1960's style metro and the old fat women sitting around drinking beer. and most people wonder how the hell it could be the center of the European Union (and you wonder yourself when you get a glimpse at the Commission buildings which are mostly tacky and heinous.)When I first went in 1996, Brussels (and the rest of Walloonia for that matter) looked like how I'd imagined post-Soviet Eastern Europe. In fact, post-Soviet Eastern Europe, where I was headed, was cleaner and nicer.

But as I've gone to Brussels more and more often, for work, for weekends, for shopping, I've really come to like it. Before we had Suzanne and bought the 'pit, we were set on moving to Brussels. You can feel that it's an international city but not overwhelming. and it's bilingual which makes it feel more open, more easy going than Paris. Besides, the Belgians are really relaxed, friendly and often laugh at themselves and their king (unlike their French neighbors).

As the Italians say, Brussels is like an old slipper; it's not very pretty but it's comfortable.

So I am off to Brussels for another meeting and a little jaunt through my favorite city.

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