Not quite pacy like Mumbai, not too laid back like countryside but, there was an instant Connect with Brussels, the moment I stepped on its land!!!
Wide and clean roads, disciplined zebra crossing people, delicious dessert -chocolate Waffle… pleasant and soothing climate, extremely low levels of pollution in the air, cute and well maintained trams that connect major areas of the city, yummy Leonidas branded Belgian chocolates and famous Belgian cookies …all of which was too much to not fall in love with the city..!!!!
On one hand Brussels is quite, serene and sophisticated while on the other hand it is hep, vibrant, colorful and extremely joyous!!! On one hand we have oldie grannies weaving lace apparels while on other we have ravishing ladies strutting their stuff in D&G…
On one hand there are old world trams still making their presence felt on Bruxelles streets while on the other hand High speed trains like Thalys, Eurostar, ICE (High speed train networks) connect Brussels to all major European cities like London, Paris, Cologne, etc.
On one hand Brussels is filled up with French, Flemish and German people while on the other hand diversity is well represented by whole lot of Africans, Latin Americans and also Indians!!! Brussels indeed, has much more to offer than just beer and wine!!!
There were days when I could see police guys on horses and then there were days when I saw them on Harley Davidson….!!! It was really super cool and so different to see polizie (French word for police) in that avatar..!!! Seeing so many well built and fit cops made me to sadly sigh in my heart that had it only been similar back in Mumbai, Mumbai would not have been as vulnerable as it is perceived!!!!
Oldies form major part of Brussels population. One can easily see many oldie couples walking hand- in hand at tram stations, and supermarkets..!!! Here I recall an incident, told to me once by my bhabi which so happened -an oldie handsome dude went across the other side of the street so as to caution vehicles that his oldie gorgeous dudette is having some problem with walking and made her to comfortably cross the road..!!! That was really heartwarming..!!!
Markets and Supermarkets are the buzzing places full of ladies wanting to buy the usual grocery and meat, while on the other hand shops like Camaieu, Zara at Rogier serve to charming fashion wanabbes…!!! Jackets are almost worn like second skin by everyone in Brussels…so now you know when you go next to Brussels … you just have to buy a jacket there!!!! Brussels has one of the finest collections of jackets for all seasons, all moods and all genders….
Central Park in Brussels hosts amazing Belgian beer cafes, souvenir shops, Belgian chocolate outlets and so many fashionable, trendy and branded apparel outlets that it pulls almost whole of Brussels’ hep population to this area throughout the day…
The only sad part about these markets is that all shops close by sharp 6 pm each day and the further worst is that … all shops are closed on Sunday!!!! Can you believe this??? I was equally shocked on hearing this… but when I got to learn the real reason behind this approach of the government I guess it almost made sense…Belgian people believe in living life outta each moment… each day… hence after gruesome office hours, instead of spending time shopping and eating unhealthy food at malls they believe in going out on family trip… for some skiing, for a nice game of squash, or tennis or for that matter just spending time with family helping your wife in cooking!!! Sounds nice??? Indeed… an ideal life that we forever crave for is forever in front of us…just that we don’t see and respect it..!!!
Why can’t we see many people in India cycling their way to office??? More often than not… we affix cycling with belonging to lower strata of society… there was this email that I received few days back stating how westerners used to ride their Porsches and Mercedes before and are turning into cycle lovers now and how we Indians used to cycle then and have turned to Mercedes now …!!! Irony is hard to neglect it!!! Belgian style of living, urged me to question my mind as to whether really implementing such basic things in India are that difficult??? No… it’s not difficult but probably keeping our people’s interests and welfare before individual’s selfish desire is something which is difficult for our politicians and government..!!!
I wanna go to Brussels again… 😀