As I arrived in Brussels the sky was streaked with wisps of blue, thin layers of clouds fading-through, I could tell it would be a beautiful day. Deciding to forgo the Grand-Place and iconic Manneken Pis. I wanted to wander the streets in the residential areas, take the time to see this city from a local’s point of view. One year post the tragic terrorist attacks.
I knew I could for once on my own and with a cautious pace meander. I wandered, I watched, and I took my time. Down lonely streets with seldom another person in sight. I noticed the architecture that beholds great beauty. People going about their business. Seemingly relaxed and happy and others rushed. Reminding myself, it’s Friday, a typical work day here. I listened to the language mainly French scattered every now and again with English. Everyone with a destination in sight except for me.
This is what I observed…
The cafe’s with their outside seating as if welcoming guests to join them. Groups, singles, dogs all were welcome. The flower shops open with generous displays of what signals spring and life. Heading towards the Place Poelaert I notice the Waffle Truck open for business as usual. Then suddenly I’m stopped dead in my tracks. The military dressed in camouflage and heavily armed. Was I the only one who had a shiver down my back. Standing, watching, warning and not letting any of us forget how this world has changed!