I traded a trip. Amsterdam for Brussels. Why? The hotel, the weather, the mood I was in. Maybe I just had that sixth sense. I made the switch Sunday morning. Not realizing that Belgium would later that day qualify for the semi-finals in World Cup Soccer and would be set to play on Tuesday. I would be arriving in Brussels Tuesday morning.
The old me might have panicked. Crowds, late-night partying and issues I used to stray away from. The new me started planning immediately. Searching the internet…where is the best place to watch Belgium in the semi-finals? Learning that no outdoor public screening would be available due to the threat of terrorist attacks. Quickly being reminded of the world we now live in. I would not be discouraged. Feeling this would be an event to enjoy with others I successfully talked a co-worker into working the trip as well. At least there would be two of us to engage in the festivities.
Upon our arrival in Brussels we heard about The Football Village. The courtyard at The Steigenberger Wiltcher’s Hotel hosts a large screen for viewing along with food and drink! We immediately began securing our tickets and started looking for anything red to support the Belgium Red Devils.
Now I don’t know anything about soccer as I grew up in a very American “football” household. Who cares when there is something about people coming together for a good time and to cheer on their team. In Europe, all civilized and convivial.
Mixing in with the locals and the huge crowd of fans was exhilarating. Flags from France and Belgium were swaying at all times. A mist came and went throughout the game, but it didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits. Spectators balanced beers on trays and carried them through the crowds. The atmosphere was electrifying. The excitement grew. In the end the best team won. The French fans celebrated. I was happy to be part of the drama and to come together with these spirited soccer fans. People I had just met, who all wanted the same experience. A life-like no other and job granting all of us an encounter of a lifetime!
The flight attendant life, the job that gives you the world! Feeling blessed.
Viva la France