Brussels. You have kindly hosted me for over five years now.
Over time, I’ve gotten to know the multicultural areas of Anderlecht, the studentesque St Gillis, the upbeat Ixelles and the cosmopolitan Etterbeek – and above all the Eurocrat heaven of the European district.
Like many, I’ve complained about your many faults. Your built-in complexity that convinced some Belgium is a failed state, your ability in providing bad public service in either French or in bad Dutch, the poor infrastructure that makes me battle cars on my bike on a daily basis, the saddening climate where any day can be grey. Still, all this is wrapped in a layer of joie de vivre, exciting European multiculturalism and top class gastronomy (the best beers and fries of the world – and restaurants, too).
Despite her faults, Brussels is a place where I am happy. And even when you don’t love Brussels, you’ll love to hate it.
Bloody terrorists, do not touch Bruxelles ma belle. Do not take my happiness away.