24th – 26th March 2023: Brussels & Antwerp (Belgium) {Belgium, March 2023}

Situated in northwestern Europe, Belgium is part of both the Benelux and the Low Countries (an area historically a bit wider, including parts of France). It is a Constitutional Monarchy, a former colonial country and an early adopter of the Industrial Revolution. The official languages are Dutch, French and German – I mostly heard French – but people switch to English without any issue or problem. The country might be best-known for hosting many European Union institutions – Belgium was one of the founding members of the alliances that gave way to the current UE: the European Coal and Steel Community (1951) and the European Economic Community (1957). Today, Brussels is home to the European Commission, the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament, which was in session; that meant a lot of security and police. Something I noticed was that in general, Belgian people are extremely nice – albeit firm when they need to be. Not just… polite, but nice. It was almost uncanny, I kept expecting people to want something in return.

I took a long weekend out to fo some sightseeing in Brussels, meet my friend D****e, and attend a Starset concert in Antwerp. Even if there were a bunch of unexpected bleeps, most related to weather, most went fine, and I was able to see a bunch of cool things.