Monday, May 21, 2007

Belgians in Brussels

There is a roughness to the population which is quite striking. It almost verges on the skinhead look. Unkempt and dark. Not that there is any sense of threat. It is just the dress of the youth. Dark and oppressive. Aggressive even. But it seems this is the Soho of Brussels so I should not be surprised. Indeed, there is something vibrant about it as well. Art shops, bookshops, music, paint, stamps, postcards, small bars, gay bars, sidewalk cafes, street theatre, huge murals, on walls, (Tintin and Snowy descending a flight of stairs on one), rubbish piled high, despite the seeming constantly working fleet of trash trucks, more dog turds, and now drifting rain. Bald headed bearded elderly homeless men drift around. Japanese tourists ogle past, mouth open in perpetual surprise. Shaven young Lebanese lads bolt up the street to the nearest night club. Of which there are dozens. So too jazz and blues clubs. Surprising. In fact I am missing a Jazz marathon by a week. Shame really. Unshaven, beanie, long locks drifts past the window. Is this drabness and darkness what the Belgians exported to the Congo all those years ago? Their colonial reputation was not very flash to say the least.

I am parked in Tavern Le Dylans and a mix of French blues and jazz is belting out of the sound system. It is getting dark. People are drifting around outside. Tyres slick and hiss along in the wet. A muslim mother pushes past with pram and two kids. More jacketed youths rush past. Three “homies” shuffle along, arm in arm. Women with dirty brown faces, ripped and ragged brown dresses. Bare feet. But laughing. And with flowers in their matted hair. It is a strange town but there is no question I could come to like it. If the sun ever came out that would improve impressions somewhat.

15 May 2007

1 comment:

MBT Skor Billigt said...

Ta tajta jeans, fritidsaktiviteter och inte cookie cutter. Vare sig det är att spela eller arbeta är ganska lämplig