Morning Bliss in Brussels

Don’t you love waking up to birds….I mean jackhammers pummelling the ground apart first thing in the morning before going to work? In the shower, you hear it first. Not sure what the sound is, maybe something is wrong with the drainage. But then when you enter the kitchen, you seen the heavy machinery being moved back and forth a few inches just to make it look like they are working at 7:48 in the morning. And they just to happen to start working right in front of your doorstep even though you are the third building on the block, they start removing the cobblestones before you can get out the door.

So you are forced to balance with your purse on one arm, holding your travel coffee mug in your gloved hand (because you’re Canadian; Belgians….Europeans don’t use travel mugs) all while wearing high heels. You jump like a frog onto a lily pad…well a sandy collection of unmoved cobblestones, and then praying that you on´t spill your coffee or twist an ankle you jump past the construction guy who isn´t bothered to say “Bonjour madame” or “sil vous plait” whilst offering his gloved hand to help you jump out of their mess. No. (Not that I’d particularly want them to do the latter anyway, bust still it’s a matter of a Canadian’s expectation of politeness , which is still sometimes hard to accept that it just doesn’t exist here).

How is it possible, that they started their so claimed 12 weeks of construction at my doorstep on a Tuesday morning? I´m really curious to know if they will start digging up the street and backing up the machinery just so it will make the “beep beep beep” noise at 7:00am on Saturday or Sunday. They sent a notice in the mail. In French of course about 3 days ago, that they were going to start doing construction for “12 weeks”. Hmmm, for people with vehicles that need to find elsewhere to park in Brussels, that’s not very much time.

What’s more is that about two weeks ago, they started digging a hole in the middle of the road on the street adjacent to the one I live on. The construction workers for that hole, barricaded by the ever so familiar blue and yellow walls set up around the whole city, haven’t been seen for days working there. Now that construction has started on my doorstep, the construction workers of said hole were there this morning already appearing to be working. Maybe they will put some pressure on each other, like:

“hey did you see the guys over there, they removed 6 cobblestones already this morning?”

“yeah, well, we will remove 9 and show them.”

Or maybe they will meet up for some lunch and Belgian beers in the undying restaurant on the corner and compare stories of how funny it was for the women in high heels who had to jump around their mess this morning.

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About Nicole Basaraba

Nicole Basaraba is a Canadian writer focusing on topics of travel (Mondays), writing and literature (Wednesdays), lifestyle (Fridays) and her experiences living in the capital city of Europe: Brussels, Belgium.
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