Walking in the world, Brussels, Belgium.

Brussels door 5They spoke Dutch when I got on the train and French when I got off, though the ads were always English.


Brussels North Station is next to the Red Light District and surrounded by neighborhoods of Middle Eastern immigrants, so you quickly go from women showing most of their skin to women showing none.


Brussels streetOn the street I heard Turkish, Arabic, and Farsi. French greetings that came comfortably in reply to my Dutch.


I started off walking but it was farther than I thought, and I was running against the clock by the time I found the embassy I needed, between those of Ghana and Lesotho.


Brussels dogWalking back, I heard Spanish, saw a note posted above a mailbox in Polish, and bought a piece of msemin, the tortilla-like flatbread I used to eat in Morocco.


Walking and eating, I passed a corner store called “Madina-gsm” (gsm is European for cell phone) which advertised calling cards to Kenya and Vietnam.


I stopped to take a picture of a blue door, and the names on the mailboxes were Azzaimi, Garcia, Deryckere, Ahmed El Kamoun, Boeckx, Tsuranova, and Baschirov.

Brussels blue door

Brussels gets a bad rap. And as I walked back to the train station with my visa for Myanmar fresh in my passport, I was in love with the brazen internationality of it.



We can all be world citizens.