City-Hiking in Brussels

Yesterday, my work team had its annual team event. In the past, we’ve had barbecues, we’ve gone bowling, to an escape room, etc. This year, we decided to go for a hike! And that’s how I ended up being insanely surprised by all the green Brussels has to offer.

The hike we did was a part of De groene wandeling (“The green hike”). It’s a 60km track circling Brussels passing through the many parks and forests that are located on the outskirts of the city. We hiked a 10km chunk of the track and oh my, it was beautiful!

De groene wandeling
The whole track is signposted with this logo

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Worries Without a Title

I’m working from home today. Why? Because my work is in Brussels. And Brussels is closed.

I don’t like posting my opinion about the problems of the world on social media. So many people have such strong opinions on things they don’t know anything about. And then people respond with awful short sighted and mean comments, knowing even less, or just not being understanding of different opinions. I stay away from it on purpose. When shit goes down, I go AWOL on social media. Not that I don’t care, far from it. I just don’t feel it is anyone’s business how much I care and how I chose to care.

And that’s the question that bothers me the most. How do I chose to care? The refugee crisis: on the one hand you had the warm welcome some people gave the refugees, wanting to make them feel safe and tell them it’s gonna be okay. On the other hand, you had the people being scared for how this might change our society, sticking to our laws and policies and pointing out how we should fix the problem they are running from so that they don’t have to run anymore. What did I do? Nothing. I wanted to help. But I didn’t know how.

And then there was Paris. And all the French flags on Facebook. France declaring war on IS. Holy Fuck. Facebook was going apeshit. On my feed, it was mostly people saying how their thoughts and prayers were with the victims and their families, and how we should not blame all Muslims just like you wouldn’t blame all the Norwegians for Anders Breivik. I agree and felt comforted by the likemindedness of the people on my feed. But I noticed how on the train, no matter how busy it was during rush hour, the seats next to women with headscarves were the last to be filled. And how no one at work really spoke about how their thoughts were with the French like they did on Facebook.

And now there is this whole situation in Brussels. My colleagues who actually live in Brussels (not me, I am a commuter) are laughing with the whole thing. The streets in Brussels aren’t as empty as the photos in the press would make you believe. People go out for a pint just to make a statement, we are not scared of you. I am though. Is that stupid? I don’t want to go into Brussels until all of this clears up. I do have trust in our government and the army, don’t get me wrong. I am sure they are doing everything they can to fix this whole mess and are putting our safety first. So, I guess that does mean it’s stupid of me being scared?

And you know the worst part? This never happened to me before. So many people would think this situation Brussels is in right now, is a walk in the park. They have to deal with constant threats and have been since as long as they can remember. For me, I’m just not going into work for a few days and I feel freaked out. To be honest, I feel like I don’t have the right to feel freaked out. Which is, again, another reason why I usually keep these thoughts to myself and stay away from social media. I don’t even know what I’m trying to say really, it’s not like I’m going anywhere with this post. Except that I feel stupid for feeling worried and that I wish I could help people who have all the right to be worried, but probably gave up on being worried a long time ago because that’s just what life is like for them.

But what can I do to help? Honestly, I don’t know. All these opinionated people have it all figured out, things you have to demonstrate against and petitions you have to sign and organisations you can support and pictures you have to make your profile picture on Facebook. All I do is sit at home and worry in the confines of my own mind. Can I just help without having an opinion? Can we agree that this is awful and that the world could be a better place?

And now I should probably say something about, I don’t know what about, this blog needs an ending, but I’m afraid my thoughts don’t have one.