A Belgian Eye – Episode 94

Our resident Belgian Philippe Persoons takes a look at life through a Belgian Eye.

Following on from the Paris Attacks and the security lockdown in Brussels, how should we carry on?



Hello and welcome on a Belgian Eye


How must we carry on? We survived the Paris attacks, simply because we weren’t at the right place, we weren’t even in Paris, but in Brussels. That’s 300km away, according to American standards an irrelevant distance. Not to mention that we weren’t even in Brussels but 30km further in Leuven.


Do note that Leuven or Wavre – both 30km – or Ghent, Mons or Namur – about the double – have nothing to do with Brussels! It are complete different cities, situated outside the Brussels region! Yes, with a distance of some kilometres you can be in another world according to our Lilliput-like geographical standards.


There were indications that Salah Abdeslam was going to finish his job in the capital, so we had level 4 security alert in Brussels, but only 3 in the rest of the country.


This meant the closure of Kinepolis in Brussel, but not in Namur, Ghent or Leuven. No first or second division football in Brussels, but no problem in Antwerp, Leuven or Mons. Big shopping centres and the whole metro remained closed in Brussels. Brussels airports, north as well as south, were open with no problem. Of course not, for both are not in the Brussels region, so no worry.


If one might wonder why terrorists might choose Belgium, I guess the answer is quite obvious. If you want to get heart of Europe, the biggest suburb of Paris 300km from the Eifel tower, choose Belgium! Stay out of that blip on the map that is called Brussels and choose something nice close by.


But, I wasn’t planning on giving some terrorist advice today, the question was how must we carry on?


I’ve noticed that I can’t live in a place where everything is closed. If you want to kill our society, level 4 is a fine way to do so. I can understand that the security level was raised temporarily, but don’t let it last too long and for all, don’t let it last in your head! Christmas time is coming; Saint-Nicolas also has to drop by. We need stuff to buy and our economy needs things to sell.


In short, we simply must carry on like the way we did.


Is there something we might do better?

Perhaps there is. How many people care about things that happen around them. What do you do with the abandoned bag you see in the street or on the bus? Now everyone knows that it needs action. At least you have to warn someone.


Paying attention to what happens around us is something we do too little.


When you see someone stumbling across the street, he might be fahsnickered, but he might as well having a heart attack or something else. When someone forgets something, it should be no trouble to say something even if you need to raise your voice a little. If you see something crooked you should straighten it.


This change of attitude might help us a little against terror, but it will also improve our society in general.


How must we carry on? Well perhaps we might start by more ‘caring’  …


Just do, and have a nice day.