For the past few weeks I have been staying with different friends who live in different corners of Brussels – which has been a great experience, except for one thing: public transport! I have had to take either the bus, the tram or the metro to/from the office (when my hosts or colleagues have not been so sweet to give me a ride). This experience with public transport has made me realise how lucky I have been for the last 5.5 years to have been able to walk to work! My different offices (4 in total) have always been within 25 minutes’ walk from my home – mind you, I don’t know how many times I have had to re-sole my shoes but it has been worth it!
Public transport in Brussels (and probably in most big cities) is perpetually delayed, hot and sweaty, crammed, shaky (especially the old trams, it is amazing that they are still running) and dirty. STIB (MIVB in Flemish), the public transport company in Brussels has made lots of improvements lately, e.g new trams and metro trains, new tram lines and an extended metro network (still not enough to cover a good part of the city though). However, I would still walk if possible!
Nevertheless, walking is not very healthy actually – Rue de la Loi, the five lane street stretching from the Schuman roundabout (in the quarter of the European institutions) to the inner ring road, is supposed to be one of the most polluted inner city streets in Europe (according to my mother who heard it on the radio in Sweden a few years ago) – I walk there every day… So much for fresh air! [I also worked in an office on Rue de la Loi for 5 months, needless to say that we didn’t open the windows very often – it was too noisy]
Now I am heading to a city, San Juan, that hardly has public transport and where everybody drives to wherever they are going… I will still make sure that I take my daily walks [on the beach], and maybe I will miss taking the sweaty, crammed metro… or maybe not??
PS I am curious, who are all my readers in Luxembourg – I only know two people who live there so who are the other 33?!