Friday, 29 June 2012

Punk Rock Life 2012 pt.2

After a few days recovering from Nottingham Punx Picnic (spent primarily watching crap like this), I made my way to the Leicester Megabus pick-up point, an un-marked bus stop in the corner of the car park of an enormous out of town retail park, which was to be of something of a recurring theme over the next week. The overnight ride to Brussels itself was enjoyable enough. The bus driver was cool, his first question was "hey buddy are you wearing any underpants?", but to be fair I was wearing a kilt at the time. I sat with a nice girl from Brussels who has been living in Bradford and is a regular at the 1 in 12 Club, small world eh? The night passed quickly with us shooting the breeze, and sharing the tasty snacks Mr Wanky had given me, cheers again mate! 

I was still in my sleeping bag as I stood watching the bus pull away from an unmarked bus stop in downtown Brussels at 6am, but it wasn't long till me old pal Wout found me and I headed off on my one day Belgian adventure. Brussels has so much amazing architecture, especially churches and palaces. before it even hits 7am we'd broken into a little chapel and had a good snoop about, soaking up the ambiance. By 9am we're fully caffinated, and some geezers in the cafe have spotted Wout's Sea Shepherd hat and hoodie, and are asking if he works ship. I hate to say it but I thought he did too, until he explained that he's more involved in the fundraising side of things.

Wout rockin his Sea Shepard jacket, check out more about Sea Shepherd here

There are lions everywhere in the architecture. Wout reckons that its connected to Belgium's colonial past, and that's where the cash came from for all the bombastic buildings which surrounded us. Well the more of them I saw the more I agreed with him. The main palace grounds were overgrown and the walls and gates crumbling, and this is after them having been enlarged and re-built to reinforce the importance of the Belgian king. How much blood was shed to suit the whims of this man's ego?

one of many enormous lion statues around the city

Another highlight is the court building which looks like something out of the first Mad Max film with the amount of Graffiti on it, and finding some vintage grumble in the bins outside an adult video shop that had closed down, that really took me back!

some nice street art

The grub I got me mits on was ok, but nothing special, especially the famous 'pommes' - gimmie a slimy chippy or a fritter roll any day.

some more fun street art, there was lots around

My trip to Belgium was rounded off with another exciting bus stop, this time it was Brussels Noord Bus Station. I think Brussels Homeless shelter would be a better title. There must have been at least 100 people, whole families living here. As you can imagine the smell was pretty good, but outside the station doors, which seemed to be a free for all public latrine, smelt even better. I changed out of my kilt as I became very self aware surrounded by all these people and it felt weird to be back in trousers. Needless to say I was very happy when the Eurolines bus arrived to whisk me off to my next destination - Basel Switzerland!