2 Jun 2016

Europe

Hail readers!

You may wondering as to the title of this post. For one, it is a single word; those of you who follow the Magical Realm know I tend to be rather more longwinded than that. For two, it builds on two of my previous posts: A Socialist’s Case for Europe and of course, Alex, in Brussels. The reason for today’s post is down to a simple fact: a single word can sometimes convey a lot—more, indeed, than a sentence.

First on my Europe-list is my offer from Amsterdam University College. Yes; after much time spent writing personal statements, annoying my teachers until they wrote me their references, and going through an interview, I have been accepted. Obviously, this pleases me. Will I go there? That is a decision I have to make; but ultimately, I don’t think it will be a particularly tough decision.

Aside from this, there is plenty more I have been doing in Europe. I have, for one, met Sion Simon MEP in the European Parliament. I was also given an (abridged) guided tour of the Parliament building, by John Cornah (thanks!) Naturally, I took photos. You can see them below, along with photos of a few other landmarks I’ve visited while here. (As you may be able to guess, I hope more will follow.)

Photos

Concerning Brussels

You may be expecting me to extol the virtues of Brussels. Aside from my Europhile pretensions, I love most European cities. You’ll find plenty of praise from me when it comes to the Colosseo in Rome; Las Ramblas in Barcelona; the technocratic beauty of Frankfurt, Hamburg, et al; the idyllic mountains of Schwabia; the Champs-Élysées in Paris, and all of the other many and varied landmarks of Europe.

Sadly, Brussels is disappointing—for the capital of Europe, in any case. The traffic is nightmarish. I have never seen a city with so many intersections, and with pedestrian crossings right as you enter the street; I have never seen so many lanes narrowing without explanation, so many one-way streets, dead-ends, and bizarre angles.

Drivers in Brussels are also awful. The rest of Belgium doesn’t seem to drive like them, but here they’ll cut you off, blare horns at you, and generally drive without apparent regard to safety or road regulations.

The city itself is also somewhat disappointing. Many of the buildings are high rise towers built without any sense of architectural style. Many buildings are old and badly maintained; and even the landmarks disappoint—the offices of the WTC, for example, look tasteless.

Nonetheless, while Brussels may not be the ideal tourist destination, it seems a pleasant enough place to live. We’ve not suffered noise in the hotel, despite being a few kilometres from the centre. The Internet is fast (always a plus). There are numerous shops selling varied and interesting produce—a vast array of bread, cheeses, wine, and even Turkish foods.

Moving On—To Poetry

To finish this post, I will be releasing a poem I have been planning to write for a while now. It is my very first political poem. Whereas my other poems address matters like love, mystical worlds, gender, power and art; this poem is about nations. It is about unity. It is named That Great Continent.

That Great Continent

Any thoughts on it are welcome.

Parting Words

I have not addressed my writing progress here, or my revision efforts, or a great deal other things going on with me. This is because, frankly, I am quite busy here in Brussels. Aside from my visiting, I need to sign a letter of acceptance for Amsterdam, pay a deposit, and get on with revising for my A-levels.

But once the pressure eases a little, I will get onto my writing once more. There is a lot of work to do there...

Until then—au revoir.

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