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10 Things you should do in Brussels or in any city, ever.


 1. Ignore your phone on a Friday after work and go buy a good newspaper –for instance, Le Monde Diplomatique. Sit down at your favourite terrace/pub/café. Order red wine. Read, occasionally peaking above the sheet to look at the world go by –you are from a lost era, a traveller from a time where people still read the paper and wore berets and smoked pipes and got slowly drunk on leftwing ideas.

2. Wear a beret.

3. Smoke a pipe.

4. Take a wrong turn on purpose. Get lost. Walk into a dusty shop and find a beat-up classic book, with a wrinkly spine and all.

5. Sit and read books, everywhere, anytime, drinking anything at all.

6. Sit at the top of the stairs on Mont des Arts at sunset. Get high.

7. Talk to some random strangers on Place du Luxembourg and get drunk with them. You probably won’t ever see them again.

8. Walk through Matongé drunk at night –it has a rhythm and a song.

9. Talk to a homeless person. Ask them to tell their story. They look at a city from below the indifferent elbows of busy passers-by, from between the shifts of security guards in carparks and between the opening times of the metro. You could learn a thing or two.

10. Be alone. Listen to the city. It’s okay –there is more community here than you will ever be able to know. You won’t be alone for long.

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