I very briefly mentioned my commute to my internship here in Brussels on a few occasions in other posts and today, I thought I would walk everyone through the steps it takes to get to my job three times a week. I have the longest commute by a landslide of everyone else in the EPA program, clocking in at an hour of commute time. This sounds tedious, but I assure you it is one of the best parts of my day!
I start off my journey by hopping onto the tram at Etterbeek Gare, conveniently located at the bottom of the street, and head towards Montgomery. This is one of the shorter parts of my trip and I enjoy it because I’m above ground for most of it, so I can soak in the nice views!
A highlight of this part of my journey is the man dressed in a clown suit who is consistently juggling bowling ball pins for tips during red lights near Petillion. I know, it sounds fake when I read it, too. I will be sure to snap a picture and add it to a future post.
I alight at Montgomery station where I transfer from a tram to a train, heading to Arts-Loi. This is my least favorite part for how horribly crowded the trains are in the mornings. At Arts-Loi I get onto, you guessed it, yet another train. I know, not as exciting as the juggling clown.
When the train eventually deposits me at Elisabeth, I have two options: catch the bus or walk. I choose to walk every morning. Not only does it give me a nice chance to decompress and clear my mind before heading into the office but it also allows me get some exercise and soak in the views of Ganshoren.
Although this commute is longer than the one I had over the summer when I was working in Center City for my Co-Op, I find this one to be much more enjoyable. Maybe it’s because I’m no longer baking in the Philadelphia sun but the journey to my office here feels very refreshing. No one is as disgruntled in the mornings as they were on the SEPTA (and it’s definitely much cleaner).
There is a certain speed that people in Europe move at that is not matched by the frantic nature by which we Americans usually navigate cities on weekday mornings. It removes the anxiety I used to get for being even just five minutes late to work.
My office is also very laid back in terms of starting times, which I love. It means that I can always have my morning walk, even on days when my trek isn’t so smooth. For example, the other day, the trams were disrupted and I had to be rerouted, which added an extra thirty minutes to my commute. I of course let my office know and no even batted an eye. Rather than punctuality, presence is what is most appreciate and I can definitely get behind that.
That’s all for this one folks. I’ll be back next time with proof that this juggling clown exists.