That bar that looks like a library? L’Orient Express. I just went in because the barmaid is gorgeous but they were closing. Half past midnight. Yes, I will be back to the Ibis, the centre is moving south once more. In six hours I will be on the train to Vienna (well, to Frankfurt, then another to Munich, then the train to Vienna).
Even the bus and tram names are exotic: Da Vinci, Andromeda, Snelbus Boom. I like my new boots; it has restored my faith in Brussels shoe shops.
The decline of 5th Avenue has been rapid and severe (the average age of the girls seems to have leapt by about 30 years). The setting is beautiful, but the girls are so poor these days (sorry to be rude but it is true). Le Coin girls are much more voluptuous and vivacious—but the environment is so poor and uncomfortable! About 20 vases of flowers can only do so much. Amazing bottle blonde on tube back to De Brouckere, blue cardigan over black mini-dress, low cut mini-dress over beautiful breasts, and light butterfly tights. Six and half hours till I start my journey to Vienna—I’m excited. Though in Vienna I will just drink till I’m sozzled and do nothing; no matter; I’m excited.
Anyway, the money I spent on the shoes came out of savings I made at 5th Avenue, Cine Paris and Le Coin. Reconfirming the idea of Brussels as a dangerous city, a policeman sits down in the bar to speak to some Mongolian/Chinese-looking man who has had his bag stolen or things stolen from his bag. A whole lifetime in London, innumerable visits to Munich, Berlin, Vienna and a few other places, I have never known ANY petty crime like this, but in Brussels it is, I’m afraid, a fact. It is one of the distinctive charms of Brussels. But once aware of it, you take more precautions than you would elsewhere and you will most probably be absolutely fine.