Tuesday, March 22, 2016

One fine afternoon in Brussels

Last weekend i went to Belgium with three other friends by car. That was my first road trip (inter-state) ever since living in Netherlands. I've been traveling to many countries in Europe by train or plane, hence that experience was one of the kind. We packed our own lunch to avoid over spending money and brought our own snacks. Azzam's mother provided us with ayam goreng, white rice, salads, and tempeh mendoan. We weren't lacking of anything at all (except for some Belgian waffles!).

The idea behind this Belgium trip is to visit the historical side of Waterloo where the destiny of Europe was determined. I am a big fan of Napoleon and of course this site is in my must-go-list. After seeing the Lion monument in Waterloo we visited a beautiful and picturesque small town named Dinant. The Maas river flows across the town, it continues the journey to the north and will end up in the famous city of Rotterdam, The Throat of Europe. We went to a fort on the top of massive rock by the town's cathedral and enjoyed the amazing view of Dinant from high above. We ended our trip by visiting the capital city, Brussels and having our late lunch on the park not too far from Atomium.

The city of Dinant

It was Saturday, 19 March 2016. The Atomium was packed with people. Families and children. Lone travelers and couples. Man and woman. Everyone from all over places were there. The parking area for car was also full with vehicles. I saw kids playing soccer on the grass field in nearby park. Old men walking with his dog. Tourists from Asian country taking selfies. Everything was peaceful and normal. I smiled and snapped several pictures. I hoped to post the picture in my instagram with caption: "was terorrized by crazy extremists but manage to keep the life goes on".

i was hoping that i can share
this picture from last week
to show that everything was
fine and normal in Brussels until
this morning

This morning i heard a terrible news about the attack in Brussels. My friends were terrified. We all have someone we know who lives or studies  there. Indeed, every attack in Belgium scares the shit out of us who lives just next door. How come a place that i just visited two days ago in one fine spring day suddenly being torned by this terrible incident? Belgium has been under the spotlight these past month. The Molenbeek neighborhood in Brussels where the terrorist-suspects live find itself in the list together with Bronx and Queens as the most notorious neighbourhood in the world. Brussels once again has to face another scar on her pretty face. It turns out that in my trip we visited Waterloo, the site where a prominent battle in Europe happened in 1812 and Brussels, the city which is in the front line on another important battle: the 21st century war against terrorism.

I pray to every victim and their family. We should not tolerate our planet to be terrorized under any names or any ideologies like this. Not just towards the West but the same goes to the East as well. It is our job to make sure that everything is in peace and harmony.

22 March 2016