Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Romance in the Cheese Aisle

One thing I've really had to get used to while living in Brussels, and really, Europe in general, is lack of space. In the US, especially in the suburbs, there's nothing but space. The roads are wider, the restaurants bigger, the aisles in the grocery store are big enough for 2 carts at once! Imagine!

Here in Brussels I feel like I'm in the way everywhere I am. Waiting to be seated in a restaurant anywhere I stand I'm in the way. Shopping for clothes I have to squeeze between racks to let other people past. On some of the sidewalks it's impossible to walk by another person without touching them.

Of course, this closeness, this lack of space is always made more difficult by certain individuals who seem to have no concept of the people around them. People will walk down the narrowest of sidewalks 3 in a row (slowly) and will make no move when someone tries to go the other way or pass them. Crates are left blocking half an aisle in stores where a child will have parked his or her tricycle blocking the other half. People will MAKE OUT in front of the cheese section of Delhaize making it impossible to reach the parmesan or gouda! I mean, really. The cheese section?

So maybe I'm a spoiled American (ok, I definitely am), but at least I don't feel the need to have some tongue with my cheese.


  1. I thought I was the only one that had this sentiment. ZERO concept of personal space. And what is up with the "cannot move sideways" bathrooms?

  2. I agree with you, no space, and even worse, no e-d-u-c-a-t-i-o- n... (without generalizing, of course) At least a "sorry" would be great to hear after being pushed all the time. I can't get used to it...

  3. I'm Dutch, but live in the US right now, so I know what you mean about the small spaces everywhere in Europe. When I'm visiting in Europe it now annoys me too.

    Funny, on the other side of things, it drives me crazy in the US you can't get a "small" drink in a restaurant. Even small is supersize: Huge glasses of iced water, enormous cups of coffee, wine glasses the size balloons.

    Best thing is to keep a sense of humor, and of course, empty that glass of wine.

    And stay slim in Europe.

  4. Haha! It's not just me that hate this with people that can’t step aside at the sidewalk!!! I will never get used! It’s obvious that that the people you meet on the sidewalk see you, but move? Never ever...