For the most part, the EU affairs community* here (lobbyists at the EU institutions, diplomats, the press corps and various hangers-on who live in a rarified world of their own making, also known as the “Brussels Bubble”) operates fastidiously on the principle of co-operation and compromise. All very grown- up and civilised. All very brave new world order.
Except for the short periods every few summers during either the World Cup or the European Football Championship, when Brussels generally and the EU Quarter in particular go quite mad.
The epicentre is Place du Luxembourg (Place Lux or PLux) where huge TV screens are put up and everyone claims to have “networking meetings” to go to and furtively sneaks away for a few hours to yell and exchange nationalistic banter. There is also an attempt to lure people to Parc Cinquantenaire.
So, here is Remedial Wife’s rough guide to finding the appropriate “quartier” in which to express your jingoistic tendancies this World Cup season according to nationality. Please feel free to add or amend as appropriate.
And look out for Remedial Wife at Plux – she’ll be the one in the England shirt yelling herself hoarse with the best of them.
Ireland – The Emerald Isle may have been robbed of their opportunity to go to S.Africa but should you wish to indulge in some anti-England rhetoric (we’re big enough to take it, go ahead) head to the Schuman area, where the multitude of Irish pubs, especially on rue Archimede/rue Franklin/rue du Baille will see you right.
USA -Waterloo is the obvious choice, as is Woluwe-St. Pierre. And of course NATO HQ or further afield SHAPE at Mons.
France – head to Uccle.
Italy – Remedial Wife needs to check with Tuscan Foodie on this one and will get back to you.
S.Korea/N.Korea/Japan: Auderghem is a good bet to find the Japanese community. The South Korean community tends to be a little outside the centre around Wezembeek or Overijse. North Korea is anybody’s guess.
Portugal: Place Flagey is the (noisy) epicentre.
Cameroon/Nigeria/Algeria/Ghana/Ivory Coast: Traditionally, the African community in Brussels can be found in the Matonge district at Porte de Namur (junction of Chausee d’Ixelles/Chausee de Wavre). There are also sizeable Cameroonian/Algerian/Nigerian communities in Anderlecht around Gare du Midi.
Spain: Gare du Midi is the historical home of the Spanish community, although Remedial Wife has to confess complete ignorance of where to find the S.American communities in the city.
*Now that she’s working, Remedial Wife is part of this den of iniquity.