I’m in Brussels this weekend for TravelMagic, and just landed this afternoon. It’s actually my first time visiting Brussels. I’ve passed through the airport before, but have never actually gone into the city, so I’m quite excited. My perception of Brussels was always that it’s quite civilized and “first world.”
And it absolutely is. Except for the taxi driver we had from the airport to the hotel. I’ve taken taxis where they’re supposed to be nuts, like in Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh City, though they couldn’t hold a candle to this guy. The funny thing is he was an older guy that looked incredibly composed. But of the 20 minutes I was in his car, I think my eyes were closed for half the time and I was giggling uncontrollably for the other half.
As we exited the airport the speed limit was 50km/hr. How fast was he going? 140km/hr!!!!
And the concept of slowing down to turn corners was clearly unheard of to him, since we were sliding in our seats like crazy.
The best part was when we got close to the actual city. He said “sorry, Friday night, lots of traffic.” I said “oh don’t worry, not a problem at all.” He said “I make it go away.”
Huh? After about five seconds he crossed over into the tracks used by the streetcars (completely separate from the street) and drove on those at about 100km/hr. Eventually a streetcar actually came into our path, so he drove over the barrier and back onto the road.
Then we got onto a road where we didn’t have the right of way at any of the intersections, and were supposed to yield to traffic heading in the other direction. Not only did he not yield, but I don’t think he even looked whether there was traffic coming from the other direction. Well, at least till we had a near accident which was only prevented thanks to the car in the other direction slamming on its brakes and honking.
Whew… it’ll be public transportation for me for the rest of this trip!