As Swiss newspapers lament the terrorist attack on the “heart of Europe”, many say the violence in the Belgian capital was not unexpected. This morning I did a press review for SWI.
When I was a journalism student, I interned in the press office of Ireland’s Permanent Representation to the EU. It’s just a short walk from the Brussels metro station hit by the terrorists — an area I remember strolling through in the cheerful manner of somebody excited to feel like a local in a foreign city.
My boss used to send me to EU press conferences, where I’d take notes and forward them to journalists based in Ireland. It was my favorite task, as it felt so grown-up and official. After work, on the way back to the campus where I was studying European affairs, I’d often treat myself to a gaufre/wafel from a vendor at the train station — to this day, the best waffles I’ve ever had.
Terror threats or not, I’ll have to return sometime. Not just for the waffles, of course, but as a sign of support for the people and their city, where so many difficult decisions about the future of Europe are made.