The view from the other side

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Cyclist wth military vehicle in the background

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – There was no pressure to move along, or stop. Just a military truck moving along.

A follow-up to yesterday’s subject, showing what was the intent of the cyclist’s photographic efforts. 

In the first blush of the military presence in the downtown core of Brussels, there were hundreds of pictures being taken. The soldiers and their vehicles passed amidst the city and were subjects of countless selfies and snapshots.

It is an oddity to live somewhere and have military on the streets, and the reason behind it all has some disturbing elements. But Brussels has accepted the presence with style. There have always been people on the streets, even though media has presented a very desolate city.

Reality is, the military presence is slight. Once outside the downtown core by a few streets, the presence almost disappears. Stores in Molenbeek have remained open every day. People have filled cafés, rather than be seconded to their homes for the entire day.

The ‘stay home’ policy likely best worked on Tuesday when the weather was miserable and any sensible person would rather be indoors than traipsing about getting wet feet.

As for the Belgian response to requests to not post information about police activity to social media accounts, the response was a mass posting of images and vines of cats. That included one of a cat dressed in sauna towels, relaxing air the spa.

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