Live from Brussels

Musings from a bored analyst/project-manager.
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Wednesday, December 10, 2003
Train vs. Car

Because I am currently away from the office on a training course, I now have to get to the center of Brussels instead of to somewhere on the edge of the city. This means vastly increased traffic problems. But since the training centre is close to a railway station, I decided to take the train today. Comparison:

Feature/Transportation methodCarTrain
Duration of trip1 hour 45 minutes1 hour 30 minutes
Price€4,5 for parking (fuel and company car free)€15 (return ticket)
EntertainmentRadio, CD (Hitchhiker's Guide radio play)Newspaper, book, laptop
Sitting together with annoying peopleNoYes
Cursing at other trafficYesNo
Internet accessNoIntermittent, through cellphone (9,6 kbps)

Explosion News

Heard more about the explosion thing today. Apparently, the Russian-speaking boy got a jar or other container with an explosive substance from a 20-year old friend (also a Russian speaker). That person also gave the boy's friend some of the stuff, which was described by newspapers as 'a kind of explosive commonly used by Hamas, before they moved on to other types because this one was too dangerous and prone to accidents'.
The older guy seems to have had a keen interest in chemistry, and got the instructions on how to make the stuff from the internet. The younger guy seems to have fiddled with his container too much, causing friction and a resulting explosion which took off four of his fingers. It is not yet clear what they were doing in a McDonalds restaurant with the stuff.

Monday, December 08, 2003
Explosion in McDonalds in Antwerp

Gazet van Antwerpen and Belgian state radio report that a boy's hand was ripped off when 'an explosive' he was holding went off in a McDonalds restaurant in Antwerp today. He and his friend, who was in shock, were taken away to a hospital. The explosives disposal unit was called in and the restaurant closed.
No other details were given at the moment.