The vacuum cleaner woke me up. I was in a hostel at 1 pm. I checked my Uber app which told me to, once again, rate the driver from yesterday. I gave him a 5
The vacuum cleaner woke me up. I was in a hostel at 1 pm. I checked my Uber app which told me to, once again, rate the driver from yesterday. I gave him a 5 and donated euros for making up for him loosing sleep by getting a 1 from a drunk Swede. I fell asleep again. Then it was time for Molenbeek, an area in Western Brussel, which starts from my hostel.
I’m a member of an organisation called ”Yimby” (Yes in my backyard) which advocates building more inner city. Many cities in Europe have central parts for poor people, but we don’t have that in Stockholm or Göteborg. It’s because we during almost a hundred years only built suburbs according to a lot of more or less thought-out rules about light, distance etc. So as the small central parts got renovated, everyone who is not rich or super-old must live far away, leading to a lot of ineffective transportation. Of course the suburbs are great for some, but it should be a choice. Even poor should be able to afford central housing. And, with the inequality that we have, if we ever get a central but poor area, then we have succeeded. Such as Molenbeek. That’s why I went there tonight, to get a feel for it!
I felt it was such a lovely area, with beautiful houses. Except for a few Stockholm-like monsters, it looked like this:
Not too many shops or restaurants though. But a number of cafes where men played board games. And here, where you can call for cheap:
What’s wrong with Molenbeek? 99% of the people I saw were immigrants, of some generation. Growing up there might give a feeling of not counting like ”normal Belgians”. Ethnic inequality is dangerous and leads to more violence than inequality within the same ethnic group (note). But we can’t stop ethnicities from coming, giving the climate change and all. But we can make them stronger. Visas for educated people from countries from which we already have a lot of refugees. And refugees coming from the same countries, so that we keep as much of the ”cultural infrastructure” as possible. Moroccans to Belgium, Somalis to Sweden etc. Good schools. And money transfer that is not withdrawn for people who do legal work. 1000 USD/month to every Molenbeeker, like all other Belgians.
In the end I found the central parts with lots of restaurants, and even this bar.
Then I walked back to the area of yesterday. I had a French talk with Karim at White Horse. And then I found this super-alternative place:
I went inside, imagining that my trip would amaze all the people in there. It did. For example Frederica from Sardinia, who gave lots of ramen tips for São Paulo. I’ll eat at all of them!