Monday, 5 May 2008

Radio STIB - Sound of the Underground

The music in the Brussels metro is an odd phenomenon. I am not even sure if it's the same from one station to another, certainly at my stop it seems to be selected on principles of chaos theory and maximum screwing with your head potential. Heard today alone:

Shania Twayne - Man I feel like a woman. Country lite! Quite Belgian this one, actually.
Dexys Midnight Runners - C'mon Eileen (shades of the primary school disco)
Amy Winehouse - Back to Black (this should be obligatory commuter listening in all public transports systems worldwide. Definitely sets the tone. This would absolutely transform the Central Line I feel. Boris? Are you listening?)
Black - Wonderful Life (god, I used to LOVE this aged about 11. But mainly, WTF. I probably haven't heard this since I was 11 and a quarter and would have staked money on being the only person in the whole of Belgium who ever owned a copy. Or maybe it's one of those inexplicable local phenomena, like the mysterious popularity of Prefab Sprout in France, or Fishermans Friends in Germany. I think we should be told).

Other weeks I have genuinely thought the programmer must have been at college with me. I mean, Ocean Colour Scene? Elastica? Supergrass? Henry, is that you? Put your record collection down and go and find a proper job.
I mean, jesus. How do they select? It can't possibly be the radio, can it? Bring your fave tune to work day? So many puzzles. Will update.

Anyway. A four day weekend was nice. Thanks, King Albert, for Friday. Rest assured I spent it wisely, crafting a Pokemon out of blue sugar and buttercream for Lashes' birthday to a frankly lukewarm reception. Admittedly it did indeed look and taste absolutely shite. At times like this I begin to doubt the realism of my fantasy alternative career as cake baker, but one must dream, mustn't one, especially whilst redacting the word "cheese" from 400 pages of eurotedium.

The whole weekend could, I think, be characterised as my attempt to graphically represent the maxim "fiddling while Rome burns" in the medium of buttercream. Chaos reigned supreme, and I baked. Not only did I lose not one, but two €100 house keys, but we also entirely ran out of money (thanks, euromasters, for deciding that if pay day falls during a holiday weekend, to pay me so late that i was beginning to think i had been sacked but you had neglected to tell me), and spent much of the time, juggling credit cards and ferreting small change out of children. The kitchen was described by the CFO as ressembling "une aire d'autoroute le lendemain d'un weekend ferié" (broadly, the car park at Leicester Forest East after Bank Holiday Monday), with its chic collection of many-hued overflowing dustbin bags. Tortoises were lost. Vital pieces of paper were lost. Phones were lost. Birthday presents were broken, while I cut up jelly stars to make dinosaur spikes, and the CFO obsessed about a €500 barbecue. Which is wrong, and out of character, and all round disturbing, believe me. Any more of this kind of insouciance, and I'll be staging an intervention. CFO, no. Get back to the spreadsheets. Hear my tough love.


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Laura and Ben said...

It's the same music at all stations. I endured the same song when the doors opened at Trone and when I got off at Arts Loi the other day. I can't remember what song it was, nowhere near as memorable as the day they played Ghostbusters, followed by Hotstepper.

Anonymous said...

you probably know it already but it's illegal for the moment to have songs in any of Belgium's official languages but heard they were gonna change that, like alternate between the languages, whatever.
used to be only instrumentals were allowed, that was really much worse, guaranteed to give anyone toothache.
just discovered your blog, freakin' great!

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