Monday, 28 June 2010

The 9:15 to Bedlam

What is it about being in Brussels that makes people act so stupidly? Almost every day I see something that amazes me, and today is no exception. I note that a sign has appeared on the front door of the European Parliament effectively explaining to people that it is not a train station. Is that an easy mistake to make? I don't think so.

I can't imagine anybody entering central lobby at Westminster and asking where they can get a train to Ipswich, for example. Here is a picture of the European Parliament - does it like like a train station?

Apparently the mistake is made often enough here for the apparatchiks to feel the need to put up a sign about it.

There must be something in the water, I guess.


  1. The Irish Republican weekly newspaper An Phoblacht has the same problem.

    People frequently come into the building thinking it is a church and have to be redirected elsewhere!

    Many are understandably quite shocked, indeed horrified (especially non-Irish folk) to discover that it is the office of the newspaper that is known as the mouthpiece of 'Sinn Fein/IRA'!

    I used to read and contribute to An Phoblacht. Learnt a lot.Always helpful to to keep an open mind and learn and listen to what people have to say. You have to try and understand where people are coming from and why they do what they do.

    Personally, I think they'll always be 'trouble' in Northern Ireland. But then as people often tell me I'm a pessimist. I prefer to call it realism.

  2. It is not only buildings that can be deceptive.

    A lady once rushed up to to Sinn Fein President Jerry Adams in London and gave him a big kiss on the cheek, then asked him to draw an animal for her small daughter who was with her.

    Perplexed he replied he couldn't draw. Then it dawned on him; the lady had mistaken him for the artist Rolf Harris!

  3. It's best to check a building before entering it.

    30 years ago I was given the address of an electrical repair job. Only glanced at the the very dull small window display, which was displayed below a large white blind.

    Puzzled why the shop had no name outside and also the long blinds. Odd I thought.

    Turned out to be a sex shop!

    And no they did not repair irons, but the owner was a dab hand at sorting out 'other' electrical objects that weren't working properly!

    Most embarressing.

  4. It can be alarming going into a building only to find that it is not what you thought it was.

    32 years on a holiday in the former Soviet Union on the Visa that JUST arrived the day before departure, I visited the eery creepy town of Novogrod.

    It was January and minus something or other. We women were dying to go the toilet and were ushered in by 100 words per minute speaking Russian guide into what I can only describe as an audiotorium.

    It was full not of private cubicles with the duly expected white throne, but instead 60-80 holes in the ground! Yes, you were expected to crouch down and well, get on with it.

    We were mortified.

    Not only that there was no toilet paper! No toilet paper - God forbid!

    But you know we women always have stacks of tissues for emergencies like this,well, not quite like this. but you know what I mean.

    Another traveller all out to do 'what the locals do' decided to give it a go and down she sat.

    Apparently, our friend found it very it very comfortable.

    Each to his/her own. But whenever I visit a foreign country, I always 'steel' myself before I enter any public toilet, just in case.