I saw that you guys are getting high expectations of this blog. That’s great! So prepare yourself to get in touch with Belgium.
Jet Airways was the main item in the news today. They started with direct flights (prices start at 750 EUR) between Brussels and Mumbai . Good news for our economy! This creates hundreds of new jobs at our international airport Zaventem (= Brussels Airport). It will compensate the loss of DHL (= many AIESEC trainees!) taking out their hub at Zaventem and moving their hub to Leipzig in 2008. And I guess we will have a wave of Indian tourists, like we have now many Japanese cruise ships passing by who drop their crazy tourists for a whole weekend in Antwerp! It is really fun to watch them shopping and taking pictures. You don’t have to go abroad anymore because you can meet all cultures in Belgium!
All the newspapers had pictures of the Belgian coast on their frontpage, kids paddling in the sea and women laying in monokini on the beach! The month August will bring the sun in stead of rain like July. During the Summer there are plenty of festivals to visit and shops are open on Sunday. You can go by train to the city Ostend and take the “Kusttram”, a tram which travels along the seaside. Just get off at the place you like! Do you like the beach and you are crazy about festivals? Than you shouldn’t miss Polé Polé. This beach festival is the biggest in Europe and takes place on 9th till 12th of August.
If you prefer to keep up to date with sports in stead of start dancing on a festival, you should continue reading. The nice lady on the picture is the athlete Kim Gevaert. She won the 100 and 200 metre races at the Belgian Athletics Championships this weekend. Kim is not as popular as the Belgian tennis players Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters. Both of them have been number one on the world list. Justine Henin (from the French Region) is still in competition, but Kim Clijsters (from the Flemish region) quit in May and married the American basketball player Brian Lynch. Next time I will explain more about sports and athletes in Belgium, from cyclism (Belgian participants in Tour de France, etc.) to pigeons.
The last item of today concerns, again, our economy. The Dutch bank ABN Amro will be taken over by another bank. For the moment they are still trying to find out which offer they should take, the one of Fortis (supported by the Royal Bank of Scotland and Banco Santander of Spain) or the British Barclays Bank. The story will be continued. Interesting to know is that ABN Amro has a special department for the diamond sector in Antwerp. This devision will be cut off when Fortis takes over ABN Amro. Right now some AIESEC trainees are working there. The Fortis bank has a Benelux origin. Benelux is a merge of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxemburg. We often refer to this territory because there is a lot of cooperation betweens these countries. The economical union between these countries formed the basis of the current European Union.
First Jet Airways lands in Brussels Airport