The smoke stings, carcinogenic, poisonous, clingy, a weak-willed, watery eyed individual choice, lasts and lasts and an hour later it remains writhing on my jacket and in my skin. My choice entirely: a bar at Brussels station, looked roughish, hostel types hanging around, smoking, playing pinball, one chap drinking coffee, a fractured glass window part of the appeal, nostalgia de la boue, an antidote to the chain of food shops, four beers, Palm was one but Alken-Maes did for me, fresh and tangy, a small glass of, you can stick Jupiler and Stella — if I have to have a macro (mock?)-Pilsner to start the day with then M-A will do for me. Hours on, the smoke, the poison, the carcinogenic howl, the perverted science, all cling, hold on, clamber aboard, terrorists hijacking a train replete with nuclear waste. I’d forgotten the rigours of smoke-filled pubs, time spent in Belgium is time well spent being reminded of these rigours. Do I want them back? No.