Sunday, 9 May 2010

Quirky things about Belgium, #832

Please humour me while I engage in the tiniest of moans.

Imagine you run a newsagent's at Bruxelles Midi, the busyish international train station. You store a more-than-reasonable number of foreign newspapers. But times are hard for everyone, so you need to cut back. When do you think it is best to cut back on British publications: two months before a potentially historic election, or two month afterwards, when the excitement has died down, the country (perhaps) has a government again, and expats have stopped feeling guilty for deserting their homeland in its hour of need?

And then, once you've made this critical decision, which newspaper will you keep? I am not asking for The Observer, which is not to everybody's taste, and which I have in any case vowed to boycott forever more. (Though they've printed a letter from me this week, so I would quite like to see it.) But perhaps the Sunday Times, which is moderate enough that some Labour voters have been known to buy it, admittedly mainly for its Style section?

No. You go for the Sunday Telegraph. Because most British expats living in the capital of Europe, many of them working for one of its institutions, would not, I'm sure, be in any way opposed to Mr Cameron's views on the EU or to any of his other policies.

But then, although Belgium has many strengths, I have long since discovered that good business sense is not one of them.

1 comment:

Laura and Ben said...

Why don't the English weekend papers have nice inserts here? I only really buy them for the shiny magazines!

Imagine you were a car hire place in Gare du Midi - wouldn't you open on a Sunday, like the rest of the world?