‘The Rand and the metropolis: I find it all very exciting, this tension between the two entities. The city is where I live, but I also enjoy the Rand. Ifind it a great place to be when I am in the mood for unwinding. The Rand for me is like an old love: you know why you like seeing her but you also realise why you had to leave her. The city and the Rand complement each other like Siamese twins: always connected, they are forever attached to each other. Speaking as a journalist, the city is one of the most fascinating areas of Belgium. Relations between French and Dutch speakers are less strained than they used to be. I can still recall fragmentary skirmishes between the language communities, when things could get pretty rough, and I remember as a little boy going to the supermarket checkout in Kraainem with my knees knocking together, afraid about whether or not they would speak Dutch. We are hearing English spoken more and more, as the language young people like to use to interact’.
The VRT journalist Stefaan Meerbergen grew up in Kraainem but has been living in Brussels for many years now.