Brussels / FOSDEM 06.02.2014


Image for Brussels / FOSDEM

Every year in this nice city a log of geeks come from all over the world to attend FOSDEM. This year I also joined it. Brussels (the city name translates as "city on the bog") is not really big. I had a feeling that it looks much more beautiful in summer.

Photo 363
Photo 363

The city centre is small and miniature. It really is close to the Netherlands architecture style. Dutch is even one of the three official languages in Belgium (just like French and German). Though around airport area most people are speaking Dutch, and in the city it's already French. And for German I almost didn't hear it at all. However Dutch is quite close to German. There is even a joke in Germany, that if deadly drunk German starts to speak English, that would be Dutch (:

Photo 364
Photo 364

There are a lot of beggars in the city. Some of them going a tricky way. They give you to sign a paper to support some community of blind/deaf/or whatever people and they do not tell you about the money. So you put your name there, put a sign and then there is a cell where you should specify amount of donation. Normally people do not see it before starting to sign and they feel uncomfortable to reject it. Therefore they give the money. You can see two guys on the photo with the paper. This is the process of taking money from people in more or less honest way. I’ve seen similar stuff in Germany a while ago.

Photo 365
Photo 365

If you go a bit away from a city centre, the first thing you will mention is that the streets are really dirty. It looks like people here don't know how to clean it. There are so many cleaners who look like heavy working, but it's still too dirty. From the other side it was warm. +8 degrees. After Moscow -20 it was really cool. There were even blooming flowers. Though it's a usual weather here for that time. Average temperature in February is about +4. Though the local minimum is -21. Not this year, but just a couple of times through all the history of weather records.

Photo 366
Photo 366

There are not really a lot of tourists sights in the city: central square Grand Place. All buildings on it were owned by guilds of Brussels, and nowadays all except one are rented by shops and cafes. Then a couple of churches and Atomium. In the mid 60s when EU government started to move to Brussels a lot of old buildings was demolished and a brand new skyscrapers were put instead. Well, it’s not like American skyscrapers, but still very unlikely for Europe.

Photo 367
Photo 367
Photo 368
Photo 368
Photo 369
Photo 369

And of course the famous Manneken Pis. It was a bit tricky to find it. The signs with directions are everywhere, though only direction is specified. You have no idea how long you should go there. Some signs are missed or hidden really well. Everything is prepared for tourists (:
In 1987 they also put a girl nearby. In 1999 the dog. So we should expect the cat soon. Though it’s also not that easy to find them.

Photo 370
Photo 370
Photo 371
Photo 371

I found nothing special in metro here. The interval between trains a bit bigger than in Moscow. Probably there is no need to run trains more often. So they put the boards with indicators, where the trains are and how soon will arrive one. We waited for train about 5-10 minutes normally.

Photo 372
Photo 372

Though the post is not just about the city. I also would like to write a couple of words about FOSDEM. I will skip all the technical details and will not tell about the content. Just a couple of words about the even. Conference was held in l’Université libre de Bruxelles. I got there by bus. It was funny to watch Brussels citizens at Saturday morning in a bus full of bearded men who can’t speak French. I had to skip two buses and only then I finally managed to get inside. It was quite similar to the feeling in Moscow metro during rush hour (:

Photo 373
Photo 373

There were a lot of people. Sometimes too much and sometimes there was not enough space in a room to host all the people who wanted to listen ("sometimes" because there were different topics in different rooms in parallel). Beside lectures, one could also just to talk to someone. Some huge companies were presented there and it was possible to talk to its employees, know some insights :)

Photo 374
Photo 374
Photo 375
Photo 375

 
 
 
 

Comments

  • Rus (06/02/2014 05:54)
    Что хачил? Linux kernel? :)
    • rush (07/02/2014 03:57)
      Как раз ведру времени было уделено не так много. Как никак не LinuxConf, где в основном про него и говорят.
      Но было очень много red hat'овцев. Такое ощущение, что туда добрая половина сотрудников приехала. Там, по-моему, каждый второй доклад начинался со слов "Hi, I'm working in Red Hat". Ну или я просто так попал (:
      Ещё было достаточно удивительно, что там отдельную аудиторию отвели под разработчиков на Ada. Причём они сумели набрать докладов на весь день. И даже желающих послушать.

      Но, говорят, что пару лет назад быол существенно интереснее: был юбилейный десятый раз, когда мероприятия устраивали, и туда пригласили достаточно известных людей почитать доклады типа Танненбаума, Грега и прочих. Сейчас звёзд особо не было. Разве что Поттеринг выступал, хотя это больше как шоу нужно смотреть. "Звезда" он ещё та. Хотя, я сомневаюсь, что все эти имена тут кому-то что-то говорят (:
  • Alsu (12/02/2014 01:02)
    Мне тоже Брюссель не очень понравился, не скажешь, что это столица одной из стран Бенилюкса. Намного лучше Брюгге - он по-настоящему сохранил дух старой Европы, Антверпен тоже ничего, но менее интересен, чем Брюгге.
    А по-немецки говорит лишь очень маленькая часть Бельгии на границе с Германией и очень мало кто из негерманофонных бельгийцев знает немецкий, а еще часто бывает, что франкофоны не знают голландского и наоборот. Язык общения между разными нациями английский, я была очень удивлена когда это узнала :)

    А ты был только слушателем на конференции или пришлось также выступить с докладом?