Things feel a bit more chaotic than last time around (November 2015 I believe) but with better weather.
I woke up yesterday at 8:30, and by that time the chaos had already begun. My phone was popping with messages from friends in Belgium – it was still too early for anyone in the USA to be awake, so I messaged my close relatives to let them know I was okay before they even woke up. A lot of people knew we were going on a trip to Israel, meant to leave yesterday, March 22nd, and wanted to check in on us. I’m fine, and so are my friends, as we hadn’t left for the airport yet. Our flight to Tel Aviv was scheduled for yesterday 14:00 Brussels time but it has been canceled since the explosions at the airport.
First I heard about the two explosions and gun shots at the airport, and consequently the security level was raised in Brussels to signal imminent threat. Then there were explosions in a metro station, rumors of another explosion, and finally the security level was raised all throughout Belgium. Yesterday, all the buses, trams and trains had stopped running. The post office was closed, and the airport shut down. We were advised to stay inside but there were people walking everywhere. I can still see police cars speed down the street with their sirens on though. The sun is shining and we’ll be safe. Plus, school was shut down for the rest of the week, which means I’ll miss less classes while I’m gone.
There are a few Facebook groups where people offer refuge for those who were not able to make it home – trains were shut down and airport was closed. Internet was made available at hotspots and even some hotels were taking people in free of charge.
In regards to my flight to Israel, I have spent hours on the phone with eDreams and Ukraine International Airlines and I’m extremely disappointed with their lack of care and inability to help. This afternoon I was finally able to re-book my flight to leave from Amsterdam tomorrow evening. Now I have to get to Amsterdam.
I’m thankful that this was my worst scenario, I’m thankful everyone I know is safe, and I’ll be thinking of those who got caught up in this tragedy and disaster.