During the past week, the Belgian army undertook a series of exercises in the city and in some school buildings.
So when you were walking into the center, it might happen you encountered some armed men or came into view of a tank... You could also spot helicopters flying over and making hits.
I was not very much afraid of those. Those army helicopters flew quite high above our house. But years ago, I was startled when working in my attic office space when a F16 flew so low over the house (pretending a hit on the Railway station) that I could see the pilot behind the commands. The guy even dared to wink at me!
We grew up with tales of the army. Both my grandfather and my three uncles were army men. One son joined the infantery, the other the air force and the other was a paracommando. Also our grandfather's dad was a cavalry officer. I even have a World War One rifle and a commando knife somewhere up my attic - the gun has no bullets but in case of need I can always use it as a club, I suppose. And the knife is handy as a letter opener.
Growing up with lots of boys in the neigborhood, we learned to defend ourselves and even master those boys. So I don't know what would happen if any of these army guys had turned up in my garden, sneeking up to me. A blue eye, a broken nose, who can tell?
It certainly was fun having those guys around and it surely livened up town life!