Belgium the first year – why it's difficult/easy to live in Flanders

Why it's difficult to live in Flanders:

  • The silence here. In the hallway. In a meeting. It takes three floors in the lift till somebody starts to talk. It takes 20 seconds after a presentation until a professional rises a question. It took me 6 month to get it.

  • The times. 6 o'clock p.m. and every common Flemish man has to sit around dinner table at home. Forget street life - family, thats where life takes place.

  • The provincial taste. Many Flemish people have never been to Brussels, whereas it's nowhere more than an hour away. They pretend its the Flemish capital but they do everything to avoid it.

  • The student organizations in which almost all Flemish youth takes part. Their ridiculous and humiliating entrance tests who remember of the Hitlerjugend.

  • 10 months that I had to repeat my daily order in my favorite bakery Pain Perdu. “A sandwich with cheese, alstublieft .” Accents make life difficult.

  • The question: “How much did you pay?” when treating somebody. Even if your close it seems very uncommon to take it easy with money.

  • 75% of the Flemish people vote right wing. From christian democratic (15%), liberal right (12%) to separatistic right (35%) and nationalistic (13%). Instead of being proud to be such a cultural divers country full of perspectives and options, they got stock somewhere in the nationalist interests and fears of the 19th century.

Why it´s easy to live in Flanders:

  • The past. My street, which already in the 16th century led to one of the city gates. The pictures from the golden age in the cathedral. The normality of present European history around the corner and in front of my window.

  • The baguettes of my favorite bakery. Cheese, carrots, tomato, salad and lots of sprouts. And the best: after 10 month they know my order and even serve it with a smile.

  • Brussels. Just an hour away. Such an unpretentious, international city full of ideas.

  • The beer. The chocolate. The fries.

  • The accent. Think of “salukes”, allez” and “zeg”.

  • The flemish pop songs. Such a small country, so many authentic, so many sensible songs.

  • “De ochtend” and “interne keuken” on radio 1. They make my day.

  • NMBS. For 7,40€ you get till the Luxembourgian woods.

  • Last tuesday we got the first openly gay prime-minister worldwide. A gay migrant is now the head of state. And the best: It´s even not a topic.

Elio di Rupo: Since Sinterklaas is a gay migrant our head of state.

Keine Kommentare: