20 January 2009 § 2 Comments

Brussels is a strange city.

It has curbsides that can kill, especially if you want to cycle across them in an angle not steep enough.

There are public places with tiles that are so slippery that you have trouble walking when they are wet, which is almost every day (Naamse Poort, Brussels).

When you move here you have to register, fair enough, but there is an agent who has to check that you really live at the address which you registered, this sounds like from the middle ages (and does not prevent people to be registered somewhere and live somewhere else!!!)

The commune sends you letters that never arrive, either they don’t send them, or the postal system is awful. There seems to be some indication that it is the latter: parcels sent from abroad got sent back without us being notified about anything.

Or the commune sends you 2 letters (probably in case one does not arrive) inviting you for an interview, with the same content, but different quantities of things to bring (photos, euros), when you go to the meeting they demand yet a third quantity of photos and euros from what they demanded in the two letters that were sent by the same person on the same day.

There are several electricity companies but the Belgian does not care, because it is too difficult or too much effort to check the differences that most people stay with the once state-owned company. When you switch then they charge you 5 times the amount the previous tenant paid, because they do not have a record of your consumption.

There are also several telephone companies and the same thing happens as with the electricity companies, but they use an outdated system and the lines are overloaded.

Belgians are nice people, though. Otherwise nobody would stay probably.


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§ 2 Responses to Brussels

  • Andreas Jonsson says:

    Not a very positive review! 🙂

    We call it “kulturkrock” (cultural clash) in Swedish. It usually takes a year or so to get over it. You should know, having lived in so many countries already 🙂

    • fabrivelas says:

      Hmm, I am not sure if it is a clash, maybe though. A clash that lasts 2 years, that’s a mighty clash. At the moment I have my camera and my bike to be repaired. The camera came back twice and it still did not work, after paying a lot of money. Also my bike has been repaired, paid for and still has the same problems. I call this incompetence, not really a clash. Maybe it is a clash, because in my moral system I don’t accept incompetence at this level. It means that you have to be very patient and it seems that people here are very patient. I have a replacement camera for the time being that is more expensive than my old camera, the replacement bike is terrible, though.

      I also ordered a book recently, about 4 weeks ago. The vendor told me that it should take a while, and I expected something like weeks, but he said: 5 days. It has been a while. When I go there to ask they tell me annoyed that they would call me when it is there, or that they just received some boxes from the publisher and it is certainment in there. I think everyone here must buy their books online.

      Well patience rules.

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