I’ve been in Brussels for a week and a half now. I’m not really ready to give a considered opinion of anything yet, but here’s some random snippets of life:
* I’m enjoying myself. I’ve made new friends, I’m busy discovering places, and my colleagues are nice, work is really interesting too.
* It’s not quite the whirlwind social life I was expecting (People who did this in the past told me they never saw their flats except to sleep, and that’s why it didn’t matter what they looked like), but maybe that’s because not everyone is out yet (most people start on the 16th), and in any case it suits me fine. I hardly go out in Edinburgh, so all this going out is quite knackering.
* I really miss Dave. We’ve not been apart for any length of time in so many years, it’s weird to be by myself. I totally know it’s a good thing to do, to be on my own, but all of this would be even more fun if Dave was here to share it with me.
* The weather is so incredibly humid. And cold. Everything was in a big fog for the first five days. Frizzy hair has never been a big problem for me, but here I straighten it and still it goes crazy within about half an hour. And after the fog went away on monday, it started snowing, proper big flakes. Then raining. It’s not, it has to be said, my favourite city weatherwise.
* Work is really interesting, but not as different as I expected. They don’t have dedicated social researchers in the Commission, but I’m still working on a consultation analysis and an evidence paper, so exactly the same type of work.
* The French is both easier and more difficult than I expected. Understanding wise, it’s much better, and there’s not much I haven’t understood. But the talking is hard. I’m really hoping it will all fall into place soon. I’m not really one for just speaking away any old way and not be bothered about mistakes, I like to keep my silence until I know what I’m doing. I really hope it will all fall into place soon.
* Everyone here has their own office (in the UK it’s all open plan and only really senior people get their own office). I thought I was going to not like this at all, because there’s no one to speak to, but I’m actually quite enjoying it. The walls are very thing though, so I can still hear what’s going on elsewhere, just not see.
* There are countless areas made up of houses just like the ones in the pictures. The flat I live in is in one too.
* Apparently I have a really strong Scottish accent. Who knew.
And that’s me for now, wishing everyone a great weekend!
The photos were taken on day two with the Diana+ lens.