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Brussels – first thoughts and Pictures

arcade
muralstatue
windmill
housegoat
figures
birdsquare marie louise
street
signbozar
berlaymont

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.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Intrinsically Florrie 9 March 2012, 10:56 am

    These pictures are incredible, particularly the first stunning one.
    What an amazing whirlwind experience, it must be very exciting 🙂

    Florrie x
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  • Emily, Ruby Slipper Journeys 9 March 2012, 1:19 pm

    Ah, I love Brussels. Best of luck with everything! And I think you’ve just got to open your mouth and make those mistakes and slowly make less… at least, that’s always been what I’ve had to do!

    Missing your partner sucks. Lots of commiserations on that from here!
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  • ariane 9 March 2012, 5:07 pm

    Allo Franca,

    Moving in a new town is always fun- i remember when i was married moving all around Canada and overseas. I remember the weather in Germany, i was in the Black Forest- it was so humid and grey i thought it would never end but Spring comes faster in your part of the world.

    Lovely pics Franca, i love the effect – You should talk more french, make mistakes, this is the only way to learn, but i understand you!

    What is a Diana + lens?

    Ariane xxxx

  • Rebecca 9 March 2012, 5:44 pm

    It sounds like you are having quite an adventure!
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  • Bella Q 9 March 2012, 5:48 pm

    great pics as always, Franca. i wish Dave was with you too!
    and I’m not sure I could handle humidity AND cold. brrrr!
    but I sure could handle your awesome Scottish accent! xo.
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  • Carina 9 March 2012, 8:41 pm

    Hm das klingt ja noch nicht so wirklich begeistert 😉 Aber du musst dich ja auch erst noch eingewöhnen. Trotzdem sind die Bilder schön und ich bin sicher dass das Wetter bald besser wird, du hattest wahrscheinlich einfach Pech. Ich kenne das, als ich damals nach Düsseldorf gezogen bin hat es 4 Wochen nur geregnet – und das im August! 😉
    Ich habe auch mal gehört, dass Brüssel eine Pendler-Stadt ist und die meisten Leute die dort arbeiten nicht dort wohnen, vielleicht ist das social life deshalb (noch) nicht so überwältigend?!

    Ich wünsche dir jedenfalls weiterhin viel Spaß und Erfolg dort!
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  • Casee Marie 10 March 2012, 1:57 am

    Wow, you’re a busy lady! Being in a new place can be a huge transition – and I say this as a gal who’s never left the States! When I moved last year I went from the Midwest to the east coast, which brought with it a surprising amount of culture shock (made even more surprising by the fact that I was actually born out here!). Weather and personalities and life itself feels different here full-time, but I can only imagine the difficulties of dealing with language, not to mention having your significant other missing from the mix. I’m sure you’re holding up wonderfully, all the same, and weather aside the pictures look just gorgeous! Best of luck with everything!

  • Terri 10 March 2012, 3:24 am

    The photos are lovely…and I think the language challenges would be personally exhausting.
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  • Katy Rose 11 March 2012, 1:51 am

    These photos are lovely and it sounds like you are having an amazing time out there; even if there are difficult parts to the whole program. Might as well live it up – right?! Enjoy! – Katy
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  • Desiree 11 March 2012, 12:40 pm

    Brussels looks so pretty covered in mist or fog … weird weather, but then, after the past two summers we’ve had in Queensland, what’s normal anywhere these days? Like you, I’m not one to enjoy making a fool of myself and yakking away in a new-ish language, making heaps of mistakes. Hopefully, people will have an ear for your acquired Scottish accent and be nice and patient. I’m so sorry you’re missing Dave, it must be so difficult for you both right now. I don’t think I could leave The Phoenix behind on a new adventure, because I’d want him to share the experience but at least you’re not far away from each other:)) xoxo
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  • Debi 11 March 2012, 2:46 pm

    Sorry I wasn’t able to see you before you went! Brussels looks AMAZING. Love the pictures and some of your initial impressions. Interesting about the individual offices! Have an amazing time!!
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  • Karen 11 March 2012, 7:55 pm

    Hey Franca,

    Welcome to Belgium. Enjoying your first sunshine in Belgium? I have. It was sunny in Antwerp, I guess it was sunny in Brussels too. I’m likely going to Brussels next week. Let me know if you’re coming to Antwerp.

    Karen
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    • Franca 11 March 2012, 8:43 pm

      I’ll definitely be visiting Antwerp at some point!