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Expat tips

Four essential expat tips for a better life in Belgium

When I first arrived in Belgium over 15 years ago, I found myself in a fascinating country. I knew little about Belgium beforehand, and I was amazed by many things. Then it all came crashing down. That culture shock curve is a real thing. You’re riding on a high of new discoveries. Then it hits you: You’re in a foreign country where many things are different from whatever you called home before. First, you love everything, then you hate everything. And finally, the dust settles.  For some of you, it’s off to a new adventure elsewhere. For many of us, this crazy little country becomes home.  There are lots of valuable insights about life as an expat in Belgium that will make your experience in this country a better one. These are the ones we think will have the most signif...

Five Tips to Survive Winter’s Cold Temperatures

Winter is a four-letter word. C-O-L-D. While hundreds of thousands of travelers are basking in the sun during the winter, heartier travelers are heading north to the frozen tundra. Whether it’s a ski holiday, adventure vacation or business trip, how can you best brave the cold and stay warm and comfy, cozy in bone-chilling temperatures? Here are five tips to survive the cold, snow and ice. 

How to deal with rain?

To answer a question with another question, isn’t this article’s topic just an absurd question? In a way, it is, because there is nothing we can do about the rain. Well, not necessarily. Go forth and explore! Whenever I speak to newly arrived expats, I always say it is essential to have the right mindset when it comes to the weather in Brussels. We typically and make the best of our day. In other words, you should just do the things you want to do and go to the places you would like to visit. Obviously, you’re not going to go to a beach when it’s only 13 degrees and pouring. But if you had in mind to go shopping in Antwerp or making a little road trip through Wallonia, I suggest not to change your plans. Of course, nice weather is, well, better (duh), but the proble...

Criminal handymen…

The subject line actually refers to a Facebook thread that I started last week about plumbers and other handyman scum who try to rip you off in any way possible. Let me explain… Our kitchen sink was clogged and no regular solution would work (plunger and special unclogging liquid), so I called a plumber. The price would be €138 all-in for 1 hour of work, including use of materials and eventually new pipes. A bit high if you’d ask me, but it was almost 18h00 and I had no time to call around. Besides this company had a nice looking website (as if that matters) and the guy sounded like a professional. Two days later two incredibly muscled plumbers arrive. They quickly come to the conclusion that my pipes were blocked (I had not yet figured that one out myself!) and they had to use...