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  #1  
Old 11-10-2007, 02:44 PM
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Question Living in Belgium opinions...

There are various positions occasionally available as an Army civilian in places like Germany, Italy and Belgium. I've been to German and Italy but never Belgium. It sounds great because eventually I'll be fluent in French which would come in handy. So, has anyone had experiences living/traveling in Belgium? Is it recommendable by western European standards in regards to food, weather, sense of community etc...? Thanks all...

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Old 11-10-2007, 03:23 PM
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http://www.zapatopi.net/belgium/
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Old 11-10-2007, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by miljohnj5 View Post
There are various positions occasionally available as an Army civilian in places like Germany, Italy and Belgium. I've been to German and Italy but never Belgium. It sounds great because eventually I'll be fluent in French which would come in handy. So, has anyone had experiences living/traveling in Belgium? Is it recommendable by western European standards in regards to food, weather, sense of community etc...? Thanks all...
I'd be working as a speech-therapist if it matters.
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Old 11-10-2007, 04:17 PM
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when i was there in the 70s they still would say thanks for what we did in ww2. it was the friendliest place i went to.

tom w
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Old 11-10-2007, 07:23 PM
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I was in the northern part (Flanders) a few years ago, and I can tell you the Beer is amazing. Every little town has at least two breweries. People are very nice - 90% of them speak some kind of English, so communication is easy, especially since my Dutch is problematic. A beautiful place, period.
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Old 11-11-2007, 08:57 PM
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Depends on which part of the country. The northern half are the Flemish, they speak Flemish (Dutch dialect). Souther half are the Walloons, they speak French. The 2 halves don't like each other all that much. Brussels is on the boundary line. Both sides have been taught both languages, its a dual language country.

I dated a Flemish girl, most wonderful person I ever knew. I met a Walloon once, made me think of all the french stereotypes.
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Old 11-12-2007, 09:45 AM
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Lived there for 2 years when I was kid (Dad was stationed at NATO HQ)... I loved it. It was, however, in the mid-80's that I lived there. I was just back in Belgium in July, and it was as friendly as I remembered. I'd jump at the chance to live there!
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Old 11-12-2007, 10:14 AM
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My wife is Flemish. I loved the country so much I had to take a souvenir home. Ask me anything on your mind and I/we will answer all your questions. I'm actually thinking of going active and going to NATO HQ for a few years. The wife goes home about once every 12-18 months. Belgium is BEAUTIFUL, the people are FRIENDLY, and the winters are, well, northern European winters.

The French will only help you in the big cities...but not the dominant area of Belgium. You'll need to learn Dutch, or better yet, Flemish (but DO NOT refer to it as a dialect of Dutch unless you want to upset the locals!). I beat my wife up about that a lot. Belgium is actually tri-lingual, but the German speaking part is so small it's not mentioned much.

Let me know if you've got an in with civilian jobs...as I'd love to do that and keep my Reserve status too!
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Old 11-12-2007, 11:40 AM
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I'll add to the prevailing opinion that Belgium is a great place. I've been twice, and each time I found the locals to be genuinely friendly. The food is fantastic and they really seem to enjoy a nice pace of life. I stayed in areas that were predominantly Walloon, so French-speaking, and what I liked about speaking French there is that they speak a bit slower than in Paris, and *much* slower than in Quebec, which is a tremendous confidence booster in learning a new language. I would sometimes have to slow down for them because of my nerves/lack of confidence in French and my Quebecois accent, which is considered inelegant.

I did get out to Brugge/Bruges for a few days, and that area is Flemish. Best pommes frites I've ever had were from a guy in a little green wagon in the town square in Brugge.
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Old 11-12-2007, 12:48 PM
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Quote:
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...Best pommes frites I've ever had were from a guy in a little green wagon in the town square in Brugge.
Hold the mayo please. (maybe just a little)
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Old 11-12-2007, 08:04 PM
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When we were there in 1970 we went into a little store in a little town and found a fellow who knew english from ww2. We were looking for blankets or sleeping bags so we could sleep on the ground (college kids). He didn't have quite the right thing so he loaded us into his fintail diesel and drove us to the next town where he said the store had what we needed. They did and we had a good time talking with him on the way there and back. He called the diesel benz a "poor mans car" but in his opinion a gas mb was a rich mans car!

It was a great adventure. NOBODY in all my travels ever did so much for no particular reason at all, except we were Americans and he liked Americans!

It was a great time and now is a great memory.

Thanks for reminding me of it.

Tom W

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