Expat voices: Sarah Knauf teaches and lives music in Belgium

Expat voices: Sarah Knauf teaches and lives music in Belgium

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Music teacher Sarah Knauf laments the lack of customer service in Belgium but revels in its cultural offerings.

Personal details
Name: Sarah Knauf
Nationality: American
City of residence: Belgium
Date of birth: May 1, 1976
Civil status: Married
Occupation: Music Teacher
Reason for moving to Belgium: To work at an international school
Lived in Belgium for: 9 years

1. What was your first impression of Belgium?

Fun place, lots of expats, and tons to do!

2. What do you think of the food?
It really depends on the restaurant. I am vegetarian, so as long as I pick the right places, the food is good. Restaurants do tend to be more expensive in Belgium.

3. What do you think of the shopping in Belgium?

Very overpriced for both clothes and food! I tend to shop lots in the States when I am home.

4. What do you appreciate about living in Belgium?
The culture and activities going on: the theatre, the opera, etc.  Also, it’s where I met my German husband.

5. What do you find most frustrating about living in Belgium?
Customer service; going to the commune; and paperwork, paperwork, paperwork!
Also, Belgian drivers are a nightmare!

6. What puzzles you about Belgium and what do you miss since you’ve moved here?
The same as above: the customer service here is lacking and traffic is so bad in some places and police do nothing to help the situation! There is so much petty crime, and nothing’s done to combat it.

7. How does the quality of life in Belgium compare to the quality of life in other countries that you’ve lived in?

Same quality of life, but more culture, languages, and it’s much easier to travel.

8. If you could change anything about Belgium, what would it be?

Make English a 4th language!
9. What advice would you give to a newcomer?
Join expat groups right away to make new friends.

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