That quirky Belgian culture rubs off on you in the best ways – here are 15 signs that prove how Belgium changes you.
1. You use septante and nonante without hesitation, instead of the very complicated French 70 (‘sixty and 10’) and 90 (‘four times 20 and 10’).
2. You now consider yourself a beer connoisseur – and it’s pretty amazing.
3. The abbey – if it’s a brewery – is the first place you check out in every town and village you visit.
4. You know how to say ‘hello’ and ‘thank you’ in French and Flemish.
5. You have a car with excellent suspension to compensate for the massive holes in every Belgian road.
6. When you’re at a bar outside of Belgium and they only offer one beer on tap, you ask yourself, “Where the hell are the other 15 kinds?”
7. You now notice if the bartender gives you a lager instead of the white beer you’ve ordered.
8. You don’t like driving more than two hours to get anywhere.
9. You’ve become picky when it comes to fries.
10. You’ve given up trying to go shopping after 6pm because most shops are closed.
11. You no longer think the Swiss have the best chocolate.
12. You don’t like looking at your paycheck; it reminds you of how much tax you’re paying.
13. You have a Bancontact card but you’re aware it’s a debit card accepted only in Belgium, and not even everywhere in Belgium. In some places, however, it’s the only payment method they accept. You don’t get it either.
14. You find it weird when films are not subtitled in two languages.
15. You know you have to learn the translations of Belgium’s cities in French and Flemish (Bruxelles/Brussels, Lille/Rijsel, Anvers/Antwerp, Mons/Bergen) in order to get anywhere.
Amaia travelled throughout Europe before settling in London in 2012. Her goal in life is to read as many books and watch as many films as possible without losing her job. Thumbnail credit: ©Tomas Kubes via Visit Flanders.