Tag Archives: MOVING

Why Belgium?

Brussels watercolor via MontgomeryFest

Nine months into this jig seems as good a time as any to add a why to this adventure. Leeeeeet’s start from the beginning:

At about the time of our fourth date, we got into the life goals and aspirations chat as two people do and discovered that we both craved seeing the world. A little insight :: I’m from little ole South Louisiana where I’m the youngest of five and the only one to leave the city, much less the country. So, this handsome boy who talked about music festivals (another weakness of mine) and a wanderlust that matched my own was getting a fifth date, fer sher. Fast forward to the next year when we were surrounded by wedding talk and what to do, what to do..

And since you must know, the plan, simply put, was to see the world. Soooo, how do we do this thing? Well, since we’ve yet to become independently wealthy and can’t just drop everything and buy a hut in Bora Bora, we’ll have to go the career route. J’s firm offers (and by offers, i mean if you beg and pester and do HR’s job for them, they eventually give in – I used to work there…one of the reasons I don’t anymore) “tours” to another office, sort of like an in-house job offer to another location within the firm. So, after we got that set into motion and poked and prodded it along, all while planning a wedding, we decided to regain J’s citizenship to Belgium just in case we find an opening anywhere in the European Union…this way, I can bypass the whole tourist visa deal….so now i get to volunteer for super cool organizations like Buddy Werking. The Belgium thing was a total coincidence – crazy, right? And, if you’re counting, that’s three big life adjustments going on for us at once.

And then, there was an opening in Brussels. Hmmm..okay, what do you think about Brussels? Don’t know anything about Brussels. Isn’t it supposed to be boring? Let’s pro-con this thing:

PRO
– it’s small enough so that the travel is light and he’s home every night (biggest pro – the offices are based by country… in the US, he would be gone for 3 weeks in BS and the smell of his unwashed shirts and gchat videos could only do so much)
– we’d get to experience Europe as locals (well, that’d be anywhere we moved)
– doesn’t Europe have WAY better work/life balance (this one is key)

CON
uuuuh, didn’t you say it was boring?

AND THEN, we were all – All right. Let’s do this thing.

After what seemed like fooooorevvvver getting ‘maybes’ and ‘we’ll sees,’ we finally got a ‘probably.’ We didn’t technically get the 90% until 2 weeks before which was convenient (and actually not very convenient at all) because over in America there’s this two week thing that i had to give my job…that I loved. We booked our one-way flights the week before we moved. Livin’ on the edge people.

So, without having any pre-notion of Belgium, we boarded ship. Well, technically we boarded flight and our stuff boarded ship. And, y’all! As we quickly came to realize, this place is anything but boring. I mean, you remember this right? We’ve been having the funnest time discovering this little-big country with a random trip here and a random trip there, here a trip, there a trip, every where…you get the idea. Besides being the capital of Europe and all of the EU institution liveliness, it’s also the center of Europe (was that planned?) so, we have our choice of destinations.

I think I counted 6 tangents in this post, maybe a new personal best, but probably not. 

Anyway. The travel thing. Business travel is fun…for like 4.8 trips and then, it’s lame. Sorry. ’tis true. Which is what makes tiny, little, travel-from-coast-to-coast-in-a-day Belgium puuurfect for the inseparable couple. (yeah, yeah codependent embrace it) As fun as Australia would be, neither of us wanna be doing these adventures on our own while one of us is traveling to clients and the other is lady lunching by the sea!

SO! This + this + this is actually how MontgomeryFest came to be!

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Six Months

Frit FlageyFrit Flagey

Yesterday, we crossed the six month mark since we landed in Brussels. Remember that? Two suitcases and a camera in tow, waiting another month for our stuff. It’s like yesterday, but thankfully it’s not (figuring out stuff was hard!). I guess that also means this blog gets a half birthday too, Congrats you sassy thing you.

We tried to spend the day at the Stella brewery to celebrate, but we misunderstood Brussels when the internet told us we don’t need a reservation and then once we got there, found out we DO need a reservation (word to those thinking about taking the tour)….but, really, we’ve been here for six months, we should have known this city wasn’t going to have someone on staff just because, when there’s perfectly good arbitrary closing hours to instill. In lieu, we headed over to Flagey for some frites avec sauce Andalouse and later toasted with vin rouge and some favorites.

On top of the Brussels tan lines (ha!) and the time we pretended to know the city enough to give a tour, we’re fitting in smashingly well. J can get to most places in the city withOUT the cocky, British GPS, who can’t pronounce the French/Dutch/English/Spanish(??!) directions. And I can name areas of town by the tram/metro numbers when we’re thirsty. It’s been really fun getting another perspective on the world, writing probably the coolest chapter in our book thus far, and hearing who loves, hates, and are paranoid as all get out about America, that’s fun. 

Overall: We’ll give this one a ‘frosty, yet suitably settled in’ rating and extra points for eating better. And progress report out –

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Stuff It

Our stuff is here! Our stuff is here! I could scream it from a mountain top if there was one nearby.

Stuff including our festival posters and record collection and THE most comfortable bed on the planet. We’ve been sleeping on the fold-out couch for two weeks and my aging back can’t take it anymore. (Please note that it was a fun camp-out for the first few days, but two weeks is too long. So, guests, plan accordingly.)

Oh, and we get real food again! Our kitchen stuff is here now so we’re no longer limited to home cooked meals that have to: 1 – be cooked in the oven; 2 – come in their own oven-safe package or don’t require any; and 3 – can be eaten without a bowl/plate and with plastic utencils. So we were pretty much left eating pizza, lasagna and other finger-foods. The experience did point us to MexiGo, a pretty decent Mexican take-home (not really take out, you have to cook it yourself) that CheeseWeb (thanks!) informed us about. Yum, prooobably going to be one of our favorites over here.

We had heard from lots of other expats that when your delivery comes in, the movers have this crane that they can lift your things through your window. We were super excited to see our boxes come in this way. But no such luck. The movers climbed the stairs the old fashioned way…bummer.

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Noah’s Ark

I’m normally pretty opposed to posting pictures of the flowers that J brings home, because it implies that it’s a special event..or rather, a rare event. And he deserves muuch more credit than that. However, this week’s bunch is a little different. We’ve had an adventurous few days to say the least. I wish I could say adventurously hiking mountains or swimming with the fish, but instead we’re just swimming…in water leaking from our ceiling. Yes, again. I had a similar, but uber worse, issue back in Dallas. We’ve moved countries and I’m still attracting the water – sorry J!

We started to move into our new place last weekend, but have been staying in the apart-hotel since we couldn’t figure out how the heaters work (just add it to the list). Also, we’re having a hard time finding blankets in this city – so strange. Monday night, we woke up to the sound of dripping – grrr. The emergency fix-it guy came out and determined the guy two floors above us detached the drain in his shower and the floor right above us is vacant, so it flooded into ours. He gave us a key to another unit for the night. We thought we were in the clear, but Tuesday night…same sound, without the generous fix-it guy on duty. So, 1am, we drove across town to our new place…very thankful that we have the luxury of this option! Actually, it all ended up working out fine for Wednesday night, since they switched us to a much higher unit and I get this view while I describe our week to you:

Schaerbeek, Brussels

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We’re Here!

It’s been a long week.  Slowly our things left us.. Tuesday, the first set of movers came to take a portion to storage – for the things we’ll need in a few years.  Friday, the second set of movers came to pack and ship a portion to Brussels – for the things we’ll need in a month.  

A approves.

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Filed under Belgium, MOVING