I am still in the very beginning of my cultural adaptation to Brussels and I am doing according to the expat book. I am in the phase 1 of the culture shock roller coaster, the honey moon spirit. I am enthusiastic, positive, open, curious and accept some frustrations like dealing with the bureaucracy or really bad customer services.
People are more prone to share bad experiences so I will make an exception and share with you my top 5 good reasons why I love Brussels:
1-The Art Nouveau Buildings: For me it is like when I was in New York City, I had my head looking up to admire the architecture while walking. This literally cheers me up!
2-So many nice, cozy, good food restaurants: It is very lively at night in Brussels, people seems to enjoy being in groups or romantic couples dinning “aux chandelles”
3-Open Markets: I live near place Flagey where an open market is there every Saturday. The farmers market in the Place du Chatelain is also very nice on Wednesdays. You can talk to the producers directly, taste some products, lovely.
4-The International Community: There are so many events for expats, I enjoy meeting new people every week. People respond quickly to new ideas and a lot of businesses are owned by independent consultants. Being a foreigner here is relatively easy even if you don’t speak French of Flemish as English is spoken everywhere inside the Brussels Capital.
5-The “A la Magritte” surrealistic ideas like closing totally Brussels to cars on the Sunday of the “mobility” I found that funny to see bikes, rollers and hear no noise except children playing in the streets.