What do you wish you had known about this particular city/country before moving there?

How expensive everything is and how aggressive and rude some locals seem to be. The Flemish/Dutch Belgians are very nice so we tend to frequent the communes that are Flemish. - Feb 2019


Nothing. - Feb 2019


Mostly, the frustrations noted earlier. Not the best housing/poor infrastructure (e.g. Internet). Bad customer service, in general. Not "rude" like stereotypical French, but generally seems apathetic. Everything is closed on Sundays. Generally seem to have a poor work ethic. Belgians have a 38-hour work week and generally go home early one day/week and seem to use that as an excuse to say 'no' to things. How expensive it can be. Eating out and just grabbing in the store without checking prices first can empty your wallet pretty quickly. Those things can eat at you, especially if you didn't expect them coming in. But, realistically... First World Problems! - May 2018


It's not for no reason that there was a Politico article last year entitled "Belgium is a failed state". While that may be putting it a bit harshly, the bureaucracy goes way above and beyond what one would expect from Northern Europe, and the wheels of government turn very slowly and may not ever reach the intended destination. The number of different levels of government with different responsibilities is surprising even to Americans that are used to the federal/state divide. The "language war" has done a great job of fracturing the government institutions :( - Jan 2018


While this is Western Europe, there are still plenty of things that surprise me like the absolutely terrible customer service. - Apr 2014


The incredible lack of a customer service culture. Even Paris is better. - Jan 2014


I knew about the weather and darkness but a second challenge is the hours of stores. Things are closed at night and on Sundays making errands and shopping difficult if you work. - Jan 2014


Five stars on Amazon! Don't miss Talesmag's first book of essays, on cross-cultural food experiences from Mexico to Mongolia (plus recipes!)

Read More