Monday, July 21, 2008

July 21

On this day 2 years ago we left Minneapolis for Brussels, Belgium. Who would have thought it was just 2 years ago, the time has gone by so fast and we have experienced so much in that time. There is another reason why to day is important. It is Belgium’s National day.

Today Belgium celebrates its 178 birthday. There are rumors that this could be the last celebration, the government is very serious this time about splitting off. (the King & Queen's Photo That was in a store's window)

With Joe being in Beijing, I ventured out this afternoon and took some photos for you. I really can't wait till I get my camera back, it has been since May. There is a parade that starts at 4:00 however it is to wet and cold for me. I will have to see it next time that is if there is one.

Looking down the street towards the Palace Justice (court of Belgium)


Fran├žoise said...

Nice pictures. I, too, wonder whether we will still have whole country on another national day. . . I spoke with my friend in Brussels whose birthday it was and she says she has no more clue than I do.
It's nice to know you have enjoyed your stay despite all this.

Anonymous said...

Jill - We’re American parents (of a 3-year-old) considering a move to Brussels, and have enjoyed perusing your blog. Although my husband is from Europe, and I’ve lived on the continent previously, neither of us speaks French or Dutch… and we’re kinda freaking at the prospect of living abroad indefinitely. Any guidance? If you email back, I promise to keep questions short (and to a minimum). Thanks, in advance, for any advice. Our main concerns are 1) the paperwork with residency and double taxation, 2) safety (read some horror stories about public transportation), 3) potential job prospects for an American (if I eventually go back to work), and 4) Anti-American sentiment and 5) cost of living (if 5-6,000Euro in post-tax monthly take-home salary are enough for a 3br apt., food, travel, unlimited WiFi, with 20% going to retirement savings). Any advice or words of wisdom?

Thanks for writing back!

Jill, Joe and Foxy said...

Thanks Diane for reading my blog and welcome. I will email you and try and help you some of your questions.

Jill, Joe and Foxy said...

Francoise - sorry i dont' know how to type so i get that little mark under the c.

It is sad about Belgium, but we have enjoyed the country. Not that i would ever want it to happen but that would be something to talk about that we were here when they split and made new countries. I truely hope they can work it out for everyone's sake.

Randy said...

just came across your blog, looks like you have adapted pretty well. I happen to be from Minneapolis too.
We have a group called STUDS (Spouses trailing under duress successfully) It started as just male trailing spouses, following their wives jobs, but its kind of morphed into an expat friendship club. but i'd say the key element is getting new expats acclimated to belgium, and finding ways to enjoy their time here. the downside is we have plenty of couples like yourself who are here for 3-5 years and head back, after becoming good friends.
Diane, if you need some answers, any of us would be glad to help.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I do hope the country can stay as one, can't see how either could manage alone. I enjoy your pictures. The weather doesn't seem to keep people inside. Interesting to see comments from strangers.Happy to have anonymous back, so I can respond. Mom

Jill, Joe and Foxy said...

Welcome Randy, Good to know anyone is welcome in you group...I have often thought about asking if you guys would allow women in your group. Thanks for reading the blog.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jill,
I also bailed before the parade was done. JULY 21st and I'm wearing a sweater,long pants,scarf, and leather jacket. I could have used some gloves too.
Meanwhile, people in many parts of the US are sweating buckets in the 100 degree heat. Maybe this is better!?!