“Belgian women are very scary.” 43 interesting facts about Belgium through the eyes of a Russian immigrant
Immigrant Mitya Sandal has been living in Belgium for some time now. Funny, but Belgium, which is considered the center of Europe, is very different from our concept of Europe, and there are many things that are just wild to our man. The young man decided to make a list of facts that struck him the most.
1. the Belgians are not patriots, many do not know the Belgian anthem and do not like Belgians from neighboring regions. Although they are all the same in our eyes, the Belgians themselves can easily tell which region a person is from by his speech and habits. In every region of Belgium, the inhabitants of other regions are considered a little dull, but they all have in common the love of making fun of the Dutch.
2. Beer in Belgium is a national religion. You don’t drink beer only for breakfast, but from 10 o’clock in the morning you drink it all the time. If alcohol, it’s only beer. Anything that’s not Belgian beer is piss, especially Dutch beer. The worst beer is Heineken. The most respected is Duvel.
3. Beer comes in two sizes: a small 0.25 and a big 0.33. You won’t find half a liter almost anywhere, let alone in our national bottle. With three “big” beers Belgians are already quite drunk.
4. Girls drink beer as much as the guys. And it is not a mauvais ton.
5. The main national dish is French fries, or French fries. Here they are called Belgian fries or just french fries. They are eaten with mayonnaise and everywhere, in the same rolls of newspaper which used to be used for eating sunflower seeds. Any Belgian will tell you that the first time Americans tried french fries was when they were in Belgium at the end of World War II, and french fries is from the verb to french and has nothing to do with France.
6. Sterility in Belgium is a questionable concept: any food you will be served or put on your plate by hand. If you order, for example, shawarma, they will put meat into it with your hands and then take the money with the same hands.
7. Our clothes are very neglected. You can easily throw your jacket on the ground or walk around in torn and dirty clothes.
8. The concepts of style and fashion are very different from ours. Girls don’t wear heels or neckline sweatshirts, they wear torn tights and combine colors that make you feel like they are on LSD.
9. There is a very strong feminism in society. Girls are absolutely equal to guys, which I think they suffer from. Guys don’t know how to approach girls at all, and instead watch a lot of porn.
10. If you have a girlfriend, then you’re cool. Because a girl is a guarantee that you have sex, and she’s viewed about the same way. Sometimes you get the impression that relationships in Belgium are just companionship for sex and that’s it, although of course there are exceptions.
11. Belgian women are very ugly. And those who seem not so scary, try to seem scary and dress even worse. If you meet a pretty girl in the street, she’s either Turkish or ours.
12. There is no “gentleman” here. Letting a girl go first, opening a door, or helping to carry a heavy load is something impossible. There is a company of girls and guys, and the girls are carrying a case of beer – this is the norm.
13. A bicycle is the main means of transportation. Everyone rides one here: both grandfathers over 80 and children from two years old. All the big centers and train stations have bicycle parking lots, there are thousands of them here. If you rent an apartment, it says there’s bike parking in the building.
14. The Belgians are a very sporty nation. Running, cycling and hockey are popular. If you say “hockey,” everyone thinks specifically of the summer sport of grass.
15. Speaking of weed: the picture of young people sitting downtown on the waterfront and smoking a joint in a circle is perfectly normal. Even though drugs are illegal.
16. Belgians get up very early. On weekends at 8 a.m. a line to the bakery for fresh bread is a normal story.
17. Belgians are very narrow-minded: if there is a law or a tradition, they will follow it, no matter how stupid it is. Creative or out-of-the-box thinking is rare.
18. In general, Belgians are very polite and friendly, but sometimes clearly too much. For example, they will never tell you to go fuck yourself, but will say something like this: “I by no means want to offend you or hurt your feelings, but it seems to me that it would be better for you to go to hell, of course, if you don’t want, you don’t have to go. But I think you’ll be comfortable there.”
19. The Belgians usually get married late, at the age of 30. Before that they consider themselves young people and live quite carelessly.
20. They like traveling very much. They especially like Asia.
21. Awareness of Russia is good, but the idea of our country is, of course, ridiculous. I was extremely surprised that when I said that I was from Russia, my first reaction was – great, I want to drive along the Trans-Siberian Railway for a long time. And only after that – vodka, Putin, communism.
22. 22. The attitude towards Russians was rather negative: if a man – then a bandit, if a girl – then a girl of easy virtue. And this stereotype is extremely difficult to break.
23. There are a lot of Turks and Arabs in Belgium. The attitude is cool, but if you ask Belgians how they feel about them, you’ll hear a rote tirade about how happy they are and how they don’t see the difference. But if you approach the same question to drunken Belgians, the answer is quite different.
24. There are a lot of lesbians and gays in Belgium. And in exactly that order. I attribute this to men who are not the most masculine, although maybe the reason is different.
25. Belgium is divided into two big parts: Dutch-speaking Flanders (where I live) and French-speaking Wallonia. The Flemish people disdain the Walloons and consider them something like servants.
26. Most Flemish speak English, Dutch, and French. The Walloons speak only French, and that, the Flemish claim, is bad.
27. All Belgians will tell you that they speak Flemish, not Dutch. In fact they are the same language.
28. The people of Antwerp are considered the most arrogant snobs.
29. No one ever drapes the windows, even on the first floors you can always see what’s going on in someone else’s apartment.
30. At home, no one takes off their shoes, not even their boots. They will sit and sweat, but they won’t take them off.
31. Belgians eat a hot meal once a day. Usually lunch or dinner is just a sandwich.
32. Belgium, just like France, does not use the qwerty keyboard, instead they type on the azerty layout, I must say, an extremely inconvenient and illogical thing.
33. They blow their nose very loudly, and in any environment. Sometimes you get the feeling that a shell exploded near you from a howitzer, but no, it was a miniature girl who blew her nose.
34. It’s hard to have a sense of humor here – the concept of sarcasm is absent as a class. So if a person makes a joke, he adds after the humor itself the phrase “it was a joke”, otherwise really many people can not understand.
35. The boundaries of decency are quite low. Everyone very simply undresses, and all, absolutely all saunas, spas and swimming pools are adjacent, and it is forbidden to go in them in swimsuits and cover up.
36. The bar of tolerance in humor is also, by our standards, low with the Belgians. In a rather formal setting you can easily hear the outrageous vulgarity and blackness.
37. Belgians are very frost-resistant. A girl at minus one in barefoot ballet shoes and a guy in shorts are commonplace.
38. Belgians always have everything planned. Everyone has a diary and all appointments are made about two weeks in advance. You can’t just pop in drunk at one o’clock in the morning to see a friend.
39. There are strong trade unions in Belgium, so there are frequent strikes. In the last two months three times public transport, schools and other public institutions did not work. The reasons for strikes are ridiculous by our standards.
40. The Belgians are very honest people and everything here is based on honesty, no one gives receipts, checks, etc.
41. Belgians are very fond of compromise because they are afraid of offending anyone. When you tell them that it’s impossible to please everyone, they don’t understand this and are likely to make what they think is a fair decision. Which won’t suit anyone.
42. All the stores are open until 5 or 6 pm, after that time you can shoot. If you buy furniture, delivery works only from 9 am to 5 pm, and only on weekdays. It’s not fair that someone will be working late and someone else won’t.
43. In Belgium taxes are very high, about 45%, the government has tried many times to reduce them, but most people are against it, because most people in Belgium don’t work, and live on welfare.