Belgium and its 22 features
Belgium is a unique state with its own characteristics.
1. Locals are extremely cold-resistant
In homes, the temperature rises no higher than 15 degrees. In order not to freeze at night, the Belgians use electric sheets and blankets. To meet a girl in ballet shoes and a thin jacket in the red is a common occurrence. Children here are not confused from birth, they dress lightly and not according to the weather.
Sometimes it shockes visitors: “It was very cold. I stand in a jacket in the school yard, watching. One girl is in a T-shirt, but in boots. The other one is in the jacket, but in sandals. ”
2. The Belgians are known as tremulous dog lovers
Here they buy four-legged non-alcoholic beer and treat them with dog fries. For them, they even opened a spa center in which dogs can swim in the healing thermal waters, work out with fitness and go shopping.
The owners openly say: “Dogs live very well. There are no stray animals here, they immediately catch losses, identify them in shelters and quickly attach them: the people here are well-fed and therefore kind. To take an animal from the shelter, you need to pay about € 120. “
3. Here, Thursday is legislatively declared as a vegetarian day
In the city of Ghent officially introduced a weekly vegetarian day. Every Thursday, local schools and government agencies serve meals without animal products. Cafes and restaurants offer a special menu on this day. Cities like Hasselt, Mechelen, Apen and Brussels have already followed the example of their neighbor. Studies have shown that 43% of Belgians now eat less meat thanks to this day.
4. In Belgium, it is not accepted to be unemployed
Here, any work is equally valued: both the janitor and the bank employee. If you are employed, then automatically become a respected person in the eyes of the Belgians, and if not, then wait for questions and bewilderment in the eyes.
Maria, who moved to Belgium, shared her impressions: “If you work 5 days a week for 8 hours a day as a plumber, then the salary is about the same as that of the director of a small company. I like it. Every person here is a person and every profession is appreciated. ”
5. In the struggle for a parking space, any methods are used
Most central city streets have paid parking. Or free, but limited in time. In residential areas, the situation is easier, but each parking space is valuable. To see such a picture as in a photograph is a common thing.
6. In Belgium, a fine of € 100 is provided for playing snowballs
Snow is rare in this country, but if you still decide to visit here in the cold season, remember the strange law that prohibits the inhabitants of Flanders from throwing snowballs at each other. 7 years ago it was decided at the legislative level that snow and stone are one and the same and equally dangerous.
7. Brewery pipes run through the city
In 2016, Belgium became the first country whose beer culture was officially recognized by UNESCO as part of the intangible cultural heritage of mankind. There are almost 1,500 varieties of this drink and about 300 breweries, the pipes of which penetrate the city far and wide.
8. In this country they like to complain about the weather
The inscription reads: “The Belgians are waiting for good weather.”
It rains here for about 200 days a year. The weather is cloudy, often foggy. And the sea is cold even in summer, and swimming in it is not very comfortable. But the inhabitants are not discouraged: “There is not enough sun and heat, but there are no extreme frosts and snowy winters. There is no need to change tires on a car. And from shoes on fur only ugg boots are sold. ”
9. Work here strictly until 18:00
Almost all institutions close at 5-6 pm (including shopping centers, pharmacies, dry cleaners, grocery stores, banks, post offices and so on). On Sunday, everyone has an official day off, no one works.
10. In Belgium, feminism reigns, and it suits everyone
Skipping the girl forward, holding the door or giving the pregnant woman a place in transport – here you can not count on this. If there is a company of young people and girls carry heavy packages – this is the norm. To share bill payment in a restaurant is also a common situation. But everyone is happy, because in this country feminism is flourishing – complete equality between men and women.
11. In emergency situations, think about the weaker
Such stickers are glued by the Belgians to the front door or window in case of fire. The inscription reads: “Firefighters, also save our animals: dogs, cats, birds, others (specify).” Here is such a small but important gesture of care.
12. The attitude towards garbage is almost paranoid
Waste sorting and recycling is extremely serious here. A specialized service has the right to gut your garbage, find in a bag of food waste, for example, a piece of paper and solder a considerable fine for it. Belgians store and store garbage bags at home, and on strictly defined days they put it on the street.
“In our house, each apartment had a balcony, and everyone stored garbage on these balconies. We had a plastic box with a lid there, and in it was a bag of food and other waste. In the summer, sometimes I had to choose: open the balcony door and smell the aromas from the trash or not open the window and sit in the stuffiness, ”says a journalist from Belgium.
13. Belgians use hypnosis in childbirth
Hypnosis during childbirth is officially permitted here and is included in medical insurance. When a woman begins labor pains, Belgian doctors absolutely seriously suggest that she plunge into a state of hypnosis. Conducted by specially trained midwives.
14. For the sake of you, the Belgians are ready to build a bridge
If you, taking a boat trip along local rivers or canals, encounter a flattened bridge that will interfere with travel, be prepared to make a phone call.
Tourists say: “To open it (especially for you), you need to call the telephone number indicated on the plate, and a neatly looking waterway worker will arrive by bicycle and press the button.”
15. School and university canteens serve insect dishes
Here, at the legislative level, they allowed the cultivation and sale of insects for food purposes, taking into account the recommendations of the UN, according to which insects are an excellent alternative to meat and fish products. At schools and universities, a special menu is offered several times a week, where items such as a pie with ants or a burger with a cutlet of flour worms do not surprise anyone.
16. If the Belgian did not like the girl, he will definitely inform her about it
Hints not belittling Belgian men. They will say it as it is, even if it will not be very pleasant for you.
17. Ask for food or drink away is considered bad form
If you decide to request a visit to the Belgian, then you need to agree on this in advance, ideally a week for 2. It is also discussed how the meeting will be held: in the form of a simple conversation or a long conversation over a cup of coffee. If this is a short exchange of news, then you definitely should not count on dinner. You should take any drink offered by the owner, but never ask for it yourself. To demand a drink or refreshment here means breaking the bounds of decency. On the whole, the Belgian would prefer to meet even a good friend, not at home, but in a cafe.
18. Before you get to the office of the right doctor, you must complete the whole quest
For example, the oldest Belgian hospital UZ Leuven is a “city in a city” and is striking in its scale. On the territory of the hospital there is a school, bank, cafe, shops and even a police station. There are signs and diagrams everywhere. After going through the registration process, do not be surprised when they say to you: “Follow the red arrow, it will lead you to your doctor.” After all, otherwise you just get lost.
19. They do not tolerate excessive dressing
And this applies to everything: appearance, clothing, home decoration, behavior. The Belgians can not stand snobs and can quite sharply put them in their place. They attribute themselves to the middle class, and the limit of their dreams is to receive a stable salary and save some of the money in order to buy a house with a garden in retirement.
20. 3 months after giving birth, Belgians go to work
Maternity leave in Belgium lasts only 3 months. After this time, women are required to return to work, otherwise they will be fired. Therefore, children are given in a nursery in the literal sense of the word from the cradle. The kids are here until the age of 2.5, and then go to preparatory school. All nurseries in this country are paid.
21. Here, do not hesitate to cope with physiological processes loudly
Don’t worry, a shell didn’t burst near you – it was just a miniature Belgian girl blowing her nose. Here, do not hesitate to do it out loud, from the heart, and in any situation. And in general, the majority of Belgians are disdainful of sterility. Do not wash your hands before eating – the norm. Sneeze without covering your mouth, during a conversation – too.
22. Belgians are offended when they are told that Frenchmen invented fries
Because of the name “French fries”, many believe that French fries all owe French fries. But do not think to say this in the presence of the Belgians. After all, it was they who invented this dish back in 1680. The so-called deep fryers (frietkoten), which are found here at every step, are very popular in Belgium. It is because of them that the McDonald’s, KFC and Burger King networks are not developed in this country.