5 ways Belgium changed me permanently

Hotel de Ville, Brussels Grand Place

Talking to my close girlfriends about dating I realized that I have put Edmonton men at a slight disadvantage because I lived in Belgium for over two years. Europe changed me and I’d like to think for the better, but it can make me feel like a bit of a snob. 5 ways Belgium has changed me:  1. Craft beer snob Living in Belgium, the land of brewers, I developed…

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21 Things I Miss About Brussels, Belgium

Now that I’ve moved back to my home country in Canada, there are several things I miss about living in Brussels. I came up with a list of 21 things. I stopped because I probably could have kept going for a while. The funny thing is that some of the items on this list were things about Brussels that I couldn’t wait to get away from. Things I miss about…

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Spring is here – Festival of the Iris in Brussels

Two days of free concerts, activities, clowns, magicians, costumed performers, and buzz in Brussels center is happening this weekend. The Festival of the Iris/Iris Day (Fête de l’Iris) is a celebration of the symbol of Brussels. On January 12, 1989 a new law created the Brussels Capital Region on the territory of 19 municipalities and the Brussels Region then started its own legislative and executive institutions. The Iris was chosen as the…

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European desire for closeness – Living in Brussels

Living as a Canadian expat in Brussels, there are a lot of cultural and social rules that one needs to learn and adjust too. One social quirk that I just cannot get accustomed to is the Europeans’ desire to be close to other people. In Canada, or at least in the Western part where I’m from, there are very clear social boundaries that one does not cross. One of these…

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History of the Christmas Market in Europe

I did a guest post over at the lovely Marcia Richard’s blog on the History of Christmas in Europe. Here’s just a taste of what I write about: In many towns in Germany and Austria, Advent (coming of Christmas) is usually ushered in with the opening of the Christmas market or “Weihnachtsmarkt”. In southern Germany and Austria it is sometimes called a “Christkindelsmarkt” (in German means “Christ child market”). The markets…

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