Sign in to join the discussion or ask one of our experts another question.


Why does everything close so early in Brussels? (And how to get things done?)


cbthomas2006's picture
By cbthomas2006 - Posted on
14 April 2017

I moved to Brussels in December last year, yet I've had a very difficult time getting settled. I work a white-collar job, typically 9-7 with very little flexibility in my schedule, and I'm perpetually struggling to take care of my day-to-day errands and shopping because everything closes so early (and opening late). I'd expect this in a small town, but not in a capital city with over a million residents.

I understand things are heavily unionized and people don't want to work overtime, but why do retail shops and customer service centres have to operate on the exact same 9-6 schedule as office workers? When I leave for work in the morning, everything is closed. When I leave the office in the evening, everything is closed. I feel like I'm living in a straightjacket... and since I don't have the luxury of taking large blocks of time out in the middle of the day, I have no idea what to do. I don't want to sacrifice my vacation days, and shopping on Saturdays is frankly miserable because the entirety of Brussels is doing the same thing.

I could cope with isolated cases of this, but virtually everything is the same, from pharmacies to clothing shops, banks, post offices, government offices, swimming pools, the list goes on. Since I moved here, my personal life has ground to a halt. Sure, the beer's great, but I want to do more with my evenings than just drink.

I'd really like to know from those who live here is, have you found a secret to getting things done outside of work? Have you managed to find a comfortable existence here?

Fati's picture
Offline
Last seen: 28 weeks 5 days ago
Joined: 31/05/2017

Hi Thomas,

Looks like you gotta shop on Saturdays.Boohoo.

Fatima

Your rating: None Average: 1 (3 votes)
Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Boohoo indeed. I've always considered shopping a chore, something I do during the work week to free up my weekends for something more enjoyable. Oh well...

Your rating: None Average: 1 (1 vote)

Post new comment

Please only respond to the original question. If you have a new question, click here
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.

Comment Note

If you are not logged in, your comment will first be moderated before showing up on the page. Thanks for being patient. Please don't resubmit your comment when you don't see it appear immediately.

If you browser seems to hang when submitting a comment, please click here and reload the main Q and A Forum Page.

Read more posts about Belgium

X
Login with your Facebook account (Recommended)
, after login or registration your account will be connected.