Expert Info

Posted by cbthomas2006
on 14 Apr 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 on 31 May 2017 - 09:34
Hi Thomas, Looks like you gotta shop on Saturdays.Boohoo. Fatima
Anonymous (not verified) on 31 May 2017 - 09:47
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...

Expat Health Insurance

Cigna Health Insurance

Cigna Global

Cigna Global can tailor an international health insurance plan to perfectly fit the needs of you and your family. With 86 million customers in over 200 countries, Cigna Global has unrivalled experience in dealing with varied and unique medical situations and delivering high standards of service wherever you live in the world.

Get a quote from Cigna Global

William Russell Health Insurance

William Russell

William Russell is a boutique insurance company, that values itself on its great customer service and is underwritten by Allianz. They provide health, life, and income protection insurance for expats around the world. With a global network of 40,000 hospitals and doctors, their health insurance plans are designed so that they follow you to whatever country you move to next.

Get a quote from William Russell

Moving Companies

Sirelo logo

Moving Internationally?

Sirelo has a network of more than 500 international removal companies that can move your furniture and possessions to your new home. By filling in a form, you’ll get up to 5 quotes from recommended movers. This service is free of charge and will help you select an international moving company that suits your needs and budget.

Get your free no-obligation quotes now!