If you are moving to Belgium, you’ve probably heard all the jokes about the country from your friends and family. Belgium has gained an unfortunate – and it has to be said – undeserved reputation for being a country with little going for it apart from sprouts and obscure Euro MPs.
The outburst from a British MEP just a couple of months ago, where he described Belgium as a ‘dull little country’ didn’t help the image, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Those who are moving to Germany don’t have to put up with the same jibes, so why does Belgium get such a bad press?
Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that it is a relatively new country, or the fact that the main language, Flemish, is impenetrable to those who don’t speak it. On the other hand, it may have something to do with the fact that the national sport is cycling, and the national dish is steak and chips, so we can safely assume that there is a certain amount of snobbery involved with this dismissal of Belgium.
The chances are you will be familiar with steak and chips, but if you are moving to Belgium and you’ve never seen world class cycle racing, then you are in for a treat. They really are mad about the sport, and crowds in excess of one million are not unusual at the country’s biggest race, The Tour of Flanders, which is held every April. So that is just one thing to look forward to if you are moving to Belgium!