Your new local habits in Belgium

Hello everyone,

Living in Belgium is a great way to immerse in a new culture and lifestyle.

Have you embraced local customs since you've lived in Belgium? If so, which one(s)?

Did local customs change the way you see things, appreciate life or organize your daily routines? As far as the language is concerned, did you learn new expressions or words and do you use them?

What do you like most about the lifestyle in your host country? Are there any local specificities you are still struggling with?

Thanks in advance,


Belgium has probably got to be one of the quirkiest countries I have ever had the pleasure of spending time in.

Of all the countries I ever thought I'd settle in, Belgium was probably lower on the list, until I met a Belgian girl some 7+ years ago and decided to move here after marrying her. And what an experience it has been, both my marriage, and life in Belgium  ;)

They have this national obsession with 'friet', and like McDonalds in the USA, there is a 'Frituur' on almost every corner, although McD is hard to find here. It is customary to eat as much friet as you can, so I do. However, in all seriousness, there is also a strong fine food culture, and appreciation of such is widespread. My wife and I are both good food lovers, there being no shortage of fine cuisine to choose from, and this is what I like most about Belgium. The food!

I have learned from local customs to enjoy the amazing natural areas around the country, either on foot or bicycle, or to just spend as much time outside as possible. This is probably made more necessary by the huge amount of friet consumed here ;)

It is also customary to keep to yourself and mind each others privacy. When out, people are generally approachable, but like me, when I go out, I prefer to be left alone. Like a lot of Belgians, I enjoy my personal space, and here you will get that. I very rarely get bothered, but if I am approached, it is very polite and I am more than happy to give the time or directions, assuming I know either.

As far as language goes, I now speak a fair amount of conversational Dutch. I also did learn a few local dialect expressions, which I shall refrain from repeating on this forum, as they are just a little rude ;)

If there is maybe just one thing I might still be having a little trouble with, it is the fixation with absolute routine. If you want to see a friend, you often have to make an appointment weeks in advance. On the other hand, we have friends that may have us over for a visit with just 24 hours notice. We have told friends they are welcome to show up at our place without notice, and as such we have stocked our fridge and pantry with the appropriate refreshments and snacks as it is also customary to serve visitors something, usually with alcohol.

I actually find the lifestyle in our part of Belgium fairly relaxing, at least where we live in Genk. Life is only as busy as you make it!

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