As you already know (or if you didn't now you do) I am French, but I have been living in Belgium for what will be 10 years in September. 10 years already, and it's been a hell of a ride.
10 years ago I came here originally for work, I had been hired back in France by a young Belgian company with offices in Paris, and after a couple of weeks they sent me here, "only for 3 weeks". My job was interesting, I was young and enthusiastic, I decided to stay here, in the Belgian countryside, not far from Brussels, and meanwhile I had broken up with my then-boyfriend who had stayed in France. I fell in love not long after that, much to my surprise, with a young Belgian boy.
Then the company I was working for went bankrupt. I made the choice to stay in Belgium and relocated to Brussels, found a temp job, broke up with my boyfriend. I met Lovely Boyfriend a couple of months later, the irony being that he is also French and he was in Brussels this day for a party I was also going to!
My work contract came to an end, I found another job at a law office, Lovely Boyfriend became officially Lovely Boyfriend, and moved to Brussels from Paris within six months, and we moved in together.
After a few years we moved in to a bigger apartment, then I changed jobs again (my lawyer boss was driving me insane). Since then I have started practicing yoga, and have embarked on yet another journey.
So, 10 years for me, 7 years for Lovely Boyfriend, Belgium has been our home for quite some time now. Yet, as our perspective about our life is shifting, we are considering moving, this time for another country. We don't know which one yet, but we know we don't want to live the same life as we are living now.
That said, Belgium has been the place of all transformations, the incubator I could say, and it has opened its arms and hugged us as long as we have wanted. I have learned to know this little country and yet I don't understand it. Actually I challenge all foreigners to understand Belgium! It breaks my heart to see the little country that was one of the first to build the European Community not being able to overcome its own community problems and contradictions. Maybe I am being pessimistic, but I honestly don't know whether Belgium will still exist in say 10 years. Or it will still exist, but not as we know it. Is it a good or bad thing? I don't know. But there's one thing I know: the people of this country will not give up :-)
So here is for B.!
The "Bois de la Cambre", right across the street from our apartment, in the middle of the city!