The title is a quote from the Lonely Planet for Switzerland and describes how some people feel about Geneva… It could as well have been a description of Brussels!
I overheard two Swedish women talking about life in Brussels today at lunch time. Have you noticed that it is really easy to tune out when somebody speaks a foreign language around you, but almost impossible if they speak your mother tongue? Anyway, that is my excuse, I didn’t mean to eavesdrop and I even tried to concentrate on reading my book but I couldn’t help hearing their discussion.
So, two Swedish women – one living in Brussels, one in London, both with good jobs; it seemed that the woman who lives here works for one of the European Institutions and she was the one complaining. “Brussels is such a boooring city”, “In Stockholm you can at least go to the theatre” (hello, there is theatre in Brussels too – and if you don’t happen to speak French, there are English / American / Irish theatre groups and lots of other kinds of cultural activities) “the job is so boring” … I’m thinking “why don’t you just leave then if your life is so miserable here???” and then she says “oh, but maybe I should just stay here a bit longer to earn some more money” and “my apartment is so nice”…
HA! There we have it, people LOVE complaining about life in Brussels (and Geneva) but in the end they love their salary too much, especially those working at the European Institutions (or at the UN in Geneva). It’s a comfortable life style, you earn good money, you can travel all over Europe on the weekends (Paris in 1,5h by train, London 2,5h etc) and you can live in amazing apartments for less money than in many other capitals in Europe. And c’mon, the weather is not much worse than other northern European countries…
What I want to tell all these people is that nobody (I hope) is forcing them to live here (or in Geneva) – just go home if you are so miserable! There are lots of other people who would love to take their jobs.
Oh well, I have been trying to tell colleagues and friends this for more than five years now (first in Geneva, then here in Brussels) and maybe I should just accept that it is a human characteristic to always complain and never be really happy??
Just some Tuesday thoughts from a Grass Widow in Brussels… (have you ever wondered why it is called grass widow? I finally googled it and found the following explanation – check link!) O has gone to Hamburg on a business trip until Thursday, I’d better get used to it as it is now official: he bought his plane tickets today and he is moving to Puerto Rico the 7th August!! I will stay here and work until mid/end of October.
PS For the record, I also complain of course every now and then, but I try to see the positive aspects of the place where I live.