Brussels - any good or what?

I'm off to Brussels for a 6 moon contract before emmigration to Oz. What's it like? I've lived in Euroland before and work in French, German and (dodgy) Dutch so the lingo's not an issue. I also like Belgia in general and have been to Brussels a few times. Thing is - what's it like to actually live amd worj there? Are there many Brits around socially? Where's a good bar to avoid Mandy? I do realise there are 97 websites full of this stuff but the personal touch of arrse would be just the thing.

On a happy note - next week could well be the last work I do in the UK. Cannot flippin' wait to exit stage left once more.
Don't make fun of the moustached midgets in funny blue uniforms... they get offended easily.
I used to be posted at SHAPE (about 45 mins from brussels) and as long as u dont mind the arrogant french twats its a good area. very expensive though good places in brussels to go is the irish bar just off the grand plaz always brits and americans in there!

Housing is nice around that area i assume u are working at the HQ it is a nightmare to get to work in the morning so leave enough time!

alternatively u are at the heart of europe so u can travel pretty much anywhere.

also if u can get to SHAPE there are loads of brits there i highly recomend the Brit Bar on Camp i had many a good night in there!

hope this helps
Thanks IBRU - I'm not in costume any more (and wasn't much anyway even when I was!) but I'll look out for the bar you mention. During the summer hols the mem'sahib will bring the two smaller units over so we'll have a summer of travelling around Europe which is something I very much look forward to.
Renting accommodation can be a bit of a bougger, as the Belgiques' approach to admin can make the b*stard son of an Italian and a Spaniard look good, especially where foreigners are involved.

They can also take great delight in enforcing petty rules for no reason. However, if you've ever done handover/takeover of a MQ, you should be well prepared. :D

The plus side is good restaurants, efficient public transport, lots to see and do especially with kiddies in tow, and great central location for western Europe.
Slightly off thread, but of some relevance. A Belgian tankie once told me that 3 things made Belgium the centre of the civilised world:
1. Chips & mayonaisse;
2. the HUGE variety of quality beers;
3. the tradition that women buy their own drinks!

Brussels is expensive, but no worse, in most respects, than London. It's clean and well organised (excellent, and relatively cheap, public transport, for example), and the police have no truck with ill behaved chav types, and - refreshingly - don't treat the law abiding, tax paying types with barely disguised contempt.

Brussels is a good size - large enough to offer all the good things of city life, but not too large to be anonymous/ intimidating. Plus it offers a pleasing combination of the historical and the modern/ trendy, but in a nicely understated, unpretentious way. Bit like the Belgians really, who, IMO, have all the virtues of the French with few of the negatives.

I'm based in Brussels slap bang next to the Commission and Berleymont. Not there much, but when I am I have a good time. For a little taster, head down to Roind Point Schuman/Rue Archimedes for a few cooking sherries at the Hairy Canary/Faubourg/Franklin. Do that for a couple of nights and then slowly widen your horizons (4 x stops on the Metro Euros 1.50) to the centre. You'll meet a lot of people who are in the same boat as you, just out for a few beers. Keep away from the mongs from the Commission. They'll just bore you and feck off leaving you the tab.

Go into the Hairy Canary and you'll see the sleeve of my shirt hanging above the counter after somebody cut it off after another all night pish up.

Better still, PM me and I'll try and set up an RV. Should be in Brussels Thursday 28th June for a few beers and some admin but leave the next day on the 1705 party train to Waterloo.

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