Sunday, 13 August 2006



In Brussels, student houses are usually large-ish buildings (tall and narrow with a few rooms on each floor) which have been converted into flats, each room self-contained: kitchenette, shower, desk, bed. There are no communal areas. You don't share a house, you rent a room. So of course houses are mixed - you can see very little of those in the other flats, just like in any appartment block! In my case, one of my IFES team-mates was in a room in the same building as me. But the buildings look like the non-flat converted family houses next to them.

Now that my team mate Barnaby and I have both moved from Brussels to our respective places in England, it transpired that this produced the following confusion for the children of our team leaders:

Parent: We're going to visit Rosemary.
4 yr old son: And Barnaby.
Parent: No, Barnaby's in his house, we're just going to Rosemary's house.
Son: But they live in the same house!
Parent: No... [suspecting what the reasoning was] they aren't married!
Son: Why not?


It never crossed our minds, as all Belgians know how it works with such student buildings... but it wasn't so obvious for a 4 yr old and 2 yr old. D'oh.


mama said...

"There are no communal areas."
Except the loo!! Now that's odd by UK standards!

I hope you shared this one with Barnaby :)

mama said...

Amendment: I hope you shared this *story* with B!

chris oldfield said...

(ps put the payment over to Mme Graulich for room 4 last week so unless it's been snagged at the last minute, I think I may be in for some similar marital confusion...)

étrangère said...

Oh they can be very cute indeed. Hope you're good at letting them score goals past you cos they're going to really miss Barnaby otherwise.

As for room 4, why that's scandalous in the extreme: next DOOR to Lucy! Glad you got it sorted.