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Old Oct 31st 2017, 7:17 pm   #1
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Default An imaginatively titled Belgian thread...

... following on from the Decisions, decisions… thread in the NL sub-forum...

Hi all,

Recently back from a somewhat intense week in Flanders doing background stuff on the new house. We were given the keys for the week so we were able to set up appointments with plumbers, electricians, flooring people, plasterers, builders and a whole bunch of others as well for estimates. We also chose and ordered the new kitchen and bathroom.

Really impressed with the level of service so far from everyone we encountered, apart from one flooring person who spent the whole week ducking us. No worries there however, as I think we have decided on our flooring people anyway - they sent someone from the office 60 km away to measure and offer advice; we dropped in to see them on the drive back down to CH, were given a tour of their manufacturing plant, and together we refined a few planning ideas.

What really got to me was when out solo shopping in Brasschaat, and having been met with a torrent of Dutch at the supermarket checkout, me calling on my best (and arguably only Dutch) saying "Sorry, ik praat geen Nederlands, algemeen Engels of Frans" to be answered in English with "No problem" followed by a quick chat about the potential over-sweetness of one of the products I was purchasing.

I think I'm going to like it here.

Cheers,
Bob
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Old Nov 1st 2017, 10:00 pm   #2
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Default Re: An imaginatively titled Belgian thread...

Quote:
Originally Posted by BuckinghamshireBoy View Post
... following on from the Decisions, decisions… thread in the NL sub-forum...

Hi all,

Recently back from a somewhat intense week in Flanders doing background stuff on the new house. We were given the keys for the week so we were able to set up appointments with plumbers, electricians, flooring people, plasterers, builders and a whole bunch of others as well for estimates. We also chose and ordered the new kitchen and bathroom.

Really impressed with the level of service so far from everyone we encountered, apart from one flooring person who spent the whole week ducking us. No worries there however, as I think we have decided on our flooring people anyway - they sent someone from the office 60 km away to measure and offer advice; we dropped in to see them on the drive back down to CH, were given a tour of their manufacturing plant, and together we refined a few planning ideas.

What really got to me was when out solo shopping in Brasschaat, and having been met with a torrent of Dutch at the supermarket checkout, me calling on my best (and arguably only Dutch) saying "Sorry, ik praat geen Nederlands, algemeen Engels of Frans" to be answered in English with "No problem" followed by a quick chat about the potential over-sweetness of one of the products I was purchasing.

I think I'm going to like it here.

Cheers,
Bob
Hi Bob Sounds like you are really making good progress in Belgium..We were always impressed with the quality of work and workmen in Nl..It is much rarer now to find that staff do not speak English.......and German..and French ..and Spanish . The young learn at least three languages in the main. Puts us to shame really..Altho the 'wash girl' at my hairdressers was getting a tad ticked off with me not speaking Portuguese yet... especially as my OH was prattling on ten to the dozen.. (the weasel) It gave me the neccessay kick to download a set of lessons today.. Onwards and upwards ..
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Old Nov 2nd 2017, 4:46 pm   #3
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Default Re: An imaginatively titled Belgian thread...

Thanks GenieB.

So far so good; we still have a long, long road ahead of us. OH has just this afternoon fixed appointments for later this month to meet with a couple of firms that as well as doing practical demolition, building work and plumbing will also 'project manage' some other elements of the house refit that we have planned. This is good news as the idea of trying to keep an eye on progress from a distance of +/- 850km was becoming somewhat disquieting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeniB View Post
... especially as my OH was prattling on ten to the dozen.. (the weasel) It gave me the neccessay kick to download a set of lessons today.. Onwards and upwards ..
I wish you good luck with the lessons. How come your "weasel" is so proficient in Portuguese?

I often play pool in a Portuguese bar here, where about 90% of the regulars are Portuguese, the other 10% being Swiss, French along with just the one token Brit. Our common language is French; the 'locals' are wonderful, friendly people, and we have some superb evenings. I like to think that I have 'a bit of an ear' for languages, but I really cannot understand a thing that's being said when they speak amongst themselves.

I haven't yet started with my Dutch lessons and have to admit that I'm currently leaning very heavily on Google translate, sometimes with hilarious results. As a backstop, I translate the Dutch into French as well as English in an attempt to minimise the howlers. It is however helping me get my head around learning "mijn nieuwe taal". Pronunciation will have to wait another couple of months.

As you say, Onwards and upwards...

Bob
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