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-   -   An imaginatively titled Belgian thread... (https://britishexpats.com/forum/belgium-netherlands-luxembourg-105/imaginatively-titled-belgian-thread-905311/)

BuckinghamshireBoy Oct 31st 2017 7:17 pm

An imaginatively titled Belgian thread...
 
... following on from the http://britishexpats.com/forum/nethe...%80%A6-894931/ 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

GeniB Nov 1st 2017 10:00 pm

Re: An imaginatively titled Belgian thread...
 

Originally Posted by BuckinghamshireBoy (Post 12372003)
... following on from the http://britishexpats.com/forum/nethe...%80%A6-894931/ 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) :lol: It gave me the neccessay kick to download a set of lessons today.. Onwards and upwards ..

BuckinghamshireBoy Nov 2nd 2017 4:46 pm

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.


Originally Posted by GeniB (Post 12372931)
... especially as my OH was prattling on ten to the dozen.. (the weasel) :lol: 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" :lol: 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

BuckinghamshireBoy Jan 14th 2018 12:33 pm

Re: An imaginatively titled Belgian thread...
 
Back Friday night from another productive week in Flanders. We now have full possession of the house, despite some last minute panic from the notary's office - "we have not seen the funds". Odd, I sent that four days previously. I checked my account, the payment hadn't bounced, they still couldn't find the money. At their office I showed them proof of transfer and within 5 minutes, lo and behold, they found the transfer of four days previous. The problem? International payment, whole amount in Euros, no Euro-cents, so I rounded up to the next whole Euro. They admitted that they were looking for the EXACT amount, and so missed it. I asked with just a hint of sarcasm just how many Swiss clients they had shifting that amount of money around this week.

On to the reading of the act of transfer - all 14 pages. The notaire apologised to me that this had to be done in Dutch, and I replied no problem and produced a copy of the act in English which I had translated a few days previously with help from Google. I was tempted to point out that French is one of the official languages in Belgium, but decided against it. Legalese is still legalese in any parlance, I just about managed to keep awake for the next 45 minutes. All sorted. We had already taken the seller out for coffee on the way to the notary's office, so back to the hotel for a celebratory Leffe!

The rest of the week was mostly practical stuff, meeting up with the renovation contractors - a great team, OH made a very good choice there - and visiting tile, wallpaper, kitchen and bathroom outlets. OH spent 45 minutes at the town hall sorting planning permission for various house alterations, whilst I went to a rendevous with my chosen bank to get all that side of things up and running. OH says mixed news; we can have the bijkeuken/buanderie, but we need about a month for the permission. We can't go with the phase 2 idea of putting a conservatory where the terrasse currently is then adding a new terrasse just down from that. That would be breaking the 'built on bits vs plot size' algorithm rules. I pointed out that according to those rules, our "new" house was already in breach. Speaking the next day with TeamLeaderRenovation, he just said "Welcome to Belgium; here you just get on with it". He reckoned that his current house was already about 180% of 'plot depth' rules and just said forget about all this planning permission stuff, just go for it. We were however correct to seek permission for the bijkeuken/buanderie as that means extra drainage which is a very sensitive (obviously here) issue, and thus liable for inspection once the work is completed.

For the rest of it, "if it can't be seen from the street, and doesn't upset the neighbours - then do what you want". Sister-in-law later confirmed this is the general way that things get done here. Archaic rules exist, everyone ignores them.

The 'Belgian way'. ;)

Lots to learn still.

BuckinghamshireBoy Feb 8th 2018 3:19 pm

Re: An imaginatively titled Belgian thread...
 
Just been 'slapped' by the local stadhuis/town hall regarding the planned extension for the laundry room. We don't need planning permission per se, but we need to provide documents so that the proposal can be 'aired in public' - a bit like publishing wedding banns I guess. Sure enough we didn't submit the 'right kind of information' first time around, so the second attempt has been vetted by the renovations head honcho and he's given his approval. Throws us back a couple of weeks on that one, but they 'might' be able to start on the foundations.

The interior renovations themselves are now fully underway, the manky old kitchen and bathroom have gone, as have all the floors downstairs and a couple of walls.

We're getting daily email updates from the renovators, and a bunch of photos when anything interesting happens.

The house here should go up on the market in 2-3 weeks time. :fingerscrossed:

V10 Feb 11th 2018 10:03 pm

Re: An imaginatively titled Belgian thread...
 
They managed to do our notarial akte in English (and it's noted as such in the notarised documentation itself).

My Dutch is not minimal, but this was appreciated nonetheless.

BuckinghamshireBoy Mar 14th 2018 1:16 pm

Re: An imaginatively titled Belgian thread...
 
The 'planning permission' for the laundry room has now been approved!

Onwards, onwards... ;)

BuckinghamshireBoy Mar 21st 2018 2:26 pm

Re: An imaginatively titled Belgian thread...
 
The mini 'beast from the east' may have bypassed us down here, but it's been causing a bit of grief up at the new house. On Friday the screed went in downstairs, ready for the tiling to start in a couple of weeks. Due to the extreme cold, it is not drying and the humidity throughout the house has risen enough to cause the plasterer some concern. The plasterer has quite a bit of work, as a lot of the downstairs interior walls were plain brick - think 1970's decor - so all that's got to be covered before they can be papered or crépied.

After consultation with the renovators, they've rented a couple of space heaters to try and get the temperature and humidity back to a workable level.

We've had one offer on the house down here, but totally it's unacceptable, the guy is simply taking the mick in extremis. I'll be explaining exactly why to the estate agent later this evening, not that he needs any convincing as he said this morning it was way too low.

Annetje Mar 23rd 2018 5:32 pm

Re: An imaginatively titled Belgian thread...
 
Hi, I just found this thread ... and ... guess what .... I used to live in Brasschaat in one of my lives ! Small world hey !
In the Augustijnslei right next to a school. My parents had a lot of trouble with this school because ''the kids (we were 8 ...) '' liked to upset the teachers there. I remember my oldest brother loving to play his electric guitar with the windows open :lol:. (he still plays in the Best punk band in Belgium called ''the kids'') The house has been demolished now and they put apartment block in ''our'' garden :thumbdown:.
Anyway, I am glad you've chosen B. I have done both (B & Nl) and there is no comparing. I noticed GeniB saying it might take a while before they accept you, but my experience is that the Belgians are the most tolerant people. Dutch people are much more reserved. Belgians can whinge a bit (maybe that is just my family though) but that will pass after a few beers.
Still have 1 brother (cancer) living in Brasschaat, another one in Wuustwezel (restaurant) a third one living in Antwerp (Rocker) and a fourth one in Gent (doesn't do anything). And then loads and loads of further family all over the place there.
I hope you will get all settled very soon and start enjoying your new life there.

BuckinghamshireBoy Mar 23rd 2018 6:45 pm

Re: An imaginatively titled Belgian thread...
 

Originally Posted by Annetje (Post 12468621)
Hi, I just found this thread ... and ... guess what .... I used to live in Brasschaat in one of my lives ! Small world hey !
In the Augustijnslei right next to a school. My parents had a lot of trouble with this school because ''the kids (we were 8 ...) '' liked to upset the teachers there. I remember my oldest brother loving to play his electric guitar with the windows open :lol:. (he still plays in the Best punk band in Belgium called ''the kids'') The house has been demolished now and they put apartment block in ''our'' garden :thumbdown:.
Anyway, I am glad you've chosen B. I have done both (B & Nl) and there is no comparing. I noticed GeniB saying it might take a while before they accept you, but my experience is that the Belgians are the most tolerant people. Dutch people are much more reserved. Belgians can whinge a bit (maybe that is just my family though) but that will pass after a few beers.
Still have 1 brother (cancer) living in Brasschaat, another one in Wuustwezel (restaurant) a third one living in Antwerp (Rocker) and a fourth one in Gent (doesn't do anything). And then loads and loads of further family all over the place there.
I hope you will get all settled very soon and start enjoying your new life there.

Small world indeed! ;) We're actually moving to Maria-Ter-Heide, so I know Wuustwezel quite well.

The extended family are in Stabroek, Ekeren, Kontich, Mortsel, Berendrecht... and the rest are in NL, France and San Francisco.

Thank you for the settling in wishes. We're beginning to get quite excited although we're still a few months away.

kotletki Apr 21st 2018 12:11 pm

Re: An imaginatively titled Belgian thread...
 
Hey guys. Anyone insured UK plated veichle in BE? Can you recommend me the firm.

:)
A.

Annetje Apr 21st 2018 4:40 pm

Re: An imaginatively titled Belgian thread...
 

Originally Posted by kotletki (Post 12486253)
Hey guys. Anyone insured UK plated veichle in BE? Can you recommend me the firm.

:)
A.

I'm not an expert but my feeling says it is not possible.
If anyone is in the know ?

BuckinghamshireBoy Apr 21st 2018 6:15 pm

Re: An imaginatively titled Belgian thread...
 

Originally Posted by Annetje (Post 12486377)
I'm not an expert but my feeling says it is not possible.
If anyone is in the know ?

I also doubt that it is possible.

Belgium is now closed until Monday apart from the really important stuff, duidelijk.

;)

Annetje Apr 21st 2018 6:42 pm

Re: An imaginatively titled Belgian thread...
 
Your Flemish is coming on nicely :thumbsup:

BuckinghamshireBoy Apr 29th 2018 1:11 pm

Re: An imaginatively titled Belgian thread...
 
Back last night from another week up north. The house renovations are coming on well, now with various walls down and the very 70's brick interior plastered over, the space and light now make it it look like the potential that we had first envisaged. Had good sessions with head-honcho renovator and the superb electrician. Some delays however (kitchen, flooring) have put the whole thing back about six weeks, so we'll be spending the bulk of this summer in CH rather than BE.

One big downside is that the roof really needs replacing :( We knew that it was iffy, but renovo-man says sooner rather than later. We'll just have to see whether it gets done this year or next, depending on when we can shed the CH house. Visits on this are still happening, just the one stupidly low offer so far, but the agent reckons that we're still 'correctly in the zone'.

Anyone replaced a roof recently? I'm looking at appropriately coloured metal tiles rather than slate or ceramic versions.

GeniB May 12th 2018 7:38 am

Re: An imaginatively titled Belgian thread...
 
Hi again Buckinghamshireboy... Sorry its taken so long to reply to your query...( 'why weasel OH is so good t Portuguese.' ? ) reason for delay being poor guy was taken very ill suddenly on Dec 3rd I have been off the Forum for several weeks as a result. Pretty horrific story of serious misdiagnosis by local (South African) doctor which resulted in my having to take action myself by ignoring her and rushing him to hospital. I can honestly say it saved his life. With the help of an excellent surgeon of course ha.Terrible shock to myself and YD ...along with some terrifyingly dangerous bureaucratic policies that almost stopped his operation... BUT enough of that.

Glad to hear everything is coming along in Belgium, Appologies Annetteje! I didn't mean that Belgians were unfriendly.. Far friendlier and streets nicer than the Dutch imo---:thumbup: Just that talking to those I know , they do admit that opening up to strangers. Foreigners particularly is difficult.Centuries of being invaded may give a clue as to why that might be. Being a Northerner myself I grew up chatting to people in bus queues or in shops,on the street. It was a natural thing ,They weren't too keen on it in the south of the UK,never mind in a foreign country.:lol:
You already have a head start Buck.it would seem with family all over Belgium. You will be fluent in no time..
As to why OH speaks Portuguese so well... He learn't Latin at his public school.,Makes a huge difference.
Good luck with the house.

BuckinghamshireBoy May 12th 2018 11:27 am

Re: An imaginatively titled Belgian thread...
 

Originally Posted by GeniB (Post 12498003)
Hi again Buckinghamshireboy... Sorry its taken so long to reply to your query...( 'why weasel OH is so good t Portuguese.' ? ) reason for delay being poor guy was taken very ill suddenly on Dec 3rd I have been off the Forum for several weeks as a result. Pretty horrific story of serious misdiagnosis by local (South African) doctor which resulted in my having to take action myself by ignoring her and rushing him to hospital. I can honestly say it saved his life. With the help of an excellent surgeon of course ha.Terrible shock to myself and YD ...along with some terrifyingly dangerous bureaucratic policies that almost stopped his operation... BUT enough of that.

Glad to hear everything is coming along in Belgium, Appologies Annetteje! I didn't mean that Belgians were unfriendly.. Far friendlier and streets nicer than the Dutch imo---:thumbup: Just that talking to those I know , they do admit that opening up to strangers. Foreigners particularly is difficult.Centuries of being invaded may give a clue as to why that might be. Being a Northerner myself I grew up chatting to people in bus queues or in shops,on the street. It was a natural thing ,They weren't too keen on it in the south of the UK,never mind in a foreign country.:lol:
You already have a head start Buck.it would seem with family all over Belgium. You will be fluent in no time..
As to why OH speaks Portuguese so well... He learn't Latin at his public school.,Makes a huge difference.
Good luck with the house.

Thanks GeniB.

On the subject of houses, we had a nibble on the Swiss house two weeks ago which has now turned into a proper bite. We don't have the fish in the net yet, but it's looking very good. Hope to have some firm news next week. :fingerscrossed:

BuckinghamshireBoy May 23rd 2018 4:29 pm

Re: An imaginatively titled Belgian thread...
 
On the sale of the Swiss house, after 26 viewings in just over two months, we had a 'statement of intent to propose a serious offer' - no sum mentioned - two weeks ago.

10 days ago the agent arrived with a serious offer - as in nicely in our comfort zone. We inserted one clause into the offer, and signed it.

Friday evening we received the 'acte promesse d'achat' from the solicitor, we returned it with the missing details and are hoping to sign definitively next week.

The buyers are our next door but one neighbours!

I had no idea that they were currently renting their property, apparently they've been looking to buy in the area for some time, they love this street, they love this house and are obviously fully aware of the road construction going on behind our respective properties, so that's not an issue for them.

Having previously been just on nodding and 'Bonjour' terms, the relationship is now coming on leaps and bounds; I saw the husband in the street the other day and he was grinning from ear to ear like I've rarely seen before. When I remarked on this to a Swiss friend, she replied "Ah, il portait une banane" - he was wearing a banana - an expression that I had not encountered before.

Looks like we're about to move to phase III. :thumbup:

BuckinghamshireBoy May 30th 2018 4:57 pm

Re: An imaginatively titled Belgian thread...
 
Phase III can now start in earnest. :egyptian:

Just back from the Swiss solicitor's 'one stop shop' for the fast-path signing of the contracts and necessary tax documents, logically that'll be our one and only visit.

Completion is set for September 1st - the buyers need 3 months to get out of their rental contract - but we could pull it forward by mutual consent. Haven't talked this through with them yet, but basically we're fine with that date.

Now we ramp up the frequency of visits to Belgium as the finishing touches get under way. :thumb:

BuckinghamshireBoy Jun 19th 2018 5:23 pm

Re: An imaginatively titled Belgian thread...
 
Bureaucracy kicks in again, this time from a different angle. For the upcoming move, we've adopted a 'division of labour' approach - I'm handling getting us out of Switzerland, OH is doing the Belgian end of things. Now the Belgian removals company of all people have reared their heads, and are demanding some obscure form for OH to complete "because she used to live there", so is potentially re-importing stuff that was exported 30-odd years ago. She isn't as it happens, but obtaining said form or a waiver is proving a monumental task, so she contacted the movers saying "Ok, forget about me, it's my husband who will be officially importing, and he's never lived there". The "nyah" :p was implied...

The removers said, oh there will be loads of import duty to pay. What rubbish! An EU citizen, moving to an EU state from an EEA member state? I think not, baby puppy. "Err, we'll get back to you..." Already got the wheels in motion to start getting hold of the myriad forms that they'll be wanting from me. I can't use any of OH's documents, that would be too easy...

Picking up on a couple of things coming out of the weather thread.


Originally Posted by Annetje (Post 12518678)
Btw, busy packing ?

Not really packing just yet, we're currently focussing on getting rid of stuff that won't be coming, and that is progressing nicely with the help of eldest SD. We've recovered most of the original packaging for electronic/delicate stuff, so that helps. OH has 'done' her clothes, I'm up for mine next week. And yes, I am taking my ski-suit.


Originally Posted by Expatrick (Post 12518681)
Plane spotting at Zaventem!

We'll be about 50km from Zaventem, and in all visits so far we haven't been bothered by commercial flights.

There is however a military airport in Brasschaat, which has been in use since 1910.

The following culled from Dutch Wikipedia:

"The airport is part of the military base of Maria-ter-Heide, which is part of the fortress belt around Antwerp. In addition to the airport there is an extensive training area, which is now largely used as a nature reserve. On April 16, 1913, the first Squadron of the 'Compangie des Aviateurs', the forerunner of the Belgian Air Force, was founded in Brasschaat.

At the moment there is little military activity, but this can change. Since 1 April 2016, the Brasschaat airport has been used for defensive purposes. Unmanned drones ascend from Brasschaat airport. The three aircraft, type B hunter, and their ground crew are stationed at the airport. The so-called Unmanned Aereal Vehicles carry out an assignment in support of the federal police in the context of counterterrorism. The aircraft always remain in the air for about eight hours, and are continuously guided from a control container in Brasschaat by a three-man crew.

The airport is also the home of the Royal Aeroclub Brasschaat (KACB), which fly gliding and recreational aviation."

Annetje Jun 19th 2018 5:49 pm

Re: An imaginatively titled Belgian thread...
 

Originally Posted by BuckinghamshireBoy (Post 12518871)
Bureaucracy kicks in again, this time from a different angle. For the upcoming move, we've adopted a 'division of labour' approach - I'm handling getting us out of Switzerland, OH is doing the Belgian end of things. Now the Belgian removals company of all people have reared their heads, and are demanding some obscure form for OH to complete "because she used to live there", so is potentially re-importing stuff that was exported 30-odd years ago. She isn't as it happens, but obtaining said form or a waiver is proving a monumental task, so she contacted the movers saying "Ok, forget about me, it's my husband who will be officially importing, and he's never lived there". The "nyah" :p was implied...

The removers said, oh there will be loads of import duty to pay. What rubbish! An EU citizen, moving to an EU state from an EEA member state? I think not, baby puppy. "Err, we'll get back to you..." Already got the wheels in motion to start getting hold of the myriad forms that they'll be wanting from me. I can't use any of OH's documents, that would be too easy...

Arggggggggggggg...... yes off course, you are not moving within the EU so you're bound to have to fill in paperwork. (little lesson for Brexiteers).
I used to work in that area but haven't been involved for years now.
I think the import duty will depend on regulations between EU and Switserland but, since you move your personal belongings, it would highly surprise me if you had to pay anything.
There might be a time limit on you importing your stuff (beware). They might also get suspicious if you import new stuff (still in the new boxes).
Probably you have to give a list of everything but that's just annoying, that's all.
I would make sure I use a reputable moving company that knows what they talk about though. (the ''little man with the van'' might not be a good choice)

Just paper work that's it .. . (I hope for you) !!!

Bon courage !!!!!!!!!!
.

BuckinghamshireBoy Jun 19th 2018 6:09 pm

Re: An imaginatively titled Belgian thread...
 

Originally Posted by Annetje (Post 12518876)
Arggggggggggggg...... yes off course, you are not moving within the EU so you're bound to have to fill in paperwork. (little lesson for Brexiteers).
I think the import duty will depend on regulations between EU and Switserland but, since you move your personal belongings, it would highly surprise me if you had to pay anything.

At the end of it, we don't have to pay anything, personal stuff EEA to EU, so just need to get our official Swiss exit papers in order.


Originally Posted by Annetje (Post 12518876)
There might be a time limit on you importing your stuff (beware).

There is, 12 months.


Originally Posted by Annetje (Post 12518876)
They might also get suspicious if you import new stuff (still in the new boxes).
Probably you have to give a list of everything but that's just annoying, that's all.
I would make sure I use a reputable moving company that knows what they talk about though. (the ''little man with the van'' might not be a good choice).

Yup, stuff must be at least 6 months old, otherwise VAT kicks in. Lists are being drawn up.

No little man, we're using several men with a very large camion, Meys, from... Brasschaat!.


Originally Posted by Annetje (Post 12518876)
Bon courage !!!!!!!!!!.

Dank je wel!

Annetje Jun 19th 2018 6:24 pm

Re: An imaginatively titled Belgian thread...
 

Originally Posted by BuckinghamshireBoy (Post 12518884)
At the end of it, we don't have to pay anything, personal stuff EEA to EU, so just need to get our official Swiss exit papers in order.



There is, 12 months.



Yup, stuff must be at least 6 months old, otherwise VAT kicks in. Lists are being drawn up.

No little man, we're using several men with a very large camion, Meys, from... Brasschaat!.



Dank je wel!

Karibu ;)
.

BuckinghamshireBoy Jun 21st 2018 10:37 am

Re: An imaginatively titled Belgian thread...
 
The removals company have now backed down; in parallel OH had emailed the Belgian customs department explaining the situation and seeking their advice. The 'magic form' is only required if one quits Belgium AND returns within 12 months.

They have also provided a list of hints/tips which I have yet to translate.

Annetje Jun 21st 2018 4:32 pm

Re: An imaginatively titled Belgian thread...
 

Originally Posted by BuckinghamshireBoy (Post 12519925)
The removals company have now backed down; in parallel OH had emailed the Belgian customs department explaining the situation and seeking their advice. The 'magic form' is only required if one quits Belgium AND returns within 12 months.

They have also provided a list of hints/tips which I have yet to translate.

It seems you and your OH have everything under control.
Good the movers abviously have asked some information so they might end up working WITH you !!!
One should not forget that, unless you use an very big international removal company, they might not be so ''in the knowing'' with paperwork.
Most of their work is (probably) within the EU so pack up and move. (Brexiteers pay attention :nod: )
You will get there in the end. Once the papers are getting started, the rest will just fall into place :fingerscrossed:
.

BuckinghamshireBoy Jul 14th 2018 1:55 pm

Re: An imaginatively titled Belgian thread...
 
Back late last night from a very busy, hugely successful week at ‘the new place’. Not actually there, but in the vicinity. It’s now coming together really well, still a bit of a delay, but the renovation people are pulling out all the stops to get back on target. This was the first time that we had seen the big new bathroom installed and also the drop-dead gorgeous kitchen in place. The roofing people – six of them! – were doing their stuff on Wednesday, should be finished with that by end Monday. Building work on the laundry room (or wet fridge room as I prefer to call it) is well under way, I know zip about construction, but was given a step through by one of the brickies, hugely impressed. A whole bunch of telephone, ISP, TV cable contracts fixed up, various bits and pieces purchased, and I came away with ‘smart-arse of the week' award.

This was all about the wallpaper choice; we had gone to the house to see the sample books, but due to the failing light decided to take them back to sis-in-law’s ranch and look properly the following morning. I skip-flicked through all 5 of these books, worked out what I wanted, wrote the reference number on a piece of paper and left it up to OH to do her thing. She narrowed it to a choice of 4, so we loaded the books into the car and set off back to the house, all 4 were compared in light, shade, room after room, finishing back in the lounge. OH says ‘on balance, I think this one’. I fished my piece of paper from my pocket, showed the reference number and received ‘ok smarty, now you can buy me lunch’. :lol:

Somehow three wonderful extended family meals got squeezed in, and also a visit to the the cat hotel where the hooligans are booked in whilst we sort stuff out. Just a few more weeks now… yay!

Hey, Annetje, I found a Greek restaurant in Wuustwezel, can't wait to try that place out. :fingerscrossed:

BuckinghamshireBoy Jul 15th 2018 1:43 pm

Re: An imaginatively titled Belgian thread...
 
Forgot to mention this yesterday.

Of all the stuff we bought last week, one of the things was my new car. Ok, ordered it, more than bought it, but all the paperwork is done and dusted, deposit paid. Just before signing the contract, the salesman asks "Would you like a discount?"

I replied "What do I have to do to obtain a discount?", he answered "You have to ask for one".

So far so good: "Could I have a discount please?"

"Of course you can", and lops EUR 3000 off the price. Wow!

"Now, before we sign the agreement, do you have any more questions?"

"Could I have another discount please?"

He packs up laughing, and says "Nice try, sorry, no can do. Never had that one tried on me before". ;)

Expatrick Jul 15th 2018 2:30 pm

Re: An imaginatively titled Belgian thread...
 
So BB, its all going rather well - splendid!

Annetje Jul 15th 2018 3:54 pm

Re: An imaginatively titled Belgian thread...
 

Originally Posted by BuckinghamshireBoy (Post 12533218)
Forgot to mention this yesterday.

Of all the stuff we bought last week, one of the things was my new car. Ok, ordered it, more than bought it, but all the paperwork is done and dusted, deposit paid. Just before signing the contract, the salesman asks "Would you like a discount?"

I replied "What do I have to do to obtain a discount?", he answered "You have to ask for one".

So far so good: "Could I have a discount please?"

"Of course you can", and lops EUR 3000 off the price. Wow!

"Now, before we sign the agreement, do you have any more questions?"

"Could I have another discount please?"

He packs up laughing, and says "Nice try, sorry, no can do. Never had that one tried on me before". ;)

:lol: You never lived in Africa ? I have to stop myself not asking for a discount in the supermarket. Mind you, have never heard of a salesman handling it like this ! Well done that man !

As for your Greek restaurant, I see they have nice reviews so should be good :fingerscrossed:

My brother used to have a ''cafe'' 50 meters further direction Breda ... now he has a restaurant even further on the same side (De Sterke Peer). He is trying to sell it so he can retire.
I could say, if you ever go there, say I recommended it and hope for a discount but but but, my brother is NOT like that ... doesn't do discounts, not even for the family ;)

All your lovely experiences in Belgium makes me feel homesick ! Maybe, after here, if global warming does go as quick as it feels at the moment, I should finaly retire in Belgium :blink:
Since my family seems to move in this direction, it might be the perfect time !

I am very very glad all seems to go smoothly despite you not being there all the time to supervise ! Let's hope the final move will go as easy.
I lost track about your paperwork, did you manage to sort that out ?

BuckinghamshireBoy Jul 15th 2018 5:03 pm

Re: An imaginatively titled Belgian thread...
 

Originally Posted by Expatrick (Post 12533230)
So BB, its all going rather well - splendid!

Mostly... see below.


Originally Posted by Annetje (Post 12533265)
You never lived in Africa ?

Never lived there, but travelled – mostly camping - quite a few times, South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe – before it got ‘difficult’ – and Malawi. Shopping in southern Africa is certainly a bit ‘different’ to say the least. :nod:



Originally Posted by Annetje (Post 12533265)
... now he has a restaurant even further on the same side (De Sterke Peer).

Looks good, I’ll be checking that out for sure. I am an absolute sucker for the duo croquettes cheese and shrimp. :thumbup:


Originally Posted by Annetje (Post 12533265)
I lost track about your paperwork, did you manage to sort that out ?

On the Belgian side I think we’re ok, although OH told me earlier that the Gemeentehuis (local town hall) has moved, and she can’t find where to ???

On the Swiss side, the fun continues. We need our exit papers for the Belgian authorities, the removals company, my state pension office and a few other places as well. In order to get the exit papers, we have to be paid up for taxes for this year (not silly, these people). I checked out what the tax office needs, they want a copy of last year’s declaration (why?) a departure form completing (ok, downloaded) and a new declaration for this year.

I couldn’t find the ‘this year’ declaration form anywhere, then saw that the website had been updated to say it’s available in the tax office. Always a painful exercise, I went down there about 12 days ago, took my waiting ticket and waited. And waited and waited. After around 45 minutes my number came up, I explained why I was there, and was offered the already downloaded departure form. No, I want the ‘this year’ tax form. Oh, you just do that as usual… either with the software package, or get your accountant to do it.

Good grief! I pointed out that in that case their website was misleading, she looked at it and said “Oh yes, so it is, thank you, I will mention it”. Grrr! :thumbdown:

Expatrick Jul 15th 2018 5:13 pm

Re: An imaginatively titled Belgian thread...
 

Good grief! I pointed out that in that case their website was misleading, she looked at it and said “Oh yes, so it is, thank you, I will mention it”. Grrr! https://britishexpats.com/forum/imag.../thumbdown.gif
At least she admitted it (& something may even get done about it).
I had a similar experience with the rail Company in Austria & again the girl admitted it & promised to escalate the problem.

In the UK your attention would probably have been drawn to the sign on the wall relating to the "Harassment of Staff..."

Annetje Jul 15th 2018 6:11 pm

Re: An imaginatively titled Belgian thread...
 
Paperwork ... always good for a laugh (later on) ... Had a big smile reading all that.
And they dare to say the French are difficult !
This all will teach you about leaving the EU and wanting to return within :nod: (Brits take notice)

The first time I got married (:lol:) was in that gemeentehuis !

Don't despair, I am sure you will get there at the end !

BuckinghamshireBoy Aug 7th 2018 4:00 pm

Re: An imaginatively titled Belgian thread...
 
Last night received the latest batch of photos from Team Renovation. Looking very good now, the laundry room is finished, just needs the outside brickwork rendering and painting, too hot for that at the moment, but next week should be ok.

We threw a late request for one additional window – to replace an existing one in the visitor WC, expecting a quote for that tonight.

It’s still very hot up there, so wallpaper man has adopted a holding pattern until next week. Several people have been in after 7pm to finish stuff that was unworkable during the daytime heat.

And the cat-flap is now in, so that means that the external wall insulation (foam expansion) can now take place, again planned for next week.

Looks like we're back on target.

Expatrick Aug 8th 2018 8:32 am

Re: An imaginatively titled Belgian thread...
 

Originally Posted by BuckinghamshireBoy (Post 12544510)
Last night received the latest batch of photos from Team Renovation. Looking very good now, the laundry room is finished, just needs the outside brickwork rendering and painting, too hot for that at the moment, but next week should be ok.

We threw a late request for one additional window – to replace an existing one in the visitor WC, expecting a quote for that tonight.

It’s still very hot up there, so wallpaper man has adopted a holding pattern until next week. Several people have been in after 7pm to finish stuff that was unworkable during the daytime heat.

And the cat-flap is now in, so that means that the external wall insulation (foam expansion) can now take place, again planned for next week.

Looks like we're back on target.

Excellent - managing building work from a distance can be tricky but you seem to have a good team.

Annetje Aug 8th 2018 9:29 am

Re: An imaginatively titled Belgian thread...
 
Indeed, sounds all very positive !
If I ever need a building crew around there, I'll aks for details.
When is M-day supposed to be ?

BuckinghamshireBoy Aug 8th 2018 11:43 am

Re: An imaginatively titled Belgian thread...
 

Originally Posted by Annetje (Post 12544860)
Indeed, sounds all very positive !
If I ever need a building crew around there, I'll aks for details.
When is M-day supposed to be ?

M-day is 'staggered', the cats go to their 'hotel' in Oud Turnhout Monday 27th, the camion should be loaded and departing Thursday 30th, and we will drive up Saturday 1st.

We'll be sleeping in an hotel just over the border in France for a few nights before we leave.

BuckinghamshireBoy Aug 13th 2018 4:07 pm

Re: An imaginatively titled Belgian thread...
 
Was going to put this in "What has p*issed you off today", but for the sake of continuity and it's only raised a bit of a growl rather than really p*ssing me off...

OH received an email this morning from the removals company informing us that they had been advised by Belgian customs that our shipment won’t clear on the appointed date, and there will be a ‘one or two day’ delay. :thumbdown:

Belgium is obviously becoming a desirable location!

In practical terms there’s not too much impact, we’ll be holed up at Sis-In-law’s place; we’ll have to extend the cats “holiday” in their hotel for a few days, but we’ll be without our goods and chattels for 8-9 days. Logistics rethink... :confused:

Annetje Aug 13th 2018 5:34 pm

Re: An imaginatively titled Belgian thread...
 

Originally Posted by BuckinghamshireBoy (Post 12547713)
Was going to put this in "What has p*issed you off today", but for the sake of continuity and it's only raised a bit of a growl rather than really p*ssing me off...

OH received an email this morning from the removals company informing us that they had been advised by Belgian customs that our shipment won’t clear on the appointed date, and there will be a ‘one or two day’ delay. :thumbdown:

Belgium is obviously becoming a desirable location!

In practical terms there’s not too much impact, we’ll be holed up at Sis-In-law’s place; we’ll have to extend the cats “holiday” in their hotel for a few days, but we’ll be without our goods and chattels for 8-9 days. Logistics rethink... :confused:

I'm sorry about that, must be the impact of my brother retiring (ex-customs officer) ... ;)
Just keep your eye on the wider picture, It will all work out in the end :nod:
It will feel like Christmas when you finaly are able to unpack all these goodies !

And PS Belgium was always a desirable location, just not the weather :p


.

BuckinghamshireBoy Aug 13th 2018 6:08 pm

Re: An imaginatively titled Belgian thread...
 

Originally Posted by Annetje (Post 12547773)
And PS Belgium was always a desirable location, just not the weather :p.

Always has been desirable to me, and this year, certainly over the last two months it has been hotter up there than it has down here. ;)

Annetje Aug 13th 2018 6:19 pm

Re: An imaginatively titled Belgian thread...
 

Originally Posted by BuckinghamshireBoy (Post 12547788)
Always has been desirable to me, and this year, certainly over the last two months it has been hotter up there than it has down here. ;)

:thumbsup:

Give it another summer like this and I might reconsider my options :wink_smile:

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