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

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:


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