Turns out the job Ms. Chicken has been chasing is in....Brussels.
Now nothing against the fine folks of Brussels but that was, initially, more than a bit disappointing.
I have a habit of eavesdropping on important phone calls and what I heard went something like this: "Oh. The jobs not in Paris? Brussels? Oh, Brussels. Ok well I'm going to have to think about that. Brussels. Hmmm."
And on the other side of the door I began googling "Brussels with children".
Paris is sexy. Everyone knows that.
Brussels is... Um. You see, that's the problem. Aside from beer, frites and chocolates--we knew next to nothing about Brussels.
Less than 24 hours later we'd found out enough to be sold. Turns out Brussels is a mighty fine place for a little lesbian family.
-Second country in the world to legalize gay marriage 10 years ago in 2003
-European Union headquarters means many, many expats from all over the world. This is a city used to dealing with "different" (Paris, for all her charms, does not embrace "different").
-Housing prices are much cheaper than we could have even imagined. And because of the expat in/out way of life there is a constant surplus to choose from.
-Green. My god it's green. Forests and parks everywhere.
-French is the dominant language spoken, followed by English and then Flemish. Yes, the ability of being able to conduct at least some of life in English is expat "lite", I know. But it's better than than being reduced to tears on a daily basis (like the last time I lives in Paris) because my French sucks.
-FREE preschool! Yes, I've been planning on homeschooling here in NYC and road schooling while traveling long term but c'mon this is totally different. They can go to 'maternelle' from 8:30am-3:30pm M-F with a half day on Wednesdays. And it's ALL in French. If we're going to do it, lets DO IT.
Best of all there is a huge, active expat women's community that has already welcomed my inquires with welcome arms. You can never underestimate the power of community--especially since we have such a strong one in NYC we will be leaving behind.
The weather is less than spectacular. There will be a lot of rain. Perhaps cold rain. With grey skies. This part sucks and does give me pause. But then I remember how close and easy it is to travel around the region and what an adventure it will be.
I'll buy a sunlamp, do more yoga, up the antidepressants and embrace the changes.
Hmmm.....Brussels? Didn't see that one coming.
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