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Brussels - Grand Place - Krista photo

“The streets are full of Arabs and Africans, while women in headscarves push prams, with endless older children in tow. A few hundred meters from the city center the trash is piled in heaps, there’s dog doo everywhere, and men in robes sit in front of their shops.

The newcomers yell to one another in the street, and congregate in front of the once-pretty, colorful Belgian houses. The indigenous population, meanwhile, bypass the settlers with some dull, collective indifference, pretending it’s the most natural thing in the world. They lower their heads and quicken their steps. No police to be seen.

Of course, the downtown area is more orderly – there are more policemen, and plenty of beautiful old houses, churches and palaces. But even there, everything is run-down, dirty and decaying. (2019)

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“We didn’t see the dirt that so many people complain about, but we did see a very large number of homeless people. Especially around the train station, the underpasses and the metro stations. This came as a surprise to us, since for us the idea of Western Europe and the welfare state go hand in hand. Of course, we knew that even in Western Europe the economic situation would result in losers as well as winners, but it was shocking that the generally well-functioning social care and support network had so many people to deal with, and so many problems to solve. (2019)”


Practicals

Transport

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Brussels - rental scooter - Krista photo

Food

A three-course meal for 2 people in a mid-range restaurant (2020):60 Euro

Brussels - restaurant terrace - Krista photo

Brussels - waffles

Shopping

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Brussels - full kitsch or troll marketing? - p.k. photo

Others

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Brussels - Manneken Peace - street art

Background

Brussels - typical houses - e.m. photo

Destination in brief

Brussels is almost in the middle of Belgium, in the Flemish part of the country.

Population (in 2020): 2 million - According to some estimates, 70% of the city's population is not of Belgian descent;  half of the population is Arab, African, and Turkish.

French is the dominant language in the city.

Average net monthly salary (in 2020): 2300 Euro

People

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Brussels - local of Moroccan origin - ata photo

Attractions

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