1. Economic performance of Belgium in percentage growth terms is currently oustripping that of the US, UK, Germany, etc. This is attributed by several reputable commentators to Belgium not having a government. Go figure.
2. Get THE owl mug of the season before it's even in stock at the V&A.
(courtesy of Hunting & Collecting, Brussels premier fey hipster destination retail outlet, where I once saw, and surreptitiously photographed, this:
a "hairbrush", as in, a brush topped with hair. Bleeeeeh.)
Do not be too harsh on what I accept is my entirely unnecessary cup buying. I literally haven't bought anything but food, household cleaning materials and fournitures scolaires for about three months. I will be returning to my Cif and cornflakes ways immediately.
3. Excellent quality universal health care, including, in my personal experience:
- ambulance collection when you faint on a tram, thus: fall over, nee-naw, nee-naw, nee-naw, gurney, oh, you're fine now, nevermind.
- arse x-ray when you fall over in the street. Technician will do relatively well at not laughing as they 'position' you and your damaged cocyx.
- amazingly nice hospital café where you might actually go voluntarily and which sells Pierre Marcolini chocolate. For health reasons, of course.
- A&E departments which can rapidly, cheerfully, fairly brusquely restitch your child in under an hour or your money back (not the last bit).
- compensatory morphine when they leave you in the fracture room by mistake for 7 hours when you are too immobile to escape and too British to call for help.
- Benzodiazepines prescribed as a little treat for migraine sufferers.
4. If you have a child, it will be sent to the Côte d'Or factory for patriotic indoctrination purposes. They will admire giant vats of melted chocolate ("the size of that HOUSE. Turned on its side") and watch a "really boring" video about chocolate. They will design their own chocolate wrapper to put on their own bar of chocolate. But! Then, better still, they will be sent home with "a gift package to discover with your family". Clearly, this is the kind of cynical, brand building exercise one would expect from the evil Kraft empire. However, I am now in possession of a family sized bar of Côte d'Or's Sistine Chapel of industrial chocolate, the mythic Chocolat au Lait aux Amandes Caramelisées avec une Pointe de Sel so my ethical objections are temporarily set aside. (Incidentally, I am led to believe that having a baby in Belgium is something like spending a fortnight at luxury spa, in the manner of Chewton Glen or similar, though sadly I have no experience of this and am willing to be contradicted)
5. Bobbi Brown is finally arriving at Cosmeticary, which means no more bulk importing of Caviar Ink gel eyeliner.
6. The collection of anatomical wax models at the Université Libre de Bruxelles medical museum.
7. Hours of fun imagining alternative Mannekin Pis outfits, viz:
- Maman from Chez Maman (actually, Maman should probably get an entry all to herself in 'reasons to move to Brussels 'see a grumpy middle aged man in American Tan tights stumping around lip synching half-heartedly on top of a bar in a tiny sauna where you may be imprisoned against your will')
- Darth Vader
(Though frankly, nothing I can come up with would be more bizarre than the real ones. Nelson Mandela, anyone? "Tibetan monk?")
8. Excellent employment opportunities in old age as a dame pipi
9. You can always be vague about where you live. "Europe", or "on the continent" are good answers, I find.
How would you lure someone do move to where you live?