Belgium

Arrival

You might think that after living in Japan, moving to Brussels would be like coming home. You'd be wrong. I don't have any friends or family here, and no one says "g'day" for a start. And the differences go deeper than that. How could they not, here on the other side of the world? I arrived in mid November following a panic of visa applications. My company in Japan had taken me off the payroll, but the company in Belgium couldn't put me on unless I'd worked more than half the month there, which meant that I had to be in the office from the 16th. Of course I landed on the 15th, and then let out the breath that I'd been holding for six weeks. Speaking of salary, that's something that's not at all like home. Here, they pay on a 13.92 month year which I find even more bizarre than the 18.1 month year of Japan. Someone should show these countries a calendar. Then again, someone should get their hands on the Japanese calendar and show it to the Aussie employers. Holidays are pretty cool here too. We get 25 days of standard leave. Five full weeks! But that's not all. They work us a bit extra each day, then add all the extra minutes up for a total of 6 days. The company chooses when to use three of those - they're pretty nice about it, choosing days that turn a public holiday on Tuesday into a 4-day weekend when they can - and the other three are left to our discretion. Even better than that, due to a paradox in the leave laws in the two countries, I got a year

By |May 16th, 2002|Categories: Belgium|0 Comments