Apparently I do not want to be in Antwerp

Because VISA is not here! It was a bit distressing coming here with only 15€ in my pocket and finding out that people don’t take credit cards the way everybody does in the USA. Anyway, there was a bank that understood my card and could give me cash.

This is my first time out of the USA (barring Canada), so I’m enjoying observing the differences. Although there are some interesting points, it’s more similar than I expected.

  • The outlets are those weird european ones, so I can’t plug in my computer (without ganking an adapter from a coworker). I was going to go to a store and buy one, but
  • Stores close at or around 17:00! How am I supposed to satisfy my electronics craving after dinner?
  • People write times in 24-hour format, there’s no AM/PM.
  • There is a different meme at stoplights on foot. In the USA, each person or group of people presses the button. Here, it seems that people only press the button if there’s nobody already waiting. That is, they trust people to have already pushed it… which makes sense.
  • I always like trying new weird food. This is made easier when one cannot read the menus.
  • “Met” means “with” in Dutch. Other words have other meanings.
  • A glass of water costs 1.50€ at restaurants. That could be related to the fact that tap water in this country is not what I would consider drinkable.

It’s actually not that hard to get around not being able to read anything. It’s fun being here.


8 thoughts on “Apparently I do not want to be in Antwerp

  1. Great to have a new functional programmer in Belgium!

    All ATMs accept VISA, if you need cash :)

  2. Hoi Luke, hoe gaat het met jou?

    But seriously, there’s lots of cool stuff in Belgium. I really enjoyed Leuven and the rest of Flanders. Flemish is my favorite flavor of Dutch!

  3. You’re supposed to drink the beer, not the water ;-)

    More seriously, I’m a bit surprised that you’re not finding English versions of menus. In my experience in Belgium (3 years living there), virtually all restaurants had one.

  4. Welcome to Belgium! :). As Tom Schrijvers said, indeed good to have another functional programmer here (maybe it’s time for a Belgian functional programming users group?).

    Stores close at around 18:00 normally, might be you were out of luck with that particular store.

    Be sure to try Belgian fries (“frieten”) and to drink a “trappist” ;).

  5. So I guess that means we just had your farewell jam session on Nolan’s Birthday? Happy Antwerping!

  6. You all are assuming I have moved here! I am just visiting for a week. Though it is very probable that I will move here soon.

    Thank you for all the kind words though.

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