Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Social Orientation ... again

My new social orientation classes begin today ...

I am promised that 'In this course you will get tons of important and useful information about life in Belgium, Flanders and Antwerp.'

This time I'm on the business English course however I've been warned that the same course book is used. The one that advises me to walk on the footpath when in the city.

I've been told I'll have homework, as I only have 5 weeks of one night per week on this course.

I can only imagine that they think I've lived inside a New Zealand bubble in Belgium till now.

Meanwhile I'm reading through an overview of the present political situation in Belgium and checking the English today. Tomorrow I'm starting a new photography project with immigrant kids here in the city. I attended an Antwerpen Alderman's New Year reception last weekend and this weekend I have another political function to attend. Lut introduced me to things Wallonian recently and Flanders Fields with its history of war has become a second home to me here in Belgium.

Me, have an attitude about social orientating myself in Belgie after almost 3 years ...?

As if.


Manictastic said...

We'll know if you have integrated well enough if you can explain BHV. If not, I'm sorry but you will have to go stand in the line of people who have to pay taxes.

furiousBall said...

I need social orientation every morning before work... and after.

What I refer to as social orientation others normal refer to as vodka.

Di Mackey said...

Okay Manic, so you will see, once and for all that I am socially orientated ...

“BHV” or “Brussel-Halle-Vilvoorde”. is a combined Brussels-Flemish “constituancy”.

Because Brussels is officially bi-lingual, it means that french-speaking (Wallonian) parties can run in this area and that in part of Flanders, people can vote for them.

The constitutional court ruled that this was unconstitutional and the situation has to be changed before new elections can be held.

Flemish parties want to do this by splitting the constituency in a Brussels and a Flemish part, Walloon parties want to keep the votes of french-speaking inhabitants of that part of Flanders.

She brushes off her hands ;)

Lol, is that so furiousball?

Manictastic said...

Congratulations, you succeed in integrating in Belgium, please go stand over there with all the other tax payers. Thank you! :D

And now for the million dollar question -which you won't get even if you win. Is Brussels a province? If not, does it form part of the province of Flemish Brabant? Really, please answer coz I have no idea.

Di Mackey said...

It's not a province but the commonly held belief is that it falls outside all provinces.

I could be wrong, after all I'm still in need of social orientation.

Pam said...

Attitude about Belgium? I hadn't noticed. :)

You know, I refused to do the citizenship path for Austria because I didn't want to do the course work.

Di Mackey said...

You know ... I tried to refuse too but there's a fairly serious 5000euro fine for bad immigrants lol.

I can't believe the Austrians let you off. They're so 'special' about immigration - from all I've seen, she writes, generalising wildly.

Manictastic said...

Di you became a citizen, Pam didn't. They let her off because of that. You could perfectly well be living here with a staying permit or something(but you would be unable to do the job you do).

Di Mackey said...

Pam married an Austrian - it's enough over there. No compulsary classes with a 5000euro fine for not attending actually :)

Di Mackey said...

Oh, I asked my teacher about BHV - she was a little horrified but it was in context. She was talking of the area so I asked if she was talking of BHV.

I offered her my paragraph on it ;)

Thomas said...

What do you think of your social orientation course so far?

Di Mackey said...

Thomas, I found it okay but it would have been better to have been forced to go when I first arrived. Threatening me with a huge fine for non-attendance didn't impress me at all. I came here as a favor to my Belgian who has kids and had never been interested in Europe as a destination.

I had already researched or experienced most of the things they taught us, although we did have a lovely teacher which helped, as the standard text book has to be negotiated because it is appalling.

In many ways it seemed like a pc 21st century thing ... if it had have taken more of my time than the 5 weeks of one night per week it took, I would have been furious.

But hey, freedom of movement in the 21st century is a long lost dream.