Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Social Orientation Class - Day 1

This time it appears to be bearable.

The mix in class is interesting.
2 Moldovans
2 Finns
1 Nigerian
someone from the Carribean (she lived in Montego Bay back there)
1 Dane
1 South African
1 Slovakian
and the New Zealander.

There are two photographers and the husband of a photographer within that small mix of people.

Today we discussed what we knew about Europe and Belgium in small groups. We also got to talk on interesting subjects like Turkey joining the EU (I can imagine your face on reading that, Shannon) and I even asked about BHV at the appropriate moment.

Manic had told me that if I could explain BHV to his Belgian self then I was orientated and had no need of class.
So I explained.
When I asked the teacher if she meant BHV as she was talking about the problems with Brussels, she kind of sighed and sat down and said that BHV was a very complicated thing that few Belgians understood.

I wasn't even being a brat, I had just assumed that she would have understood it.

Oh, other contentious issue was which city is the biggest in Belgium.
My man from Antwerpen says it's Antwerpen because Brussels only gets so big because they count all the communes ...

Actually Manic, it's like you read the lesson plan with your questions earlier today because I did end up saying but Brussels isn't a province, is it? when we were discussing the provinces question and that, my Belgian friend, was all because of you.



Manictastic said...

See this BHV thing is very important for your integration because now you have the same sense of it as we do, namely: Oh boy, how am I going to do this. Yup, you are one step closer to becoming a Belgian. Now all you have to do is learn how to make pralines, beer and the food they served you in Wallonia. Please have it mastered for me next visit :P

V-Grrrl said...

And what is BHV, says the ignorant American who is leaving in mid-March.

If we wait long enough, PETER will explain EVERYTHING and provide links and juicy commentary.

Right Peter?

Di Mackey said...

I could never make food like that stunning food I ate in Wallonia. You'll have to settle for kiwi food ;)

BHV ... have you not been studying every comment box here, v-grrrl? Tsk tsk tsk ;)

“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.'

And where has Peter disappeared to?

V-Grrrl said...

Well Di, I was thinking BHV might be a form of venereal disease so I was skimming through the parts on it until yesterday.

Now I've gotten it (BHV, not venereal disease, thank you), but don't quiz me on it later because like Pooh, I have fluff between my ears these days.