Events / Life

Babylon? No, Brussels

French, English, Spanish, Italian, Bulgarian…One of the things I have always loved about Brussels is its multilingualism. Wherever you are in the city, languages reach you with their melody and mix in a beautiful polyphony. The eternal music of Brussels, our contemporary Babylon.

The main difference however is that, hey, we do speak foreign languages here. With a virtuous  easiness we switch from one language to another and enjoy our cosmopolitanism with an unhidden content. Here we are, the bruxellois,  the citizens of the world who today are here but who knows where you will find us tomorrow. For one thing however I would not bet – despite all our language skills, it is very much possible that they did understand each other better in the before-all-times Babylon…

Back to Brussels and its multilingualism, last Friday I went to MUlti LaNGuaGe mEEt uP<-FR-NL-DE-UK-ES-IT >> at Scott’s Cafe Bar. This was my first Meetup. Having been Sofia Ambassador for InterNations and a regular participant in their Brussels events for almost a year, I can write a thesis on their culture. Meetup however is still new to me but once I get to know it better, I might come up with a comparative analyses between the two concepts in a future post. For now the first thing which immediately grabs my attention is the fact that Meetup is actually free whereas to be able to see the details of InterNations events, one must become an Albatross member which comes with a fee…

But anyway – the mezzanine of Scott’s bar was full. Their website says that 82 persons attended the meetup and this could have very well been the case.

A guy in the corner was offering little paper flags to stick to clothes as a sign of the target language(s). I immediately garnished my dress with the French and Spanish flags. Soon after I was already practicing French with a Swedish guy. Later on Spanish took over and I spent the rest of my time there, chatting with a Spanish woman, followed by a Spanish man, while having a white beer, recommended to me by the friendly barman (not too strong, please, fresh, please, I am thirsty!).

To sum it up: it was a nice, useful and fun experience. I did enjoy it and left with the feeling I had not wasted my time which has not always been the case with other expat initiatives. I hear they organise it regularly there (every Friday?) so I am planning to go back. Et vous?

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