I have been spending my days pounding the pavement in search of an apartment. We were very excited about the prospect of inhabiting a traditional maison de maître bruxellois - until I encountered some of the specimens I have seen. Let's just say that this picture is an understated representation of these real estate gems - and that apparently beaucoup de charme generally means unrenovated and spectacularly tacky. Possibly haunted, too.
While viewing one of these apartments, I was informed that the upstairs neighbor is, in fact, a Duchess (Keira Knightley, I hope). The apartment itself could best be described as a nightmarish version of your Versailles-obsessed grandmother's digs. I was also told that the housekeeper (housekeeper?) who had recently been brought to Belgium from the Phillipines, could, for a fee, "help with extra ironing."
The best part was when I actually got to meet the Filipina housekeeper, who asked me whether I was Chinese, because, she said, pointing at her own eyes, "I can see it in your eyes." (Wow, haven't gotten that one since grade school.) I think (but am not sure) the exceedingly formal Belgian real estate broker was embarrassed.
1 year ago