I have been too busy to write for weeks with all the effort required in moving from Leuven to Brussels. Coordinating a 15-story crane, a moving company, Ikea and police departments in Leuven and Brussels was not fun, but eventually everything came together and a small truck moved all our (very few) material possessions from Leuven to Brussels. The apartment is slowly coming together, made more complicated by the Belgian habit of taking everything with you when you leave the house, down to the light bulbs and fixtures (leaving bare wires hanging from the rood). Lydia followed the process in her blog.
In some ways we are only 25km removed, in others we are in two different worlds. Leuven is a small Flemish university town, Brussels is a large predominantely French-speaking metropolis. From the bourgeoise neighbourhood of inner Leuven, full of boutique shops and elegant Flemish youths, we are now in gritty Porte de Hal, Bruxelles (or Hallepoort, Brussel, if you are a Flemish speaker), a melting pot of French-speaking cultures from around Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.