Life in Belgium is grand, but there are a few irritations. One of my pet peeves is the language default override that a lot of major IT companies seem to have. Go to Adobe to download Acrobat, and it recognises your IP as Belgian and automatically redirects you to French page. Force it to go to the English version and download, and the download is imbedded in Dutch for some reason. Or iTunes - already one of the most irritating pieces of software ever invented - will download the installation software in French. One of the first choices is which language you want to use, but this selection is ignored for the installation process and only corrects in final software package. Oddly enough, Google is my pet hate. Fantastic that they have so many language options, but if I am logged in and have selected English as my language, don't revert to Dutch if I search in the tool bar instead of the search bar, or if I go to Blogger or Maps*. In a multi-lingual country like Belgium, I wonder how much thought they put into the default language? Why does Facebook redirect my IP address to French and Bing to Dutch?
On a related note I would be amiss if I didn't take this opportunity to vent on our own website, the University of Leuven. The website is, of course, in Dutch, but they have a helpful link on the top of every page to the English version. For all but the simplest pages you need to navigate in the Dutch version, because critical intermediate pages don't exist in English. Then you get to the page you want in Dutch and click "English version". Sometimes there is an English version and the buttons links you to it, sometimes there is an English version and the button takes you back to the homepage instead of showing it to you, and sometimes there is no English version and you get taken back to the homepage. Oh, and do you think you can use the handy Google Language Tools for 1-click translation, sorry but the University has somehow disabled this option.
* Actually, Google Maps is now fixed, a vast improvement from when Maps would override your language preference to show you directions in the local language, making one of the best tools for travellers rather irritating. Now if only they could fix the ever-shrinking text - I zoom in and in to try and read the microscopic writing, only to find them taunting me by shrinking it further and further - but that, dear reader, is a peeve for another day.