Born with a brick in our stomac

In North-America people are said to live the "American dream". About Belgians it is said that we are born with "a brick in our stomac". Our Belgian national dream is to own our own house, to have built or renovated it to our wishes so it becomes our dream house where we live for the rest of our lives.

On average, I don't think we move as much as other cultures, although the younger generations are probably more mobile. Still, seeing the small surface of our country, we never really need to move when we change jobs.

Belgians like security (there is a reason we have the second biggest savings quota in the world after the japanese...we don't spend, we save!), we like to own our house. After all it's the most stable saving anyway. But it's more than just a financial transaction...it is our home, the place we feel good at, the place we get very attached to. And most of us don't just want to buy the house someone else has designed or built, no no no, we need to have our own input and change it to our wishes.

At tv multiple reality shows like "De Brekers", "The Block", "baksteen in de maag", "De Werf", present us multiple construction sites and adventures followed by multiple design and decoration programs. It shows our society's interest for the subject.

The last years I was fully participating in the national sport of renovations and I actually like it. I don't think I'd be able to simply move into someone else's house just like that, unless I know it's a temporary place. Also most of my colleagues and friends have gone through renovations / moving/ house buying during the last years, so we surely could exchange experiences during our breaks :).

Today Belgian's yearly biggest construction/renovation fair has started again: Batibouw. It draws 370000 people which accounts for 3% of our population! But Jan and I won't go this year and I am relieved as a matter of fact. Or it's better to say: my back and my feet are relieved. The fair is so big and the result are sore feet, and sore arms and a sore back after carrying bags full of folders and documentation for hours during the multiple halls. Batibouw is interresting if you still need to start major works. But once the major works itself have been finished, you can't get much inspiration there for interior decoration. The focus is too much on bricks, heating systems, roof systems, climatisation, central vacuuming systems , windows, stairs, etc... The halls about kitchens and bathrooms are quite interesting and get you dreaming but we have fortunately made all our choises by now. Yippeeee.

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