Belgen mensen zijn serious – Belgian people are serious.

Well, yes this is mostly true. If you upset a serious Belgian you’ll get the bottom lip, much like this:

Belgian Bottom Lip

Upset Belgians also make the most delicate of “popping” sounds, like a tender “pffff” to signal indifference or that they’re not in approval of something.

I have the feeling Belgians are very serious in public, but in the privacy of their homes they love a good laugh. Thinking about it a little more, I’m pretty sure that’s how it is! When we visit my second-cousin-once-removed (sounds intriguing doesn’t it?) the dinner table is always, always jovial, noisy, raucous with laughter and fun-poking which is anything but serious!

There are indeed times to be serious and Belgians are good at that too. Business is done in an impeccable manner here and it takes some getting used to if you’re used to doing business how my country of origin is used to doing business.

The Application:

There is a season and a time for everything and the trick is to carefully determine when it’s acceptable to be casual and funny and when to be flat-line dead serious, when to throw a cream pie and when to throw a grenade.

I’m still learning those lessons.

Ciao for now.

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