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I think I could LOVE Waffles and Chocolate…

November 1, 2007

Sometimes, I underestimate the power of Facebook. I forget that, on average, people check it 312,341,234 times a day. And that’s just if they are at work. Who knows what the count is for people at school.

I never imagined that sharing the fact that my latest activity is filling out Visa forms would result in actual questions about my plans! (awww shucks, people stalk me! or they are really bored, either way…)

So. Rather than bother people with with emails or try to explain this all in a a wall posting, I’ll just share the news here…

I’m moving to Brussels! As in Belgium. As in Europe

Now for the details…

Who: Me. (duh)

What: Moving to Belgium in January.  

Where: To start, I’ll be living in a little University town, called Leuven, and working in Brussels.

A panoramic shot of Leuven (looks a LOT like Pittsburgh, huh?):

Why: uhh…  because it’s the experience of a lifetime? Because I’ve wanted to live in Europe since my first trip to Epcot’s World Showcase? Because the boyfriend is going to be there for another 3 years and the 6 hour time difference b/n Brussels and Pittsburgh is just irritating?

Sorta. But. I wouldn’t go over just to hang out. Or be an itinerant philosopher. Or work at Starbucks (do they even have Starbucks?).  I’m just not that impulsive. (I guess I really am an accountant.) Besides, you need a work permit to get a paying job and to get a paying job you need a work permit. Those pesky Catch 22’s!

Enter the firm. You know that little firm in Pittsburgh I’ve been selling my soul to for the last year? Well, it just so happens that they have offices in every city in the world.  Shortly after I found out about Boyfriend’s 3 year project in Belgium, I approached HR to see if there were any opportunities available in the Belgian offices. Considering that I’ve only been with the firm a year, I don’t speak French or Dutch (as you can see from my writing, I’m barely proficient in English) and I don’t have my CPA – I expected the HR lady to start laughing the moment I said “Belgium…”

But she didn’t – she actually helped me contact the HR people in our National Office.

Who also refrained from laughing at me – and put me in contact with the HR people in Belgium.

Who still didn’t laugh at me – and put me in contact with the hiring partner in the department I desired.

Who scheduled an interview!

And then offered me a job! ThatWASN’T in Audit (thank goodness) but in an area I’ve actually been interested in – International Tax Consulting.

So. Here are the highlights:
– It’s a 3 year ‘assignment’
– the firm will pay for my relocation fees plus 1 Training/’Home Trip’ per year and 2 trips to sit for the CPA exam in the US

– I will get a company car + free gas anywhere in Belgium
– My department will be comprised of 24-30 yr old Americans who are there on a similar ‘international assignment’  — so I won’t have to worry about working with people who speak Dutch or French or hate Americans!  I’ve already talked to a few of them via email/phone and they seem really cool. 
– oh, and the job is in Europe 
… I’m sure I was told other important details, but after I heard the words ‘we would like to offer you a position’ I was too excited to process sounds…

 Also. Belgium is famous for two things – Waffles and Chocolate (and beer, obviously, but I’m more concerned with the waffles & chocolate) . You add in a little pasta and I am going to be set on meals for the next 3 years!

So… yeah… While I fully recognize that it will be incredibly difficult to be away from friends and family for so long, with all the trips home & the perks involved… perhaps you can see ‘why’ I took the position…

When: Right now, it looks like I will start late January/early February.

Hmm… I think those are the big details for right now. I’ll update this site as I make my way through the mound of paperwork this entails (visas, work permits, medical forms, FBI background something or other, transfer papers, etc.)  and complete other odds and ends. Also, as I did when I was in England, I’ll post periodically so that people know what’s going on with me in “the Capital of Europe”… 

 NOTE: Have a passport? No? Get one. I’m going to have a very comfy IKEA couch….

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