you know people are new in Leuven when…

  1. They stop on their way to work in the morning to take pictures of ducks.
  2. They pose for pictures near parked bicycles.
  3. They don’t want to admit that they need a bicycle.
  4. When they finally get one, they are polite towards other cyclists.
  5. They wear snowboots in November (the girls).
  6. When everybody is still wearing a light jacket, they wear hat, scarf, gloves and a feather insulated coat.
  7. They walk in the bicycle lanes.
  8. They go to the Oude Markt on tuesday evening.
  9. They don’t care if the pintje is Palm.
  10. They do the laundry on saturday morning.
  11. They go shopping on monday after work.
  12. They wait for the rain to stop before going out.
  13. They are troubled by the apparent lack of hygiene of the hair of male students.
  14. They decide that they really should spend 3 evenings a week at ILT learning Dutch.
  15. They wanna do the City Hall tour.
  16. They are really happy with the free bus pass.
  17. They eat waffles from that place in the corner of the Diestestraat.
  18. They eat pizza from those student special price places.
  19. They really hesitate getting an haircut and, when they do, they go into schock.
  20. They never buy bread at bakeries.
  21. They laugh at the first sight of a broodautomat (automatic bread vending machines).
  22. They don’t know the Fiere Margriet and they take silly pictures with her statue.
  23. They think all sandwiches are like the ones from De Moete and they don’t understaand how the flemish care about sandwiches so much (this might endure months or even years).
  24. They think all those joggers are insane/admirable.
  25. They buy chocolates from Leonidas to give their families when they go to their homeland on hollidays.
  26. They’ve never been to Antwerp or Maastricht or Utrecht just to shop.
  27. They feel an overwhelming urge to go to Paris.
  28. They complain about the coffee because they don’t know where to have a good one.
  29. They think Alma’s stoofvlees is the real deal.
  30. They tell a Belgian that Sinterklaas is Santa Claus and that there’s a type of cookie from their country that’s exactly like Speculoos. Once.
  31. They think it’s only natural to try communicating in French rather than English. And try… once.
  32. They go in the Cathedral and they don’t notice the Alma Mater of the KUL standing there.
  33. They refer to the Dijle as “the canal”.
  34. They cross the road when there are no cars coming, even though the pedestrian light is red.
  35. They have a recent story about how they took the wrong exit from Brussel Noord and felt really scared.
  36. They have a recent story about the odyssey of going to Ikea by public transportation.
  37. They have a recent story about how they almost lost the plane because of the security queue at the airport on a friday afternoon.
  38. They are surprised when the trains are late.
  39. They don’t know Dewerf. And then they do and they keep trying to go there on weekends.
  40. They expect to quickly find a spot for their bicicyle at the station’s parking.
  41. They feel strongly against the fact that we can only put some plastics in the blue bag.
  42. It takes them quite a while to realize that they’re being disrespected by that xenophobic bartender.
  43. They hang out at the city centre on sundays.
  44. They take the weather forecast literally.
  45. They say “capuccino-veer”.

(Symptoms might differ a bit depending on the origin of the person…)


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