Expats of Brussels – #5


Romain (33), from France, in Brussels since 2018

“The best stories always start with love – that’s how I ended up in Brussels. I’m not an urban guy, but when I compare Brussels to Paris, it feels like a sweet village. The city has all the attractive factors of a European capital, but it’s small enough to feel… groovy! To me, it’s like a town from a ’70s soul record. The culture sector is very open-minded here, not pretentious but rather curious. 

Brussels is small enough to cycle everywhere, but I fear for my life every time my bicycle sees daylight. People behave so nice to each other – until they are on the road. That’s the dark side of Brussels, I guess.  

I’m dreaming of greener pastures. Starting my own farm on the countryside, becoming a horticulturist. Until I can achieve that dream, I’m enjoying the many green places in the city.”


“I run a small communication agency called Grand Vent, working with museums and associations to give their story an online life. But I do so many other creative things outside of work. I’m writing, making podcasts and recently discovered video editing. It turns into a blend of everything I like, always with a funny and absurd touch to it.  

Today, I’m performing the character of a confused man who lost his pigeon. I hung up posters of my missing friend and read Patrick Süskind’s “Le pigeon” in the park in hopes of getting more clues. 

The absurdity may be close to the Belgian spirit but is also part of my identity coming from Saint Etienne, a city in the south of France. Everyone there has mixed origins because of the coalmining sector, which attracted workers from different countries a few decades ago. My grandparents are Spanish and Sicilian, all my friends have mixed backgrounds. The glue that keeps the spirit of Saint Etienne together, is twofold: football, the most important sport of life, and humor.”

Pictured Romain
Photographer Cem Ali Bas
Location Parc Léopold


101 ideas to fill your weekends discovering Brussels

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101 weekend ideas