After an intensive search, I finally found a room to rent here in Brussels. Until mid-December, I'm living on Rue Lepage 8, in the Sainte-Catherine area, about 5 blocks from the main square. I have one big room with double bed and it only costs me 320€ per month. Believe me, that's cheap. The apartment is a duplex with kitchen, toilet and bathroom. The other room is occupied by a person called Mhamed Gabbas. He is Moroccan, a muslim and homosexual. He works as a translator witht he muslim society in Brussels and at home he listens non-stop to the Quran.
My room with a Marimekko Fatboy (!!!). Apparently I'll get a desk next week.
Mhamed is exactly the kind of person people make fun. He's super gay in his behaviour and in his way of talking. He's 49-years-old but very immature in many things and even childish in some. He also treats me a bit like a child sometimes, warning me about a hot stove or of a slippery floor, also having the tendency to tell the same things at least twice a day. I'm the first person to share the apartment with him so we're just starting to get the hang of this. Now were both very cordial and polite but let's see how this goes. I'm a patient person but it might be that soon I find out that I'm not..
Mhamed is a "modern" muslim (according to his own saying), he drinks, eats pork meat and - well - likes men. He still hasn't gotten over his last boyfriend, that ended up marrying his sister and who now is dating a black man. Catastrophe! There's a lot of drama in his life but apparently not many friends, so he is seizing every opportunity to talk with me. He keeps repeating that we're a family.
His English is like my French, so we manage on both languages but occasionally it takes time for the message to come through. Now his mission is to teach me more French, so he's repeating important words to me and speaks to me in a clear way. Sometimes he even pretends not to understand my English so that I'd be forced to speak French. This is aboslutely superb and if we continue like this, I'll be more fluent in no time. This, apart from the cultural interest, is reason enoug to keep me here.
I'm quite sure that the most interesting and funny stories that I have to tell about my time in Brussels will be about him. This will be a cultural lesson but most importantly, a lesson about myself and about people I haven't interacted with before. God, keep me sane.