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Info Needed

by KisJutka Online Now Oct 14, 2005 at 9:40 AM

My husband and I may be moving to Mons next year from Canada. I've been trying to find info on Mons on the web and the best information I've gotten has been from here! :)

But I'm still curious about a few things. Moving to Europe sounds wonderful, but my concerns are more about the day to day things that can drive you crazy:

1) Is digital cable TV/satellite TV/high speed internet available in Mons?
2) Can I purchase English books and magazines easily?
3) Is there a good transport system?
4) How can we look for a house to rent? (And what's a good area of town?)
5) Are there lots of things to do entertainment wise?
6) Is it primarily French or Dutch?

Any other information would be appreciated as well.

Thank you in advance for your help. :)

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8 Answers
  • pieter_jan_v's Profile Photo

    RE: Info Needed

    by pieter_jan_v Online Now Oct 14, 2005 at 10:18 AM

    1)TV is not NTDS but PAL
    Satellite TV will be no problem (there are satellites!)
    High speed Internet always is available via a special telephone line
    2)Magazines probably easier than books. This calls for a trip to Brussels at times.
    3)Public bus, see: tec-wl.be/index.aspx?PageId=...
    and there are trains too.
    4)Look at some websites like:
    immo.spotter.be/Search/Searc...
    http://www.bbinvest.be/
    http://www.cybelweb.be/
    5)See the Mons website:
    mons.be/mons.asp?GUID={E2114...
    6)Primarily French

    PJ

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  • vaara's Profile Photo

    RE: Info Needed

    by vaara Online Now Oct 14, 2005 at 11:03 AM

    I suppose one or both of you will be working at SHAPE, in which case they'll help you find accommodation. If not, you could try expatica.com (though the overwhelming majority of expats who use it are in Brussels).

    Re: English-language reading material, there's a large but incredibly overpriced Waterstone's in Brussels. Other than that you'll be left with the usual international newspapers and magazines (IHT, the Economist) that are sold at most newsstands.

    Mons is in Wallonia, which means the only language widely spoken and understood is French. (Note that it's called "Bergen" in Flemish, which can be confusing if you're driving in Flanders and need to follow signs to get home!)

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  • PeteNL's Profile Photo

    RE: RE: Info Needed

    by PeteNL Online Now Oct 14, 2005 at 11:09 AM

    Maybe just to add: besides being close to Brussels it is also very close to Charleroi Airport ("Brussels South" Airport), fromwhere Ryanair offers cheap flights to England and Ireland (www.ryanair.com). Also Calais will be an hours drive, so probably (with the distances you may be used to in Canada) going to England for books and magazines from time to time is a good option!

    Have a good trip & stay over here,

    P.

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  • RE: RE: Info Needed

    by KisJutka Online Now Oct 14, 2005 at 11:12 AM

    Thank you all so much for the information. I'll be checking out the links for more info.

    Thanks again!! :)

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  • irisbe's Profile Photo

    RE: RE: Info Needed

    by irisbe Online Now Oct 16, 2005 at 8:55 AM

    It is funny it should be all Dutch to reply in this forum :)
    But what a good and excellent info!
    I don't know Mons very well, actually the very first time I visited was last Summer and that was with my VT friend Melissa_bel.
    I think she knows the place very well. I think she is willing to answer your questions.
    Here are some pictures we took during our meeting (gives you an idea how Mons looks like).
    (except that we stayed too long in some pubs and resto's chitchatting and forgetting to do more sightseeing).

    public.fotki.com/Irisbe/virt...

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  • pieter_jan_v's Profile Photo

    RE: RE: Info Needed

    by pieter_jan_v Online Now Oct 16, 2005 at 11:14 AM

    Hi Danielle,

    I challenge you to say something about Brunssum too (see her other posting).
    I knew you wouldn't let us down.

    PJ

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  • melissa_bel's Profile Photo

    RE: RE: Info Needed

    by melissa_bel Online Now Oct 18, 2005 at 7:37 AM

    Hey Dannie, long time no hear, Duvel sister_

    Kis...
    I live near Mons! I'm the girl on irisbe's pics *lol*.
    The first question I'm going to ask is :
    Are you going to live IN Mons or NEAR Mons? It could make a big difference for transportation. Usually, it's pretty good but I happen to live in a village which is only 20 km away but I have to wake up at 5:30 to be there on time at 8 o'clock for my training... Mind you, it's not how it usually works but it really depends where you are going to live. Most of the time, there's a station nearby and at least a bus every hour that goes to a train station. *lol*

    DSL is widely available. Everybody's got cable in Belgium... well 90% of TV-owners have it... we call it "télédistribution". You get your basic French=Dutch Belgian TV's + French TV's + German TV's + BBC1 and 2 + CNN + CNBC + other European public channels such as RAI, TVE etc.

    I don't think digital cable will help you with receiving Canadian TV... although... if you speak French, TV5 who is a consortium of French=speaking public TV's has the news from Radio Canada in the morning and also different programes... in French.
    You'll probably need a dish.

    English books and magazines... actually, it's not difficult... Mons is a University town so... lots of bookshops... and since there are a lot of foreigners in the area working for NATO (guess you or your husband are coming for this reason°, you can find lots of international newspapers quite easily.
    I'll look better and see what I can find. Otherwise, a trip to Waterstone's in Brussels will fill you up.

    Entertainment... bars (rue du Marché-aux-herbes behind the Grand'Place), restaurants, there is a big movie complex called Imagix but, as any in French-speaking area, foreign movies are dubbed. The Plaza Art, inside of town hosts more independant or "arty" movies but it's in original version. You'll have to make a night out in Brussels for the blockbusters. Since the city's bilingual, the movies are in original version with french and Dutch undertitle.

    Oh yeah... and it's French... which might help, you probably learnt the language at school.

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  • RE: RE: Info Needed

    by KisJutka Online Now Oct 19, 2005 at 6:36 AM

    Thank you all so much for the information! You guys and gals are great!!!
    :)

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