When we moved in to our house there were many things about it that I found to be very different than homes in the US. So, I took some pictures of those oddities and I am now sharing it with you, my friends and family back home.
Windows and Doors
Dan says that people in the US have doors like this, but I am yet to see them. The pictures below shows the doors that are in our living room. We have 2 sets of these doors. The screen (which is really crappy by the way) is only behind the door that opens. Which is really stupid, because in order to get outside you have to pull a lever on the door to the left and then swing that door open. A lot of work to let the dogs outside to do their business if you ask me. If you want to get some fresh air in the house you can either open the door or you can turn the knob up and pull just the top of the door will open (see picture).
Most of the windows (with the exception of the window in the next picture) open the same way. The windows all either swing in or you can open just the top. The house has huge window sills, but you can’t really use them as shelves because then you wouldn’t be able to open the window fully.
Two rooms (the bedroom and gym) have one of these windows.
These windows do not have screens (it would kind of be impossible). We live next to a farm, so a fly swatter is a necessity in this house. In order to open the window you pull from the top and swing the window all the way around and latch the top of the window to the bottom of the frame (the first picture shows me opening the window and the second is of the window fully open). As you can tell these windows are on an angle (they are actually in the roof of the house). If you know the weather in Belgium you will understand how impractical these windows truly are, but everyone has them.
The next picture shows the lock to our front door. You have to lock and unlock with a key (nothing strange there), but what is strange is how many times you have to turn the dang key. One lock controls both the lock and the deadbolt. So, you have to turn the key about 105 times in order to lock and unlock the door. I have lived here for almost 2 months now and I still have not gotten the hang of this, which is kind of embarrassing when someone is at the door.
The locks on inside the house are not much different. All of the doors have locks which only work with old fashioned skeleton-type keys.
Kitchen and Bathrooms
First thing is the stove. Take a look at these burners; they remind me of hot pot burners. I was very surprised, but this range works great. Two of the burners are designed to heat very quickly and we can boil water in half the time that I am used to. It is a little hard to control the heat on these, so I may or may not have almost set the house on fire making a pot of rice.
Second to my Easy Bake Oven, this is the smallest oven I have ever had. I had to put all my regular sized cookie sheets in the attic, because they are too big to fit in this oven.
The house did not come with a dishwasher, just the hook-up. Fortunately, we were able to borrow one from the base. As you can see it is not uncommon to have free-standing dishwashers. European dishwashers require you to put a certain type of salt in a dispenser before operating.
Hmm…so how do you use this thing?
Oh, no worries. There is a very helpful guide on the inside of the dishwasher door. Wow, that was helpful.
That guide is almost as helpful as the control panel for our microwave oven.
In every house I have seen in so far the kitchen sinks are super small and instead of a double sink as you would find in the US, you have a built in dish drain. (don’t judge my cleaning abilities, the water here is really hard).
Check out the toilet flusher thingy. Little button for number one and big button for number two.
Tiles in the garage
Really big light switches (most have an outlet with the switch)
Heating units- you set your main thermostat and then use the dial on each room’s heating unit to control the amount of heat going to that room.
There you have it, strange things about Belgian homes. I don’t think these things are exclusive to Belgium. The hotel in Germany had a lot of the same features. The next time I write should be after my visit to the Christmas Market in Nuremberg.
I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!!! XOXOXO