Fainting in Coyles An occasional letter from the
Heart of Euroville
Monday, September 29, 2003
A story that warms the cockles.
As some of you might know, my wife Joslin is expecting in November. Nothing special there, it happens all the time, though not, as far as I am aware to my wife.
Well, what with my income in the range of beans and with her finishing a PhD in Fine Art from the Glasgow School of Art (May I suggest you go and have a look at her work – I think it’s damned good). She is also earning in the minus numbers.
So after what I can get from the state. In Belgium there is what is known as a maternity payment of approx 1000 Euros. But due to me having been paying my stamps in the UK and only starting to pay the terrifying local taxes and social since conception, it was a non starter.
Then a miracle happened, and she is called Jacqueline.
Jacqueline works at one of the new private social security providers in Belgium called SECUREX. I had been given the, ‘forget it’ and ‘no way’ and all the normal Belgian bureaucratic responses. Jacqueline however was somewhat different.
She has suborned the rules and the money is on its way.
Tomorrow Jacqueline leaves her job.
In a Wallon accent
“I have to leave here”.
“It is dreadful, all the rules, all the bureaucracy”.
“Yes true”, says I
“I am going to move to Seatle, people are free there”.
“Thirty years working in the Belgian system, it would make anybody mad with frustration”.
“I want to go somewhere where I can keep my money, somewhere I can decide my future”.
“When are you leaving?”
“Tomorrow, then I will be free”.