It may seem like you’ve got a ton of paperwork to do, but trust us, it can all be done at the local commune, you know, your local town hall thingy place. Just ask for Claude. If he’s not there, ask for Joe. All communes have a Claude and Joe. Trust us: they’re good guys. Unless Claude’s a woman. But woman-Claude is also nice as long as you catch her on a Friday.
Forget your sick fantasies about living a short bike ride from work. Bite the bullet and rent a decent three-bedroom place in Arlon. It’s not that bad. They’ve got a very reasonably priced laundromat in Arlon.
Don’t worry about formalities, e.g. the number of kisses you’re supposed to give your kid’s teacher on the first day of school, or which finger to hold up when someone nearly runs you over in a pedestrian crossing. All you need to know is this: if you’re invited somewhere, bring crémant. If you’re hosting, offer crémant. Just to be safe, travel with a bottle of crémant wherever you go.
Some people say that making friends with Luxembourgers is difficult and takes a long time. Nonsense. Plenty of newcomers forge a solid relationship based on mutual semi-affectionate tolerance with a Luxembourger after only a decade.*
Contrary to what the incurable complainers say, the weather here is not always grey and rainy. “Colorless and drizzly” is a more accurate way to describe it.
Try as you might to get by with a bicycle or public transport, one day you’ll have to accept the truth: the path to integration is paved with cars, and we’re not talking about Ford Escorts or Seat Ibizas. At a certain point you’ll need to buy a respectable German car, not more than three years old, and give it a nickname like “Mausi.” Spend your Sunday afternoons waxing it while whispering sweet nothings into its tailpipe.
Sure, there are gorgeous castles in the north, an enchanted forest in the centre, and splendid vineyards in the east, but why drag yourself to all those places when you can stay near home and do like locals do? Go to the sausage stand at your nearest Cactus, order a mettwurst and a beer — or a glass of Luxembourgish wine, if that’s your fancy — and revel in your newfound localness.
*This can be reduced to five years by closely following tip no. 3, “Culture.”
Originally published by RTL Today on September 5, 2019