Today is my last day of winter holiday spent back home, in Bucharest, Romania. Tomorrow I fly back to Brussels, back to the DG INFSO office at the European Commission where I’ve been working since September. And surprisingly I’m excited to get back and I look forward to it (surprisingly because I, for one, have always wished for weekends, holidays and such to last longer …).
That made me think some more about my work and my life in Brussels. Family and friends have asked me the whole holiday how is it there, what I do, how do I like it and so on. So I tried to sum up my answers and tales, and I came up roughly with 5 reasons why I love my life in Brussels:
1. The job. It’s interesting, actual and intellectually stimulating. I work in the unit focused on Internet, network and information security and I’m learning or dealing with something new every week. I’ve studied arbitration decisions regarding .eu top level domain, I’ve participated to informal meeting of European GAC representatives, I’ve looked into ICANN documents for public comments, I’ve learned about DNSSEC, I’ve read the French strategy for the digital economy, I’ve followed the proposals for amending the telecoms directives, I’ve caught up on electronic signature and eID. And I’m eager to learn more.
2. The people. My colleagues from around Europe, who are friendly, helpful and funny. They are well-trained professionals, respecting each other’s work, sharing knowledge and expertise, and keeping their sense of humour altogether. I’ve learned a lot from them and enjoyed spending time together. It’s a multicultural environment which reminds me of the Diplo community getting together on occasions, although it’s only on a regional level. I look forward to meet them again.
3. The European Commission. It’s a good place to work in. It may be bureaucratic, but it’s nice to be a small wheel in the big machinery, to be involved, even at the slightest scale, in the European administration. I’m grateful I had this chance to see how it works from inside. It may sound vain, but I’m proud I’m working there, even for a short period, after only a year and a half since Romania joined EU. And I’m glad I’ll be there for 2 more months.
4. Brussels. It’s not the most beautiful city in Europe and the weather often plays tricks on you, but once you explore it and accommodate, it can make you feel at home. It’s a lively place with a lot of cultural events, cosmopolitan atmosphere, nice areas for sightseeing and walking around, and lots of pubs with good beer ;). I enjoy living there.
5. The Adventure. The challenge of starting a new life, in a new place, with new people. This is my first time I work and live away from home. I had my share of difficult moments, but they paid off. It’s an enriching experience not only professionally, but also personally. And I cherish every minute of it.