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BORGERHOUT ............ It didn't really have the best of reputations in Antwerp when I bought my home in Borgerhout. It is an area of the city that is heavily populated by Moroccans and the local nickname is "Borgerocco". But, it was one of the few areas of the city that I could afford a home in - and just barely.
     
 
Things have changed over the years. As other parts of Antwerp became just too expensive for many people to buy homes, suddenly Borgerhout became a more popular option. And, naturally it happened after I left Belgium, but Borgerhout is actually becoming trendy with new restaurants and art galleries!
 
 
My favorite part of Borgerhout is its international mix. There is a high population of Moroccans as well as others from Sub-Saharan Africa. But, having lived in Morocco, I was thrilled to find tagine, harira, olives and pastries that brought me back to Casablanca. And, on occasion, I remembered a few (very few) words in Arabic that surprised people in the markets, restaurants and bakeries.
 
When I first moved to my home, a few teachers from school helped. Borgerhout - and my house - shocked them. When you move to a new place, your friends are supposed to say that they are happy for you. They couldn't do it. After the move in, I took them to a Moroccan restaurant to celebrate. I was the only one able to eat the food. Okay, it isn't a neighborhood for everyone, but I really enjoyed it.
 
Copyright 2015 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.