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Playlist: Eighties Live

Musically speaking, the Eighties don’t have the best reputation. There was Hair Metal, George Michael in different blazers, the electronic drum and MTV pushing music videos.  One often forgets that it was also the decade of the New Romantics, New Wave and early electronica. Here is a selection of timeless 80s classics, all performed live. You’ve guessed it, I do like analog synths. Full track listing if you continue reading.

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How to get married to a Thai national in Belgium – Part 1

Getting married to a Thai national (or any foreign national, for that matter) in Belgium isn’t a straight-forward process. Official sources contradict each other in tiny (but crucial) details, different cities (or even contacts) interpret requirements differently and some government officials can’t be bothered to assist properly. My goal is to write our experiences down, to help others maneuver these murky waters. Part 1 will teach you how to successfully jump the first hurdle: the wedding registration at City Hall in Belgium.

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Hipster Vilvoorde

My hometown is Vilvoorde, a city with about 43,000 inhabitants neighboring the Belgian capital of Brussels and with a checkered past. Vilvoorde thrived during the Industrial Revolution due to the proximity to Brussels and the excellent transport infrastructure. Being one of the largest industrial areas around Brussels, the city remained successful until the late nineties when subsequent economic crises started to have an adverse effect on the economy. As a result, Vilvoorde received a rather grey and negative image which is sometimes propagated to this day. Local commercial policy (or the lack thereof) hasn’t been able to stop increasing shop vacancy in the main shopping street, which only aggravated the reputation. Lately a trend has been rising in our city next to the river Zenne. One that might point towards the answer for both the local economy and the city as a whole, if policy makers choose to see and address it. Let me tell you about Hipster Vilvoorde.

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Live set: Nakadia @ Green Love (Novi Sad, 03/12/2016)

Nakadia kicked bottom in 2016: she signed with Cocoon and was named one of the six people that changed dance music in 2016. Impressive, kudos! She caught my attention years because of a shared (adopted) hometown in Isaan and kept lingering on with her great sets, that I’ve been featuring for a long time. A 2011 documentary about her impressive track record is available here. Full set recorded at Green Love in Serbia if you continue reading.

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Zalando and price discrimination

While researching another blog post today, I made a remarkable observation. German online retailer Zalando seems to practice considerable direct price discrimination. In Belgium, the exact same Nike shoe is priced at double the priced it is listed at in the UK. Normally it wouldn’t have caught my attention: the British pound has been subject to significant devaluation lately and a different market may imply a different supplier or fulfillment cost. A 100% markup can’t be explained by those arguments, though. Further snooping around revealed that the UK and Belgian sites must be selling the exact same physical shoes, as both list a single pair in size 12.5 available. Not exactly the consumer benefit you were expecting after eliminating boundaries and physical stores, now did ya?