This year, many things happened to many people - kind of - but one of the big things for me was turning 30.
In an ordinary world, I would have gone home at some point, seen my friends and family and had a generally good time. Because of covid, however, I couldn't.
Not to be put off by a global pandemic, my nearest and dearest sent me gifts meant to soften the blow a bit, and they really did! A knock at the door on the days around the big day promised gifts ranging from the weird to the wonderful, it made a tough time a little bit better.
And yet, every time I went to the door, I had to remember to grab my wallet in case I got hit by an import charge.
Now, thankfully, we've moved on a little since the initial post-Brexit madness that brought this issue screaming into the light for many of us. We have had to learn a lot about some rules we only knew vicariously, but I'll be the first to admit I've still been caught out a few times since.
Ordering something online used to be easy - too easy - now it seems to come with a sting. I now have to wonder if my want for a particular item outweighs how much it could cost me in additional charges.
It does look like that might get a little easier, but the cost won't go away.
So, what about you?
Are you still shopping from overseas, or focusing more on the EU?
Let @johnstonjules know.
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1. Belgian Covid Certificate for travel available from today
From Wednesday morning, Belgian residents with plans to travel within the European Union this summer can request a coronavirus certificate to prove that they are Covid-safe. Here's how it works.
2. Coronavirus Delta variant in Belgium: FAQ
The Delta variant of the coronavirus is becoming more prominent in many countries – including Belgium – and according to new research, the symptoms are slightly different from previous strains of the virus. Read more.
3. Bpost tries to take the shock out of non-EU package costs
Belgian mail company Bpost has announced it has updated its services in an effort to help users avoid nasty shocks when they receive parcels from outside of the EU. Read more.
4. Family of girl missing for 30 years receive her vaccine invite
Anita Pintjens received an invitation addressed to her daughter, who disappeared in 1991 on her way to school when she was ten years old. Nathalie would now be 40 years old, and it is believed she was abducted, as she was never found. Read more.
5. ‘YouTuber’ training course launched in Brussels
A new training course that will help job seekers acquire the necessary skills to develop their own YouTube channel or produce content for companies, has been launched in Brussels. Read more.
6. Majority of nursing home residents and staff have antibodies against coronavirus
A large majority of residents and staff in nursing homes have antibodies against the coronavirus, according to a study carried out between February and March by the universities of Ghent, Liège, Leuven and the Sciensano public health institute, which relayed the information on Wednesday. Read more.
7. Brussels vaccination centre opens to over-41s without appointment
Brussels residents aged 41 and over will be able to get vaccinated without an appointment in the Woluwe-Saint-Pierre vaccination centre on Wednesday and Friday. Read more.