Luxembourg is a country – Yes, it’s an independent country – and it is my country. It is tiny, yes, but it’s amazing. And in this post, I want to talk a little bit about it. And I especially want to answer the most frequent questions about the country. If you happen to read this post because I send the link to you – I might have lost patience to explain everything to you. So keep reading and surprise other people next time with your knowledge.
There are specific questions nearly everyone asks me when I met them, and we talk about my country. After 14 months of solo travel and at least 10.000 people I met, my answers are already standardized, and I’m a little bit sick of answering the same things all the time. I know my country is small and I don’t blame someone if he doesn’t know it, I also don’t know every single country in the world straight away, although most. But it’s sometimes the ignorance of people who makes me a little angry. Whatever, here are a few of the most frequent questions I get.
Luxembourg – Is that a country?
Yes! Yes, Luxembourg is an independent country. It is not part of Germany or any other country.
One of the best answers I got to this response was in Nepal (And it happened more than once). People (especially policemen or officers who looked at my passport) asked me, “Ohh, new country?”. Guys, Luxemburg is 1000 years older than Nepal. Nepal is a relatively new country but not Luxembourg. Luxemburg got founded in 963, where Nepal got founded around the 18th century.
Is that in Germany?
No! Again, it’s an independent country. Luxembourg is a member of the European Union, and it’s a founding member.
Ohh, so it’s next to Switzerland?
I don’t know why everyone thinks Luxemburg and Switzerland are neighbors, but we are not. In between, it is around 500 km from France. Luxemburg is located between Germany, France, and Belgium. It’s basically in the middle of Europe, and that’s great. Except that we don’t have mountains, nor a beach.
How many people live there?
600.000 +-. Yes, not more, it’s super tiny! People are mostly just surprised that there are such small countries in the world. But yeah Luxembourg is small, and there are not many of us.
What do you speak in Luxembourg?
Luxemburgish? Yes, we even got our own language, and it’s called Luxemburgish. But we speak French, German and English as well. Most people speak at least four languages, which is another surprising fact about my country.
How does Luxembourgish sound like?
Ok, this is a reasonable question. The answer is difficult. It is very similar to German; sentences are built same, and many words are identical. But German people still don’t really understand us. And it’s very different from Dutch because we don’t understand them and they don’t follow us.
You don’t pay taxes in Luxembourg, right?
Of course, we do pay taxes. Luxembourg indeed counts as a tax haven, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t pay taxes at all. The difference is only that we pay fewer taxes in many cases, the difference is not much, but for big companies and extremely wealthy persons, it’s still favorable. The Value-added-tax, for example, is 17%, where it is 19% in Germany. That doesn’t make a big difference in everyday life. If Amazon, however, pays the Value-added-tax in Luxembourg for its billions of turnover, it does make a difference. That’s the same for many other fields. We definitely pay taxes, just less. And that’s the reason why we are one of the wealthiest countries in the world. Our Government is just smart and takes the small size of the country and transforms it into an advantage.
These were the most common questions I get. As I said, not everyone can know every country and I’m well aware of the size of my country. But some people (especially Americans) have such ignorance, and they ask ridiculous questions, which I can’t hear anymore. Just because someone told you once that apparently, people in Luxembourg don’t pay taxes – don’t believe these people and if then ask discretely instead of pretending to know what’s going on in my country better then I do.
Now that you know a little bit more about my country, I highly recommend you to visit the country and see for yourself how beautiful the country is. There are many beautiful castles to see good restaurants, and the capital of Luxembourg city is gorgeous.
- Total countries I visited until now: 42
- Planes: 32
- Busses: 51
- Trains: 23
- Boats: 25
- Km driving: 8000
- KM driving with my Tuktuk: 2000
- Km running: 4000