Monthly Archives: September 2009

Unchanging Window

People, people, people…have no fear.
I am back.

Since we last spoke…I went to Les Fêtes de Wallonie in Namur with a gaggle of exchange students and had lot’s of uh, funThis included carnival rides, a marching band playing Lady Gaga, gay magazines, Journey songs, walking way out of our way along a busy highway, searching for a bald boy in a courtyard-turned-nightclub, more fun, more Journey, and following a trail of red paint up and down the Citadel of Namur.

School is something else. I now have a schedule…with 13 hours of French a week…and mostly with small children. I’m grateful for the work and my absolutely gorgeous teacher, but I could do without the beady judging eyes of Belgian 7th graders. Today they spent half the class asking me questions about America though. That was cute, but brings me to my next point.

I would like to thank you, George W. Bush, for singlehandedly making my exchange more difficult. More than often I find myself defending the good left in America. My main motivation to learn French right now is to be able to properly address the issues at hand.

First of all.
America is fucking huge. I can’t stress this enough.
I gots peoples all sayin’ “They slaughter a lot of cows in Chicago right?”…”yeah ok”
I don’t know what they’re eating in Utah. It ain’t perogies though.

Secondly.
Yes, I do like hamburgers some days. Not a problem, right? What IS a problem is that Belgian frites lady tryin’a deep fry my hamburger. blasphemy.
I miss you

Lastly.
I know the healthcare system sucks.
I don’t know how to say “Obama better git er done” in French yet.

This whole exchange experience is just turning me into a nationalist.

Saturday night I witnessed a Franco Dragone spectacular. There was a real fire organ involved. That’s a ll I’m sayin’,
The image of that 15 foot puppet scaling that church wall in pursuit of the moon, will be forever engraved in my mind 

Tomorrow I’m hanging out in Charleroi
Saturday I’m going to a Beatles festival in Mons

Peace.

Gobbledigook

LVPA was some sort of chaotic funhouse compared to this…
 

 I don’t actually have a schedule yet. Thus I have been toted to various classes by one of many students all week. I just stand awkwardly and stare until someone directs me where to go. It works out well most of the time.
I am currently attending two english classes which I actually find very helpful for my vocabulary. My teacher speaks in a British accent and there are pictures of U2 and Coldplay everywhere. There is an ongoing list to compare British to American English. “We say pants in Amurrika”
I am the closest thing to a hipster at my school. It’s concerning. Almost all of the boys in the lower grades have the same haircut and are sporting some sort of faux hawk…sadly/ironically a good portion of them turn out like this.
I’m also getting used to being able to leave the school when I don’t have class. Where is the trust America? Where?
 There is actually a cafeteria…with good food. Yesterday I went out for a sandwiche. It was like Wawa but with baguettes, and beer, and andalouse sauce, and no gas pumps, or milkshake machines, and everybody spoke French, and so actually it wasn’t like Wawa at all.
It’s strange how much I actually miss American food. There isn’t really an “American food” though. Hamburgers? I think not. I think what I actually miss the most is just that. The beauty that on any given day I can eat food from six different countries all within three miles of my house.

In short
 – I went to Brussels where I ate fries, drank cherry beer, and bought a sweatshirt with a naked black woman on it.
 –  I walked around the castle of Chimay which contains an actual living princess, but I can’t go in because she is afraid to get swine flu.
 –  I saw the biggest bottle of Chimay ever.
 – Gym class is not a joke. There was a stopwatch involved.
 – I can’t walk to Chimay from my house.  I tried. I failed.
 – I’m going to see Grizzly Bear. In November. In Brussels. suckit.

Upcoming
 – My return to school and descent into darkness
 – Festival of Wallonia in Namur
 – Me cooking dinner…

September in The Rain

A list of completely unbiased observations thus far.
 

– I checked, and pack of bed linens only comes with one sheet and a duvet cover. I kind of like it better though.

– Smaller meals like breakfast are eaten on nice little cutting boards. I have verified this with several other exchange students as well.

– When a product is described as “American Style” it is probably because of the size…and by that I mean it’s large.

– There are no screens in the windows.

– There is always a huge bottle of water on every kitchen table.

– The concept of a check cashing store is not easily explained or understood.

– Toilets have buttons and do not swirl when flushed.

 

Tomorrow is my first day of school. If I survive there will be a full report.