Sunday, October 17, 2010

2 months down...

Well, I’ve been out and about in the world for 2 months today. Only 9 more left!
            This week I broke my previous record and had 5 dogs in my bed one night. They kept skooshing me, and I kept scootching, and eventually I ended up with about 12 inches on the very edge of the double bed. I was nice and warm though, and certainly not lonely!
            Yesterday I went with Marianne to pick up the furniture she bought for my bedroom. There’s a nice double bed, a dresser, and two end tables. They’re all very handsome. She bought them from a sort of short-term hotel that is going out of business, so my bed has lots of…experience. We had some good laughs out of that. We went with Veronique and her husband because they knew where the place was, and they were also an essential part of the disassembly-and-transportation-down-the-steep-European-stairs team. When we got there, we realized that we didn’t have the right tool to take apart the furniture, but luckily Veronique had a belt buckle that worked effectively. Everything made it into the vehicle without trouble, and then we headed back to Veronique’s for an amiable visit. The sun was shining and the wind was blowing, and we had a nice drive over the HILLY country to Veronique’s (there are next to no hills here!) It was a pleasant Saturday on the whole.
            There is a strike tonight and tomorrow for the trains. Last Monday it was the buses. I think it’s rather odd, but they schedule their strikes in advance so everyone knows when it’s going to happen and for exactly how long. And the strikes only last one day. Last Monday there were fewer kids at school, but classes continued like normal. We’ll see what it’s like tomorrow. Gilles and Jean are here for the weekend, so they have to pay attention to take their trains today before the strike starts.           
            I may be Alaskan, and it may not be freezing here yet, but it feels freakin’ COLD here because it is humid! And they don’t really do heating here. I guess the buildings are too old and it’s too expensive. So I am swaddled up under the bed covers with a mug of tea and it’s only October. Note to self: buy fingerless gloves so you can type without having frozen fingers.
            A note on the social workings of Belgium: you hang out with fewer people here and have fewer friends, but they are closer friends. In the US you might have 20 people you talk to and hang out with during classes and at lunch, but here it is more like 10 at the most.  We have close friends in the US too, but you have to invest years to get really close because you don’t spend that much concentrated time with them. Here you make closer friends faster. So that’s different.
            We had oysters for dinner with Cecile and Pépé this week. I guess it’s the start of the oyster season, and Pépé really loves oysters. Julia had pasta, but the rest of us happily slurped down our raw oysters with lemon juice. I couldn’t taste the lemon juice at all; it was like a taste of the sea. We had puddles of the sea on our plates when we were done too!
            This week is yet again full of tests and I have a fat folder of field work stuff due. I’m not too worried about it. Hooray for not stressing over school work!


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