Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Je suis arrivee!

Salut mes amis! I have safely arrived in Belgium! It's a very liberating experience to take a plane across the world by yourself and find yourself in the correct place! I discovered that
1) I don't like when people walk slowly at airports. even if I'm not in a hurry, I'd rather fast walk and look busy than meander, or have to try FOREVER to get around someone.
2) Lines are long. They're always long. I spent thir

ty minutes in a line so that someone could look at my passpo
rt and ask where I am staying.
3) I can't convince myself not to eat airplane food. I always regret it.

When I finally was able to collect my luggage (The moment of victory when you've found your suitcase, are SURE it's yours, and get it off) and make it through border control, I caught my first glimpse of my host family. They had made a sign saying "WANTED: Audrey Wood" with a picture of me from facebook. What an icebreaker! My host father Fabien, my host mother Collette, and my host brother Jerome were all there to great me, as well as Renzo, my rotary counselor. It was wet and rainy, and people drive with a sort of nonchalant, let'em hit me sort of attitude, but some how it works.

My house is awesome! It's
four small stories, the first being an entry room and work room, the second a kitchen, living room dini
ng room and bathroom, the third being bedrooms, and the fourth is where I'm staying. There's two bedrooms and a little sitting room area with a futon and cushions, and a decent sized bathroom! I have a huge skylight in my r
oom; on the forth floor all the windows are skylights.

My family showed me the house (it's so awesome. All the colors are warm, and there are great little nick-nacks of far-away travels and books and instruments and old furniture.) and then we sat down for some tea. After, as unpacked, it started pouring. The wind goes through the streets and whistles like a car revving its engine. The sky turned a sort of warm gray and lightening and thunder and heavy rain was extreme. So I did the obvious thing and took a nap. I woke up in time for lunch and we all sat down and ate together. Collette asked me if I liked avocado (Avocat. Same word in french for a lawyer) I said sure, and I ate half an avocado for lunch (?!) I thought that was it, until they brought out some leftover tofu and veggie quiche.

Fabien showed me the big ga
rden in the back, which had sort of an elongated rectangle shape with a big surrounding fence separating it from the neighbors. There were chickens and apple and pear trees, a raspberry bush and many vegetables and herbs.

Collette, Fabien and I went for a walk to see the marche and the town and to visit her aunt (and drop off beer and cigarettes) who was in an old folks home nearby. We were waiting outside her aunts door after knocking when someone a couple doors down the hall sloooowly opened the door, peaked her head out, shot back in the room, slammed the door and locked it. It was very humorous.

We walked around with Collette's aunt, and old, petite woman with a very expressive face and very good English (she lived in the states for a while.) We then got ice cream.
Okay so there's SOMETHING about europeans and their ice cream. This happened last time I was here; if you order two scoops of icecream, you get two DIFFERENT scoops. Even if your convinced all you want is raspberry sorbet, they will try to convince you otherwise. It's easiest just to give in. So I had strawberry ice cream with my sorbet. It was, of course, delicieux, but still confusing.

The sun has come out and it's quite be
autiful. The more I sit the more tire
d I get--it's going to be an early night tonight!
At 7, I'm going to a rotary meeting to meet the other exchange students of this district, and tomorrow Collette is going to host a dinner for the exchange students and their families. The day after that, I'm going to Bruxelles for my exchange meeting!

Until next time, here's some pictures of my room and the view from my window

PS, my French is very poor, but I've been able to communicate with my french speaking mother! Yay!


  1. Pear trees?! In your backyard?!
    Totally jealous...

  2. Your writing is very good I felt like I was just beginning a new book I look forward
    To reading your future entries all about your

  3. Audrey!! Your having so much fun! I'm glad to hear everything is swell. I miss you, I think I will come and visit you one day.