Friday, September 16, 2011


Last Friday, I picked up a lovely viola at the music academy. It cracks whenever I put my chin on it sternly. The Thursday after I had my first lesson. I’m being seriously underestimated, but that’s okay because it will make it easier to learn treble cleft if the music is simple. AND I NOW HAVE AN INSTRUMENT (pun) OF TORTURE TO FORCE FIDDLE MUSIC UPON MY FAMILY! Mwahahah!
some. A friend of my host sister brought me to Waterloo to see Les Miserables. At the foot of the Butte de Lion. HOW MORE BELGIAN CAN YOU GET?! There was a temporary stage set up, and they pro
jected things on the hill to add to the drama.
Last Friday I also did something pretty freaking awesome. (ps, there's a random picture of my host father playing the guitar, that goes with a later part of the post, but blogspot won't let me move it...)

And you’ll never guess who happened to show up.
An old friend of my, no one really special, just the PRINCESS CLAIRE OF BELGIUM.

Yeah, it was pretty awesome.

Saturday night I went to my host father’s concert. He’s pretty awesome musician, and the jazz was really cool to hear! The concert hall was huge and PACKED! We stayed at the concert hall until 12:00, and then had a second dinner, where everyone who was a part of the concert got together and eat pizza and wine after all the concert goers had left. The life of a musician!

Tuesday was my “host” brother’s birthday (“host” is in parenthesis because he isn’t actually part of the family I’m living with, but he lives in the house and is pretty much a brother.) and I made pancakes and an apple pie filling to put on top of them. It was a great, fall tasting meal. My host family liked the pancakes best with butter, a little salt, and the NH maple syrup, but I was super proud of the apple pie filling I made. I’m still looking for pumpkin puree…or a pumpkin in general. Apparently there are two different types; the European type is more used for vegetable dishes with the American type is the one in the pies and breads. Mmmm. Wednesday I went apple picking with my host mother and her parents, another WONDERFUL reminder of fall! We inquired about apple cider (careful, cider has alcoholic connotations in French) after I told my host mother that we often have hot apple cider at home during fall and winter.

Wednesday I fulfilled my dream of playing Frisbee in Belgium. Brayan and I walked down the street and picked up a friend of his, then we all walked down to the a big field. There were already some boys playing soccer so we asked some of them to join in. There were a couple girls sitting by the fence and smoking; most girls here aren’t super athletic, and I felt a little judged, but that’s OKAY!! BECAUSE I PLAYED FRISBEE. The rules were a little different; for example, instead of having an inzone you just threw the Frisbee at a pole.

My French wasn’t good enough to explain the difference, so I wen
t with it. The soccer players who didn’t want to play smoked instead. It’s really bizarre to see so many smokers, especially young smokers. After Frisbee they wanted to play soccer. I’ve found one thing that hasn’t changed in Europe: My absolute ineptitude at playing soccer. Excuse my language, but I suck. They tried to have me play the goalie for a while, but, as lacrosse taught me, I’m a very flinchy person and have a little of flying-soccer-ball anxiety. But over all good!

Things That Are Strange
-Lack of personal space. At school, trying to get anywhere is really difficult. If it’s a set of double doors, usually only one of the doors opens. So about two hundred students going either direction try to cram through at the same time. People are BRUTAL in the hallways, there’s not a lot of polite “excuse me”s but rather a lot of just walking through people. I think I have bruises.
-My inability to predict when someone is going to stop. You probably knew this, but to greet someone in Belgium is one kiss on the right cheek. BUT I NEVER KNOW WHEN THE PERSON IN FRONT OF MY WILL WANT TO PARTAKE IN SUCH A GREETING. There’s a LOT of stopping on stairs, in crowded hallways, leaning over people, to give someone the kiss on the cheek, or say hello, or ask a question.
-How many times do I kiss someone on the cheek? I mean, if I’ve seen them already that day, what is an appropriate amount of time in between greetings? If I haven’t seen them since lunch? Or just three hours? It seems irregular, but I want to find a pattern.
-Not many female athletes. That’s an odd one for me. We were doing running in gym and I could actually keep up. I actually did decently.
-Smoking. Yeah. A lot of that happens, even at school.
-The brand “Super Dry” is really popular, which isn’t something I’ve ever heard of before. Also, lots of things with state universities on them.


  1. I am super jealous of your frisbee-playing.
    I also suck at soccer.
    People don't really touch each other here. :)

  2. I looove reading your blog Audrey! It reminds me so much of last year... going to Waterloo, durum+frites, school hallways, awkward cheek kisses :) It's well written too.