Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sweet Caroline

Look at me I’m BLOGGING.

School is school is school. On a better note, last Tuesday I didn’t have school! So the obvious thing to do was to go to Mons with Sarah from New York (border of VERMONT!) and Chelsea, who is also going to Boston University next ear! Small world! The picture is the saddest thing that ever did happen. Ever. RIP. The other is just pretty Mons!

! Mons is beautiful, but so is the independence of being able to navigate train stations BY YOURSELF and WITHOUT FAULT. I felt like Ms. Assimilation. We wandered around the beautiful city for a long time, looking in stores and at old buildings and cathedrals. Just generally being youthful and obnoxious—but I seriously haven’t laughed that hard in a long time. It was the doubled over, tears in the eyes, laughing so hard you can’t make a sound sort of laugh. It was wonderfully refreshing to make JOKES, to understand HUMOR and to say something that comes to your mind exactly as it enters. In French, it’s an art of conservation. I have to measure my ability to respond with a witty comment—if measured incorrectly, my funny idea has turned into an awkward confused moment of people trying to figure out “Is she joking? Damn


Saturday I got up early and took the train with Pierre to go KAYAKING. Kayaking with 100 plus rotary kids was totally awesome. Another day filled with laughter. We took a short train, a long train, a short train, and then a super short train. It was an interesting trip. Seeing all of those exchange students was…a sight. We’re a loud bunch! We got off the train and walked together to the river edge, where there was a complex process of putting away things that can’t get wet, getting a bucket for things that can’t get wet but you still want, getting paddles, and getting life jackets.

And then we stood in line. The way they lowered the kayaks into the water is worth mentioning—it was a kind of rolling ramp and they had you get into the kayak and just sort of pushed! (The most perfect water entrance—THIS IS SPARTA!!) Sarah and I shared a tandem kayak—we were probably the loudest kayak on the river. We sang Paul Simon songs, Christmas songs, and Neil Diamond when we got stuck (which was often, considering the river was about three inches deep in a lot of places). We made terrible jokes and started splash wars with other exchangers. We were cheered on as we got stuck multiple times by random people standing by the river, and also were helped out by several nice Belgians. The river was really beautiful, though. Kind of Lord of the Rings-esq, some places like the Shire and some like Gondor. We actually saw a huge castle built into a cliff! And lots of caves and....COWS! I saw Francis from New Hampshire—it’s such a relief to see someone from New Hampshire that I knew before exchange—like YES! New Hampshire still exists! Here’s PROOF! The water was COLD and I hadn’t brought a change of clothes, so when we finished I ended up in Sarah’s spare pajamas eating waffles and French fries—classic Belgium. Sarah slept over, which I think goes towards making my Belgian house feel more like a home. We proved what experts we are at the train when our train platform was changed and we had to rush to a different one—what stress!

Today I went to my host sister’s “Hanging the pot of the fire” party, a sort of house warming party with lots of little sweets. We took a walk/hike, which was really beautiful. She lives up in a more hilly section of Belgium, with little streams and mini-mountains. Fall caught up with Belgium today, even though it was hot; the leaves look like their changing and that fresh smell is in the air! Unfortunately, that means that a combo of being in the water and dying things equals Audrey’s Fall Allergies. I STILL LOVE FALL. The real success today, however, was the two hour long drive home. It was just me and my host brother and we had actual conversations. It was great to crack a joke, or have a joke cracked, and just laugh about it. In FRENCH! Although we did have a little trouble when I mentioned how something looked like the Shire--I didn't know how to say Lord of the Rings in French. It wasn't until I said Frodo that we were on the same page.

Anyway, a sample French joke from our drive home, translated for your reading pleasure...
”You’re a terrible driver!”
”What, do I drive too fast?” (going 25 km/h—about 15mph)
It was a good moment. Anyway, I have to crawl into bed and nurture my cold. Maybe it will get bad enough to stay home and read all day. I should actually save that for Tuesday—that’s when I have gym!

Much love from Belgium.

No comments:

Post a Comment