I need to be more responsible and try to keep up with this blog. Unfortunately this will be again without pictures—please don’t kill me. DO NOT. KILL. ME.
Where did I leave off? Oh right. Frisbee.
I forced Brayan to pass around a disc with me Tuesday, as well. The ground was wet and our shoes were soaked, but it was a good time! That night, I went to a rotary meeting instead of going to my music theory course. Rotary meetings in my host club are long dinners with multiple courses. They’re also in the friendly neighborhood castle. Which is a street away from me. In other words, I need to go more often. The only problem is that they don’t usually end until after 11 o’clock at night. But it was good, though, I was able to sit with Devyn and Mayuko and we talked and ate and laughed.
Friday was another rotary dinner—except this one was twenty times bigger. It was a dinner to raise money for rotary, so it was super fancy with about a hundred plus people. And the theme? Salmon and oysters. Devyn and I were able to force down one oyster each (as the guy next to me had at least ten). Renzo, my counselor, played DJ, which was surprisingly hilarious to watch. The dinner started out with “aperitifs” which is like appetizers, except servers wander around with platters of quiche and apricots wrapped in bacon. Then we sat down and had a buffet-style salmon and oyster dinner. Then desert and cheese. You’d think it be over, right? No. Then there was dancing. At least two hours of older Rotarians shakin’ their groove things. I didn’t get home until TWO AM.
Which was a dommage (pity) because I had to get up super early the next morning. 6:00 am, and I NEEDED A SHOWER BAD. Unfortunatly, the shower on my floor no longer has hot water. So I had to take a cold shower, which was quite a way to wake up. I took the train to Liege! Yay! I actually met two people I know en route, which was funny. Belgium gets smaller and smaller! I played scrabble on the train with another exchanger and then waited in the train station for an HOUR AND FORTY FIVE MINUTES. The bus schedule gets dicey, and I had to wait for my friends to pick me up. Plus, I couldn’t find the “enter” button on the atm so I had no money.
Once my friends showed up, we walked to the Christmas market in liege and tried some delicious food-stuffs, like stuffed waffles and spiced, hot wine. There was also an ice rink! YAY CHRISTMAS SPIRIT! They get really into this saint Nicolas thing, too, which as far as I can understand is crazy. It’s this big saint santa guy who wanders around looking like the pope if he wanted to be Santa, with a Moorish “helper” (slave?) dressed in blackface who kind of dances besides him. I witnessed a parade of these crazy helped in Ghent, but I only have started to understand now. Anyway, on the 6th of December children get candy in their shoes if they’ve been good, as far as I can gather.
I slept at a friend’s house in Liege, and we made grilled cheese sandwhiches and tomato soup (using “made” in the loosest sense of the word) because the next day was the EXOTIC DINNER.
This insanity organized by Rotex involved every country dividing themselves into groups of three or four and creating something…native? That’s surprisingly difficult for Americans, because all of our favorite dishes tend to actually come from other countries. There was an impressive amount of food, but not an impressive amount of room. We all squished together and tried to get everything organized for the parents to come through and try everything…leaving not a lot for the students, I might add. This seems to be a common rotary theme. I tried bread stuffed with meat from Canada, noodles from Japan, candy from Finland…all in all, a great experience.
Then Rotex brought in our “surprise” which was one of them dressed up like St. Nicholas and his black-faced helper. They violently threw candy. Sarah and I were pretty jazzed because we happened to have reindeer antlers with us at the time, and it made for a pretty good picture.
After the dinner, I went to see a movie with my host family. We saw The Adventures of TinTin. For those you who don’t know, Tintin is a Belgian comic (Belgium being really famous for their comics). It was kind of frustrating that the movie was made in English, for this reason. I watched it in French, of course, but it was obviously voiced over and all the writing was in English.
This Wednesday, I also went to a movie called Intouchables, a French, heart-warming film about a man completely paralyzed and the aid that comes to be his best friend. It even had a happy ending!
Friday night, I went into Brussels to try to get some stuff together for Christmas, and stumbled on to part of a huge Christmas “marche” with an overwhelming amount of Christmas stands selling winter food and festive things. Saturday we went back to Brussels and found the rest of it, because Friday we had only seen a little corner of it. Quinn, Sarah and I went up in a huge Ferris wheel and saw all of Brussels. Everything was decorated and Christmas-y and it was all just so NICE.
After I got home, Jerome and I made chocolate mousse (casualties: six wasted eggs, an electric beater. The later started smoking!) and then watched 21 in English with French subtitles.
Today we’re having a big family lunch, that involves people wandering in and out as they please, so that should be fun!
This week is the start of finals, so with all my free time I’ll be getting up to some fun and interesting adventures! Can’t wait to tell ya’ll ‘bout them!