10 entries from srah blah blah tagged with 'belgium':


I now pronounce you Belgium

Christianna packed me a little snack for the train, which included both a bar of chocolate and a chocolate-covered waffle. I am so going to marry this country....

srah - Tuesday, 29 April 2003 - 4:25 AM
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If it pleases you

The French-speaking Belgians say s'il vous plaît for everything. I'm not sure if it means "please", "thank you", "you're welcome", "here you go", or all four. People keep saying it to me as they hand me my change....

srah - Tuesday, 29 April 2003 - 4:06 AM
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Olé encore!

Belgian thee met melk report: level three. The milk was forgotten by the server, and there were lemon slices on my saucer. This merits a ranking about equal to that of the United States. Of course I am basing it on one experience and I don't know if the results would be any different in Bruxelles or Wallonie. Did you notice that "tea with milk" is one of the few Dutch words/phrases I've picked up? Dank u wel for noticing; yes, I am an addict....

srah - Monday, 28 April 2003 - 7:09 PM
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A bicyclette

Apparently the mode of transportation in Belgium is by bicycle. The streets are full of bicyclists and bicycles are chained up everywhere in Antwerp. I passively participated in this preferred pastime this evening. Christianna and Robbie only have two bikes, but I got to ride on the back of Robbie's. It was much less harrowing for me than when Sophie and I rented a tandem on Mackinac Island, as Robbie's feet touched the ground when he stopped and he was strong enough to keep the bike upright even with me still on it....

srah - Monday, 28 April 2003 - 7:03 PM
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The mad American strikes again

I feel like I have to make my return to Vichy with some kind of flamboyant Belgiocity, in the way that people come back from Mexico with enormous sombreros, from Scotland with kilts, from Jamaica with dreadlock wigs, or from Easter Island with huge foam-rubber Moai heads. I don't know if the huge foam-rubber Moai heads exist, but if they don't they should, and maybe if I write "huge foam-rubber Moai heads" here often enough I can become the number-one search request for "huge foam-rubber Moai heads", which would really be quite an honor. Back to the subject at hand....

srah - Monday, 28 April 2003 - 10:19 AM
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The guilt of the anglophone

I feel a bit confused and vulnerable and guilty speaking English to everyone here; I could pretend to be a francophone, but in most cases I assume English would be their second language and French only third. The most frustrating thing to me is that I don't know how to say "I'm sorry", something I want to say to everyone to apologize for my raging anglophony....

srah - Monday, 28 April 2003 - 6:03 AM
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"Help! Help! I'm being repressed!"

Belgium is a fascinating place. I may have a skewed impression, considering my hosts are Flemish, but it seems that the French-speaking minority forces the Flemish-speaking majority to submit to their language when the conflict comes up, and the multilingual flamands give in. Now I get to represent two overbearing, aggressive languages here in the the Flemish town of Antwerp, when I try to me débrouiller alone in town....

srah - Sunday, 27 April 2003 - 7:11 PM
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Mad American

I made an ass of myself by asking the Information Man at the train station a completely ridiculous and random question that turned out to have a completely obvious and stupid answer. I was waiting for Christianna and Robbie, who were running late. I had already bothered the Information Man once to page them, then he saw that I was still there but I explained that I'd had her on the phone and that she was just running late. I had been trying to figure out the Belgian name for the number 80. Whereas the French call 70 soixante-dix, 80...

srah - Sunday, 27 April 2003 - 6:38 PM
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Haiku Fever epidemic

Am bored out of my mind in the train; will torture myself with haiku. I am afflicted, when I visit assistants, with Haiku Fever. I don't know what langue to speak with Christianna. English? French? Flemish? Why I like Belgium: Multilingualism and pommes frites and waffles. I am sad to leave Grenoble but it's Sophie's turn to visit now. Sometimes I wish that I lived in an area more geared t'words tourists. Then people would be sure to stop and visit when they came to the States. Other passengers wonder why I keep counting up to seventeen. Haiku is too...

srah - Sunday, 27 April 2003 - 10:55 AM
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La question que tout le monde se pose

The damned Belgian on Nice People speaks five languages. The damned Belgian I'm visiting tomorrow speaks at least six. Why was I not born in Belgium? Sophie and I are both disappointed that our parents aren't foreign, as this would have given us a fine linguistic head-start. Being Belgian or Luxembourgeois wouldn't have hurt, either....

srah - Saturday, 26 April 2003 - 6:09 PM
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