Chameleon is an extremely versatile theme with a myriad of options and styles

The musings of an American expat living opposite the Atlantic Ocean

An Introduction to Belgian Beer

Posted on Jul 23, 2013 | 4 comments

An Introduction to Belgian Beer

It’s been a long time now that I’ve been wanting to write a post about Belgian beer. After all, this blog is mostly about Belgian culture and my experiences with it and beer is very much an essential part of Belgian culture. Although I really love Belgian beer and will rarely ever turn down the opportunity to taste a new one, I’m still no expert. That’s why I am very excited today to bring you the following guest post from the Belgian beer enthusiasts at Beer Tourism. I do hope you enjoy the informative introduction to Belgian beers that they have so expertly prepared for my readers and of course, I hope they inspire you to embark on your own Belgian beer adventure. It will be delicious, I can guarantee that!

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Instagram Video for Flanders in Seconds

Posted on Jul 19, 2013 | 2 comments

Ghent is in the process of gearing up for the Genste Feesten which will start tomorrow. The Gentse Feesten is a 10 day cultural festival held in the city of Ghent. The festival has been taking place every year since 1843 and offers the public many free concerts and other forms of entertainment. Today while out meeting with a friend for a cold drink in the city center, we had a nice view of the festival preparations. The Graslei is starting to transform and by this time tomorrow it will be full of people listening to music, drinking, and enjoying the evening sun.

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Dutch, the mythical unicorn of European languages.

Posted on Jul 17, 2013 | 20 comments

Dutch, the mythical unicorn of European languages.

Let’s be clear, unicorns unfortunately do not exist and neither does Dutch, my friends. Perhaps you’re saying “no way” and typing “does Dutch really exist” into the google search bar right now. If you click search, Wikipedia will try to inform you that it does indeed exist, but I’m going to tell you why it doesn’t.

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Nature Finds

Posted on Jul 16, 2013 | 3 comments

Nature Finds

Since we came back from our little getaway in France, things have started to go back to normal. The weather has been beautiful in Belgium and the flowers in our back yard are really starting to take off. Although our yard is so tiny it seems to still require a lot of maintenance. The boyfriend does his nightly snail removal and it seems like the grass grows out just as soon as we cut it. During the last week or so of yard maintenance we’ve found a lot of interesting things.

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6 seconds of Saturday in Ghent

Posted on Jul 10, 2013 | 0 comments

On Saturday we into the city during the afternoon. We needed something from one of the shops in the city center and the afternoon was sunny so we decided to go on our bikes. After we had done our shopping, we couldn’t resist walking around the city a bit since the weather was just so nice. I thought it was the perfect opportunity to try out Vine for the first time so I made this little Vine video for Flanders in 6. I introduced Flanders in 6 in a previous post (you can read that here) but hadn’t had the time to try it out myself then. Hope you enjoy these 6 seconds of our Saturday afternoon.

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5 major differences between Belgium and the US

Posted on Jul 8, 2013 | 18 comments

5 major differences between Belgium and the US

It’s hard as an American living abroad to not always compare Belgium to my home country or vice versa. I try not to present things too much in this way on the blog because often when comparisons are made people make an assumption that one way is better than the other. The truth is, all the experiences in my life are placed on a backdrop next to what I once learned to be the norm. I find things interesting now because they are different, but I want to be clear in saying that the differences are neither entirely positive or negative – they are just anders. So, without further ado, I give you five major differences between the way of life here in Belgium and my former way of life in the US:

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Getaway in France

Posted on Jul 7, 2013 | 4 comments

We just returned from a week in Menton in the south of France. It was a beautiful place to relax and get away from all the responsibility in Belgium. We spent hours exploring the old city, soaking up the sun on the beach, and swimming in the Mediterranean Sea. I tried to capture it all with the camera and I’ve compiled some of my favorites to share here.

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10 things I’ve learned about studying at a Flemish university.

Posted on Jun 28, 2013 | 10 comments

10 things I’ve learned about studying at a Flemish university.

On Tuesday I finished my last exam of the semester and it already feels like I’ve been done for weeks even though it’s only Friday. It’s a wonderful feeling now to choose whatever I want to do with my time instead of racing against the clock to try and remember one last piece of information that could prove crucial but then rarely ever does. This week is one comprised of two very contrasting extremes. Sunday night I was awake late, reading and rereading the syllabus for the exam that was to take place on Monday morning. I rushed home after that exam to study for the Spanish literature exam that was to take place on Tuesday. From Tuesday evening on I’ve been carefree and finally can do what I want without any feelings of guilt.

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Flanders in 6

Posted on Jun 27, 2013 | 4 comments

Flanders in 6There has been a lot of talk about this in the media lately and I thought I would take a bit of time to share it here on OppositeOcean. The tourism website, Visit Flanders, is starting up a new project designed to bring anyone and everyone real videos of Flanders taken by real, ordinary people. The website for Flanders in 6 invites people to share their 6-second videos on the video sharing app, Vine. When sharing your video on Vine, you add the hashtag #flandersin6 and then your video will show up among all the others tagged with #flandersin6 so that anyone searching the website will be able to see your amateur video-making skills and the lovely moments you captured of Flanders.

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