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:Read More
I had another broken brain moment the other day. Which is nothing new, really, but unfortunately this one happened during an exam. Usually this frustration arises when I have to write in Spanish or in Dutch but this time it happened while I was writing in English.Read More
On late Saturday afternoons we always head to the supermarket and stock up on the weekly groceries. As we were taking the usual path through the aisles on a recent Saturday, I noticed there was a cart set up to try out a new beer that the store was selling. The guy manning the cart was washing the glasses and it seemed as if he had finished with his job for the day. Sometimes there are moments like this when I have to remind myself that I would have found this an unbelievably strange thing only 3 or 4 years ago.Read More
It’s hard to fathom that I’ve been living in Belgium for a year now, but it’s true. The year has gone unbelievably quickly and yet so many important things have happened in its course. Before we moved to Belgium, I envisioned myself writing many more blog entries to help create concrete memories of all the experiences. As I discovered, life takes up way more time. I feel that this one year mark in Belgium is a sort of milestone and it’s nice to look back and see all of the accomplishments that comprise the last year.Read More
During the last few months OppositeOcean has been dormant. A pattern that I’ve noticed about myself during the last few years of my life is that winter often leaves me uninspired.
While I underwent a winter hibernation concerning blogging, many other things changed in my life. I also suffered what I will refer to as an academic coma as a result of trying to complete 5 levels of Dutch courses. Yesterday I received the fantastic news that I passed the ITNA exam, which is the final exam for level 5. Although I still don’t feel that confident with my ability to verbalize my thoughts in Dutch, it’s so very nice to be able to read Belgian news or be able to finally enjoy watching TV in Dutch. I am glad that the courses are achter de rug (literally ‘behind the back’ – over).Read More