One of the things I reveled in when I first moved to Ghent was the often-underrated ability to blend in. I had just spent a year living and studying in Spain and often found myself an anomaly in that culture; it was always obvious to Spanish people that I was from somewhere else. It was such a relief to venture out in Ghent and mix in seamlessly with the rest of the crowd. In fact, I seem to have perfected the art of blending in so well that I’m quite often stopped on the street and asked for directions.
My idea for this post came to me a couple of weeks ago, when I was trudging around Ghent, impeded by construction on the tram route, trying to reach a rather out-of-the-way copy shop in which I could purchase a course manual. I had just come from an English literature lecture in which the Belgian girl sitting next to me asked me a question in Dutch about the lecture.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
Belgians are superior language learners. A week or so ago I was amazed again by their vast language capabilities. I was waiting for the tram around 10 in the morning so that I could make my English literature class lecture when an elderly man and woman made their way to the stop. As the tram was arriving the man asked me something in Dutch that I didn’t understand.Read More
My first Belgian Thanksgiving turned out to be a lot more American than I had planned. I arrived home from my Dutch class to find an empty apartment. Christophe returned soon with a mischievous grin and a backpack full of secret Thanksgiving supplies. He tried to kick me out of the kitchen but my stubbornness prevailed and we made a nice Thanksgiving dinner together. I was, like usual, only in charge of the peeling, chopping, and boiling of water as it seems to work more successfully this way.Read More
After arriving in Belgium quite late on Monday night there were many ups and downs. The first down came around the time we stepped foot outside of the Charleroi airport only to find that it was too late for the buses to run to Ghent that night. Upon that realization an alternate plan was developed and we headed for the hotel. Thanks to one well-educated Belgian’s ability to speak French we accomplished this with little difficulty. We were shuttled around Charleroi with other harried travelers also seeking a comfortable bed to sleep in for the night.Read More