tips from sandra

a sweet woman in my neighborhood, in lay-un, is from belgium. she gave me the low down about belgium. i loved every tip. some will keep me on my toes and some even made me giggle. read in a french accent. everything is better this way.

...we(beglians) can always pick out you(americans) out from a mile away by your trainers. you always wear trainers. we only wear those excercising, not around the streets.
(i was clueless by what she meant by trainers. i assume tennis shoes. haha)

... dont wear those saggy bum jeans. those will make you stand out. our jeans always fit much better in belgium.
(i was self-consciously checkin my jeans. are they saggy?)

... put on make-up. my mom wears make-up when she goes to get bread in the morning.
(gotta look nice. and how picturesque-get bread every morning!)

we finish our very helpful conversation and she calls me back and leaves a voice mail with the last few pointers she forgot:

...everything closes earlier there so you have to be organized. you can't run to walmart at midnight.
(dang. everything really does close at 8 pm, and they won't let you in the door at 7:30 cause they want everyone gone by 8. and you can guess when we leave the grocery store everytime? yup right at close)

...dont look around while walking in belgium; the streets are dirty and if you are not watching where you step you will step in dog poop. if you need to be on your phone or something stop walking.
(i probably will not be able to follow this tip. hopefully my shoes stay clean)


day trois:

FRIDAY baby!

blew out the other converter with my blow dryer! sheesh, why does my hair have to look mangey in europe? they both are fixed, and i'm wondering if i can pull of six months sans blow dryer...? haven't dared the straightener yet. will risk it tomorrow.
gradually adjusting to the time zone, getting up earlier and earlier.
worked almost a full day-i think i could get used to this full time work thing. this is the first time in my life i've had a 9-5(or a little later for the jetlagged) job. its not too bad.
finding myself missing the women in my life. everytime i see a women i wanna squeeze her because i love the feminity.
muesli!!!!!!! breakfast and i are becoming fast friends.
finally finished unpacking and rearranging furniture. so far i kinda like our 350 sq ft studio apartment feel-a fun challenge.
made my first meal, took quite a while. i couldn't read the directions on the gravy mix, and used milk instead of water-tad to thick. this guessing game is going to be the story of my life with anything food related here. also, used this lettuce head from my grocery guessing game. when devin saw the bottom part of the lettuce head he asked, "what, are we supposed to plant this or something?" dunno if you can see on the right, but the roots are fully connected, just like a flower ready to plant.

french phrase of the day, stolen from a native, and perhaps my favorite learned so far: bon weekend. (weekend said frenchlike: a soft -w and silent -d) "have a good weekend." hah.

our (w)eeken(d) will see the likes of ikea shopping, first time ward attending! woo, little extra working, my favorite-grocery shopping, and lots of sleep!
bon (w)eeken(d)!


day deux:

day two:

presenting our little village:
watched the sunrise. like from dark all the way to light, couldn't sleep and it was sooo pretty.

fell head over heels for little french speaking children: four playing around the clothesline in their backyard which opens up to a field, three next door riding trikes with mom, two playing tag in the grocery store, and one who counted to two (yes i know that much french) over and over again as she stole a cracker from the bakery in the grocery store.

laughed with devin until i cried-good tears. oh so therapeutic.

drove to ikea to get loaded up on supplies, and got lost. (while loving it here, i'm realizing many blessings about the USofA, like a GPS and a cell phone... and i'll stop there... sigh) after i got over missing out on our ikea visit, we ended up going to carrefour this time for food- and i was in utter shock at how difficult it is to grocery shop, like serious grocery shop, in a foreign land. i already am a slow grocery shopper, but now i'm crawling. it took two hours, patience, good eyes on how to copy cat for the scale in the produce section, more money than in the USofA, and out of it all we got out of it was food for half a week and laughed at in the checkout stand. huge incentive to learn the language, like enormous.

worked today, amazed what engineering and human machines can do. i feel like i'm living in the tv show, "it's a wrap." fascinating.

turned on the blow dryer for the first time, and blew the fuse in our converter-good thing we bought two. first time i went to europe i singed my hair to the root with my straightener-good thing it was short. you would think i'd learn.

discovered, on accident, a peanut butter which has the slightest resemblance of maple syrup mixed with peanut butter, which takes me back to waffles at my house as a kid. HEAVEN.

just two down, and i feel like i've been here for ages.


here we are

I am thinking i may try to log events from every day while we are here, excepting weekends.

pictures from my moving car of greater brussels area.

the half day we arrived plus day one:

sleeping fifteen hours after the awful jetlag.
not eating cause i was sleeping so much. waking up shakey. eating chocolate bars for breakfast.
sparkling water instead of water. guess i'll have to start liking this stuff.
a call to family and a few tears.
prophetic words, "hope ya know we had a hard time" soothing my soul.
realizing i'm not in utah anymore, fees to use public restrooms, i can wait.
pizza hut express: one large pizza=19.50 euros! guess we wont be eating out much.
2nd largest grocery chain next to walmart=carrefour. got sheets, dish scrubbers, food.
boxed milk, the kind that doesn't need to be refridgerated, is also not my favorite.
european yogurt on the other hand-mmmm can't get enough.
long drive through a part of brussels and mainly the country side, great.
absolutely dying to attend the ward on sunday.
really feeling the need to learn the language.
really feeling the Lord's love as I try and make this adjustment.
listening to mo-tab as i fell asleep and loving the lyrics that take me back to white christmas:
if you are worried and you can't sleep
just count your blessings instead of sheep
and you will fall asleep counting your blessings.

generally it was a day one full of growth. this experience is going to be really good for me