Saturday, November 6, 2010

Well its been a while...

I haven't published in quite some time and for that I am really sorry. Sometimes i just have no idea what to write.
However some exciting things have happened. On October 24, I met up with all the AFS kids in Belgium to perform our very own flashmob. I boarded the train to Bruxelles where there was a large group of kids from Wallonie and Flanders waiting. We spent most of the day talking and learning the dance until it was time for us to perform. The flashmob occured in St.Hubert galleries (i believe...) which is this long indoor hall with stores and cafes. Its actually really beautiful. So all of us arrived at different times into the hall (as to not draw suspicion from the arrival of a 100 students all wearing brightly colored shirts) and we pretended just to be ordinary people shopping, taking pictures, being touristy...and then BAM the music starts. In the beginning there was just one group of guys who were supposed to look indian (becasue the music was jai ho). After that we all randomly joined in the dance when we thought it was right until the end when ALLLL of us were dancing. The people in the hall were so confused and at first just had no idea what was going on. After we'd been dancing though, many ofo them stopped to watch and started filming. Overall it was really fun not only because we got to dance but i got to see other exchangers i hadnt seen since my arrival in Belgium. Hopefully we raised some AFS awareness. Heres the link to the video if anyone wants to see.

I suppose i should also mention Halloween. Yes it is know here and people do celebrate it to a certain degree. Theres no trick or treating or jokes but maybe for the little kids they get candy. Also i saw that some teenagers dress up. Its mostly just like another party or another theme. For example, Walibi (belgian 6 flags) has a Monster festival at the park all Halloween week. But alas i didnt dress up or even get any candy :( oh well

But i did get to go to Walibi with my chapter of AFS (wooo AFS Namur!). We all met up at the train station in Namur before catching a different train and heading to Walibi. There were about 30 of us in total and when we got there it was raining (suprise suprise) and since for some reason i'm still suprised when this happens meaning i did not have my raincoat. While we were waiting in line for the best ride at the park, it was pouring rain. Literally by the time we got to the front of the line, my hair and shoes were drenched through. Very cold and unpleasant. But the ride was good. After that Johanna (american) and I went and found a food place where we got coffee and sat under an umbrella to dry and warm up. After that we ended up buying bright blue walibi ponchos that while unattractive, kept us dry until the rain stopped. I must say though, i think Six Flags STL was just a little bit better (more rides)

This past week was also Les vacances de Toussaint or Conge. Toussaint is all saints so basically all saints day, but with a week of vacation. Needless to say, i'm liking this Holiday and I think the US can learn a little from Belgium in this area. I spent the week visiting friends and Thursday I actually went to Ghent for the day and spent the night there. For those of you who dont know your Belgian geography (and political issues), you wouldnt realize that Ghent is in Flanders which is the Flemish (or dutch) speaking part of Belgium. Its also the richer half of Belgium and as some people believe, the better part. It literally was like entering a foreign country. I felt like i wasnt in Belgium anymore. Everyone was speaking a language i couldnt even begin to know and i felt so lost and unable to communicate. Dutch is just a completely differnt sound. But i found that people were actually really nice and Flanders is beautiful.

It really helped me understand all the tension between the separate parts of Belgium. For example, when i tried to talk to people i would ask English/Francais? and almost every single time, they preferred to speak English over french. Everyone i talked to was completely fluent in English and im sure completely proficent in French yet they prefer to speak a language that has no real ties to their country. Definatley interesting.

Also in exciting news, I recieved my first box from the US full of goodies such as clothes and supplies for making cookies and pancakes. I got some nice, huge warm socks from my sister and some fleece jackets from home and basically the box just made me happy. I mean who dsnt love seeing their favorite chips! And let me tell you this box had quite the journey. When it got here it had been retaped in Bruxelles and was falling apart. But i suppose its come a long way :D

Well i believe thats all for now
a tantot

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