Sunday, October 31, 2010


hey there world! day! today my friend and i woke up what seemed like pretty early..due to the fact that it was ALREADY daylight savings time here in belgium last night! so we "fell back" an hour here, while the USA doesn't do it for another week. my narrow-minded-non-cultured self just assumed the whole world did the daylight savings time all at once, but no sir..only certain countries choose to do it and allat different times too. so right now south dakota is only 6 hours behind me instead of the usual 7..but only for this week..complicated!! anyways, we woke up, hadbreakfast, then took her to the train station to go home. on the way home from the train station my host mom took me to see a graveyard.sounds random and creepy but there was logic to it. the first of november is belgium's version of "memorial day" and everyone goes to put flowers and stuff on the graves, so it was kind of nice to see. we didn't visit anyone in particular but just walked around the cemetery in Turnhout and Oud-Turnhout. it was pretty interesting to see, but definitely a weird feeling. you feel bad that they're dead, happy that people are visiting them, but also kind of strange that they were all european people that have been through wars and stuff..i don't know, just an overall somewhat eerie thing. (all my belgian friends are probably now looking up the word "eerie" in the dictionary..)
so after that we came home for a little bit and then went to Kasterlee like..20 minutes drive? to a pumpkin festival thing! it was..charming, to say the least. there were cute little booths selling pumpkins, pancakes, and everything in between. someone my family knew asked me the common are you gaining weight question, and i didn't know how to answer it. i guess my clothes fit fine, my legs feel stronger (damn bike..weird), but i really don't know for sure. so i thought about it seriously for a few minutes then decided to eat a giant fluffy pancake from the cool guy with the oven pictured below. although in all seriousness i couldgain or lose 20 pounds and be completely oblivious to it..i'm really not that observant, i have better things to worry about. can you tell weight is not on my priority list? hah! when in belgium folks, when in belgium..besides that, its not my fault this country runs on carbohydrates. i even got to see THE LARGEST PUMPKIN IN EUROPE! gee, theres something i'll never forget..maybe.
the best part about today was not the greek place we went for dinner, although that was kind of amusing in itself. nor was the best part about today the hour i played monopoly with my host family, although that was actually really fun. the best part about today was what is pictured below. hollowed out giant pumpkins, used as a little a race. just grow the pumpkin, carve it, and use and oar to push yourself around the water. funniest concept i've ever heard of! sadly the actual race is in a week or so, so we didn't see it. we only saw an example pumpkin and i picked up a brochure. seriously though, how clever is this!??! pumpkin boat races? HAHA!
anyways, i hope your day was as nice as mine. as always, thanks for reading and goodnight!!



hello people. day 74 here! today i woke up pretty early for some reason and couldn't go back to sleep..sad right? then i ate some rice krispies (so matter what continent you are on) and read my book for a while. then i watched at least 3 hours of tv..some of it in dutch! and then i went with my host mom to a clothing store in out-turnhout. sometime after that we had dinner and i got ready to go out for the night, haha! then i biked really fast to the train station because i was kind of late to meet my friend gabby from tennessee that is an exchange student in belgium too! we went to this kind of weird party thing in turnhout tonight with a lot of creepy music (not creepy as in halloween..creepy as in bad electronic nonsense) and the occasional scent of something that probably wasn't just tobacco. nothing too exciting happened there but i must mention that the nasty/nice girl that i mentioned a few blogs ago (the one that asked me if i've met any boys in english class) literally threw her FULL beer alllll over me. it was completely ridiculous but since i am a sweetheart exchange student i just laughed. truthfully i would have laughed no matter what i think..who cares about a little beer on my left thigh..pshh. anyways. then we stopped at the frituur on the way home and they were OUT OF FRIES! how does that happen??! so we got chicken fingers instead..and now here i am at home, really tired, wanting to post a picture or two but i have no motivation to do so because my friend is already asleep and i think i am going to do the same. sleepover time! like middle school again. haha, slaapwel world.

Friday, October 29, 2010


hello hello! day 73! happy junk food friday! well today was a pretty non eventful friday to be honest. went to school and spent a couple hours in the library followed by a couple hours of sitting in class doing nothing! i think i read over 100 pages in less than like two hours. then i bought a smoske and some oreos for lunch (yeah celebration of friday, duh) and went to watch these girls in my class was nice but sometimes constantly being around music drives you a wee bit crazy. then we had gym class and we danced the chachacha nonsense again along with some "disco swing" thing. its like MMS all over again, only no boys! then we played volleyball and i actually thought it was kind of fun, go figure right? last but not least we had geography where i was told that i have to take the final exam..yippee, i wouldn't want anything more in life, teacher! but it will be fine because i think with the rotary i only have to take two exams and i'm hoping i can choose english as my other one..because i have absolutely no idea what's going on in any of my other classes!!! anyways, then for the first time ever(?) we did not go to the irish pub after school..i'm not sure why. but i came home and just hung out for a while i guess. then i went to the grocery store with my host was fun like always. the cashier lady looked at my uggs and said in dutch something like "oh nice uggs those are really popular in america" and my host mom replies with "hey she IS american" and the lady said "really? i just got back from vacation in florida and they were selling like crazy down there"..hahah sometimes being american is just too obvious or america is just too influential, one of the two. well technically speaking, uggs are from australia, but..come on now..everything is built for the usa. tonight we had the (infamous?) kebab and i think i have never been so full in my life!! then i took a shower, had some apple cider (or better yet, warm apple juice and cinnamon....nobody knows what the heck apple cider is you americans enjoy your orange peel-allspice-cinnamon sugar flavored warm cider when you get it, okay?) and now i'm laying in bed typing this. for some reason i am extremely tired tonight so sincere apologies that this is really dull. the good news is that i don't have school ALL of next week so i have about 9 days to do whatever i want, fabulous. any suggestions? too tired to think of anything else exciting to say but i will tell you this much..BLOG IS ALMOST UP TO 5,000 VIEWS!!!! thank you readers, and goodnight!

Thursday, October 28, 2010


day seventy two! happy happy day because i officially made it to level 1.2 in dutch! hooray! so now we have a one week break and i start the next level monday the 8th. truth be told, the test (both speaking and writing) were not half as bad as i was expecting. anyways, on to school. hmm..what did i have today. oh yes, jazz. it was great, i got to play what i enjoy and what i'm good at, so its always nice to have that on thursdays. then i offered the argentinan kid a chance to try, and it took almost all of me not to laugh out loud at how bad he was. the teacher looked over at me after a minute of him playing and said "how about you play so he can see how to do it" or something..haha i like that teacher. then we watched a movie in art history in which i finished reading my book. the last two hours of school were really boring, music class and some drama class thing. i have this terrible habit of being able to fall asleep at any given moment in the lessons..literally in any position i just fall asleep then wake up and hope the class is almost over. i'm not sure if that makes me a good foreign exchange student or a bad one, but nonetheless its very refreshing. anyways..after school i went tanning, to celebrate my level-up in dutch class. i love how i always have to have some sort of reasoning in my head to go tanning..something that makes me feel like its a worthy cause and not just a selfish waste of money, haha. then i came home and eventually we finished the finger cookies! aren't they spooky? some of the fingernails were coming off so i made some edible glue (powdered sugar, milk, and food coloring) and it looks like more blood..ahhh!
then here are a couple pictures of the finished decorating by my host mother with some of the things we got yesterday. currently the cooking club is hard at work downstairs! 8 guys that meet like once a month or something and cook a fancy meal..shall we start one i brookings, friends? not like we need another excuse to entertain back in good old south dakota...enough of that going on ;) about the only noteable thing about tonight was that one of the cooking club members asked me for my pumpkin seed bloggers, you should try it too!

so now i leave you, because i am extremely tired and have a whole day at real school tomorrow. luckily i have two free periods where i can go to the library (due to the fact that they took me out of french and german) so hopefully i can get some nice nap time in. goodnight and as always, thanks for reading!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


day 71 here, people! today i went with my host mom to buy decorations for her table because tomorrow night a bunch of men come over for "cooking club"..fancy eh? so we went to a shop in Arendonk (like ten minutes away) at this giant home store that was like a more expensive and not half as cool version of ikea. but first we stopped at the post so i could mail off my package for home..not even one kilo, 16 EURO..AH! whatever, hope it makes it alive! so after that store we stopped at another, and there wasn't much there either but i think my host mom bought a ceramic mushroom. everything was christmas already so that made it hard too!
then we came home for lunch, so i scrambled a couple eggs and also had a pb&j..can't go a day without my favorite peanut butter and jelly! then we went to another store which was a mini version of hobby lobby and what do you know..they had everything we wanted. so then we came home and i forgot what happened after that. oh wait i know, we stopped at the farmer to buy eggs! and the farmers wife talked for like an hour but she was nice. then she gave us waffles that she made herself! so cool! i want to learn how to make these hard waffle things..but she only speaks dutch, and has a somewhat different maybe in the spring :)

soo then i made cookies for the cooking club to laugh at tomorrow..HALLOWEEN FINGER COOKIES! aren't they awesome? i made them last year for a halloween party with my friends and everyone loved what the heck lets bring america to belgium. the picture is of the cookies before they went in the oven. they don't look much different now except a little fatter!
so that was my day. nothing much else happening except i finished my chocolate santa, which is really depressing. tomorrow i have my speaking exam for dutch. scary! but it starts at 10:15 so i can sleep in a little ;) slaapwel everybody!! much love and thanks for reading.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


day seventy here folks! final exam this morning in language word: easy. or at least i think it was. i noticed i was the first one done so i just sat there an extra half an hour bored..then i was done at like 11 but i didn't want to go to school so i got some hot chocolate with a person from my class. then i went to school at like 11:30 and sat in the library for a while. then we had two hours of music, wherei got taken out of class by the principal! for good reasoning, of course. he just asked me and the other annoying kid what classes we wanted to take for sure. luckily for me (and everyone else in the class) he chose almost ALL different classes and i stuck with the same ones except for an hour of jazz theory. he also took me out of like 1 class a day so i could just go to the library and "do language class homework", hahahah. reallynice guy, the principle. anyways then i had an hour of math and i was done for the day. needless to say, i have about one chapter left in my book. so far i've decided i really like reading..and i really like writing. hmmm. anyways then i went to the post office after school to get a box to mail my mom and dad a box! then i went and got some ____ to put in the box..and i also got a chocolate saint nicolas dude and he is LEKKER. (tasty, this has become a common word in my limited-dutch vocabulary.) but do not be confused, THIS IS NOT A CHOCOLATE SANTA!!!!! santa is fat, has elves, rudolph, and lives in the north pole. this is some skinny dude that slightly resembles the pope..he has a horse, comes on december 6th, and has a lot of speculaas cookies shaped after him. its something i will probably blog about at a later date..almost sounds like a dissertation "the differences between santa and st nicolas" hahah
anyways then i came home and had an apple while talking to my host mom. haha, and you wonder if i ever stop eating, right? so then i packed up my box for home and some point after that we had spaghetti. then you'll never guess what we did tonight! PUMPKIN CARVING! so fun! i made a cat, while the host brother vincent stuck with a more traditional route. we were so hard at work! does it even look like a cat? it's nothing compared to my award winning pumpkin featured on the front of the Brookings Register a couple years ago but nobody mailed me a pumpkin knife, but luckily i have a spooky sounds cd from hartz instead!
anyways, i leave you now bloggers with a quote by my good ol "brave new world" writing buddy... it doesn't particularly pertain to anything about today, but quotes are always nice and cliche, so what the hell. happy day.

“Your true traveler finds boredom rather agreeable than painful. It is the symbol of his liberty-his excessive freedom. He accepts his boredom, when it comes, not merely philosophically, but almost with pleasure.” – Aldous Huxley

ps: here is a recipe i created (damn i'm good) for some roasted pumpkin seeds! i made them tonight and i find them pretty tasty.

lekker pumpkin seeds by jamie
2 cups fresh pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons garlic salt (i actually don't know for sure, i used dried garlic and sea salt...)

mix it all together, put on a cookie sheet, and roast for an hour or till brown in a 350 degree oven...SMAKELIJK!

Monday, October 25, 2010


day 69 here, haha. i only say haha because i was number 69 in my graduating class..and that is the only reason it is funny, right? anyways. not much happening today. hard to get out of bed this morning for some reason. i think its a monday thing. then went to language class where i THOUGHT i had my final exam but nope, its tomorrow and the next day instead. so wish me luck with that! then i met a few friends for lunch. who knew the irish pub would have such good coffee? then it was english class time. english here is just really different. first of all the teacher has this crazy british accent and secondly we learn ridiculous things. such as today, we had a test on like animals and sea pollution stuff. we had to DRAW a picture of a "green meadow with a fountain with a blue tail of a whale, a dog barking in a kennel, two pigeons flying, a squirrel, etc etc"..sorry lady but my drawing was just awful! to make things worse (or better?) we had a half hour left at the end so the teacher made us all move our desks in a circle so the class could ASK ME QUESTIONS. sounds fine, right? but you see, theres a girl in the other class that joins us sometimes that has this somewhat nasty-but-fake-nice attitude and she asked questions such as "have you found any nice boys that you like" and its just the most awkward class of my life!!! i think i still have my pride after that one but i wish people that don't know me could try not to make me feel so inferior or something, girls girls girls. some things will always be the same. anyways, afterthat we had music for a couple hours. i read my book. the book is really great actually! its called "i was told there'd be cake" and its a bunch of essays by this new york jewish writer girl. i really like it because she writes pleasant little stores about her life and in two chapters she has even mentioned belgium! its crazy. so i will leave you now, dear reader..because i have to watch desperate housewives. its pretty much an addiction. but i will leave you with two of my finer webcam pictures. first one is a lovely shot of my wrist and an extremely unflattering picture of my face. this picture is here to state that i have introduced belgium to the wonderful world of silly bandz (shaped rubber bands) and everyone so far has loved them! i gave some to my host mom and brother and they wear them now, how cool right? and im starting to give some to my classmates too. they aren't in belgium yet for some reason! but they will come soon. anyways, the next picture is of me having some cuddling time with my newly finished blanket. burrrr cold in belgium! goodnight all, thanks for reading.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


hello hello. sunday day 68! woke up pretty late this morning and tried to clean my room up a little..failed. so then of course it was "brunch" time and it was a little different this morning! i got introduced to the (almost infamous) "worstenbrood" and i must say this is definitely not one of those judging a book by its title sort of things. (get it, worst?) anyways. its the belgian version of a pig in a blanket only its more like..breakfast tasting sausage in a croissant, i guess. so here are a couple pictures..weird right!?
then we hung around a bit and then went to see the grandparents on the host dads side in the afternoon. it was nice there, i worked on my blanket a bit more and we had dinner..i had hawaiian pizza, haha. i don't have much else to say because i have part of my final exam tomorrow in dutch class, so i should really be studying! thanks for reading!


hello blog friends! thanks for tuning in to day 67. happy hobo day weekend to those of you in the western world, and to those of you who have no idea what i'm talking about, just happy weekend. started out the morning by forcing myself to get up at 930 to bike to the saturday market in turnhout! it was pretty cold on my way there but i was determined to get some fabric for my blanket. so once there i went to the fabric guy, asked him if he spoke english in my weird dutch..and he responded with "i speak PERFECT english", so thus i got some pretty material! i also got a waffle, yumm!
then i went to get my bike and some jerk tipped it over to get to their bike that was next to mine...thats usually what happens i guess.
i started on my blanket when i got home and found out that even the fabric scissors at the house are not too good so i will have to buy some nice ones soon! but nonetheless i got halfway done with the blanket already. clearly the material was not perfectly the same but i also bought pins so it will work out fine in the end as long as i cut some extra off!
i tried to take a few pictures coming home on the bike but it was starting to rain and they didn't turn out that well, but maybe you will get an idea of what it looks like. i know how you guys LOVE pictures on the blog..i like it too, but sometimes when the internet is slow it takes forever to upload!
sooo after all that i just hung around and made my blanket during the day. then we had lasagna for dinner! it was good but made me really really full..ouch. tonight i went to this really really weird party/festival type thing. i have no idea how to describe it other than like..chaos. it was like 5 big tents set up in the middle of some random field, and then you walk in and feel like you're in a really weird movie or doing crazy drugs. bumper cars, french fries, a girl dressed as the pope singing, loud techno music in one tent, faster loud techno music in another, i am not sure what to tell you. it was fun especially since i met A BOY there ( guessed it, cherry beer!) but i was kind of overwhelmed by the whole thing the majority of the time. such a different kind of subculture thing going on here in belgium. these kids love their beer, cigarettes, and techno. interesting! anyways, time for bed. slaapwel, world!

Friday, October 22, 2010


hi world! day 66 here. FRIDAY! long day at school. i did a lot of nothing. such as, sleeping in the library during german and reading my book in the majority of the other classes. i also had gym today where we danced a salsa(i think..1, 2 cha cha cha?) and then played volleyball. thank goodness no more running! after gym we had geography and of course we watched a movie (usually in english, with dutch subtitles..occasionally in some crazy language with english subtitles then covered by dutch subtitles..ridiculous) and in the movie was something about a farm in montana andhow the cows are only fed grass. since i am starting to understand quite a bit of dutch i figured out that the teacher thought this was almost an unbelievable fact..grass hormones..can NOT be possible. unfortunately she is the type of teacher you do not argue with so i left it alone, but man would i love to take her to cottonwood for a grass-fed-beef tbone or ribeye..hah! so then we went to the irish pub after school as usual. of course a cherry beer for me! oh and i should mention we went to the tea house for lunch and ihad hot chocolate like usual! so then on my bike ride home i decided to stop at the grocery store and buy things to make rice krispie bars! hooray! but man if you think cereal is expensive in america..pushing 5 dollars a box sometimes! and the marshmallows were PINK (not flavored, just colored) so they turned out a little weird looking. anyways i got home and then we all went to another grocery store again only this time to shop for the family for the week. i guess the grocery store is open late on friday..who knew! so here are some things i found amusing at the grocery store. i hope you enjoy them as much as i do!
mr clean=mr propre
weight watchers is in belgium too!
nasty shrimp things (from the north sea!)
and really expensive ketchup. ONE dollar sometimes at walmart!
wine sample station!..we tried it!
and an example of fish you can buy out of the freezer..look at the picture then get it out of the deep freeze below it..interesting..sams club?

so then we went and got some frituur and i had way too many french fries with my chicken burger thing. oh boy! then i made the rice krispy bars that i just tried and they are not that good. but now i am going to bed. thanks for reading!

Thursday, October 21, 2010


hi bloggers! day 65 here. it was a nice day, although very cold! high of 48 degrees as you can imagine it was a very chilly bike ride this morning! something i have yet to get used to. good news was that i wore a warm sweatshirt from the box from my mom yesterday along with a new scarf and some mittens from here too! i went to language class and guess what..I GOT A 10/10 ON MY TEST! hooray for learning Dutch! next week we have the final exam and it is one day of writing and one or two days of speaking..kind of nervous! so then i met my friends for lunch and we walked to a baker that sells those smos sandwich things i always talk about. so at the bakery i asked for "een fles water"(a bottle of water) and the lady instantly said (in dutch) "you're not from belgium are you" haaha..i must have an accent or be timid while asking i guess. so then we went to school and i had jazz ensemble. it was nice and we played "Summertime" so it was kind of boring for me. i let the guy from argentina try and play once and he was really bad..serves him right for having such a bad attitude!!! i got a whole new schedule of classes emailed to me the other day, but i have not attended any of them yet partly due to the fact that the argentinean is in the new classes as well, so if i stay with my class..then he will not be there. he really changes the mood of the class in a bad way! whatever, we will see what happens! all i know is that i am excited for fall break at the beginning of november! a week without school, fabulous. then i had a few more classes where i did some dutch homework and read a book my mom sent me from home. after school i decided to treat myself to tanning since i did well on my test and it felt very very nice. i wish there was real sun here!! well thats not true, theres sun, but it is NOT warm whatsoever, its insane. so after tanning i biked home and sat in bed for a little while because i was cold and a little tired. then we eventually had dinner and it was good! potatoes, green beans, and some beef gravy type thing. so now i should go to bed, a full day of real school goodnight and thanks for reading!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


hello hello! day 64 here in belgium land. nothing too exiting going on today. i took a test in dutch class and it was pretty easy i think! i will find out for sure tomorrow. then i came home and we had lunch because it is wednesday! we made this weird "tortilla" thing which was like eggs and potatoes...i think i've mentioned it before. anyways it was good. but before lunch the doorbell rang and it was MY 3RD BOX FROM HOME! yayy!
it was fabulous. it is so cold here in belgium, a different kind of cold than at home. it could be a wetter cold, considering it rains all the time and we are close to the sea. but for some reason even in the mid 50s i am still freezing so my mom sent me (amongst other things) some warm clothes. i love getting things from home, it makes me feel so much better for some reason. then i took a couple hour nap which was really great. then we ate dinner and now i am here. dinner was cabbage and sausage potatoes. i think that is pretty normal here. well i have not much more to say about today, the box and the easy language test was the thrill of my wednesday. really cold out tomorrow so wish me luck with the bike in the morning! burrrr!


this is one of those blogs where i promise to re-do it tomorrow due to the fact that i just got home (after midnight) from a rotary meeting thing and i have a test tomorrow in dutch class. sorry!!!!! slaapwel allemaal!
next day:
yesterday was a simple tuesday. woke up, went to dutch class, went to lunch with my friends, and went to real school. we had two hours of music, an hour of math, and an hour of theatre type class. although i bought a "cola light" (diet coke) at lunch time i could still not stay awake in math class! i felt kind of bad about it
but the teacher doesn't mind..its almost like he knows his voice puts me to monotone! anyways, after school i came home and had my daily chat with my host mom, i think. have i mentioned that most days after school we sit in the kitchen and have fruit and talk about the day? usually it is in english but more and more dutch is used around the house i guess. it is really stressful for me to hear dutch ALL THE TIME so the family still uses english mainly but when they speak dutch to me or eachother i can sometimes understand it! but replying is difficult due to my limited vocabulary. anyways. after that i took a shower and got ready for a rotary meeting thing. i got picked up by our exchange chairman lady and then we picked up manuella too. we got there around seven and left around midnight. i wish i could tell you it was fun but nothing is very fun when you don't under
stand what's going on! so the three exchange students just sat and smiled most of the night. i will tell you this much, i was definitely NOT smiling at the salad. in Belgium there are these mini-shrimp looking things that are my absolute worst fear. i've heard some stories about them from other exchange students and last night i finally had to face them myself. honestly i LOVE shrimp but this was like eating..i don't even poop? worst fishy taste of my life! sorry i am being rude but you just have to try them for yourself. i can choke down fish if i have to, sometimes i even like it, but this was a completely different situation.
needless to say, i really hope i never see them again. anyways the good news is that there was chocolate mousse for dessert, and courtney and i even drank some wine, haha! really funny that they offer us alcohol at rotary meetings here..or at least i think its kind of ironic. so that was yesterday, i hope you enjoyed it!

Monday, October 18, 2010


hello blogger world! hope you're all enjoying your day/night or whatever time it is at your point in the world. today was day 62 in Belgium land and it was a nice normal monday. i was a bit late to language class due to the fact that my lovely host mom made KOFFIE (oh excuse me, i meant to say COFFEE) and i left about 10 minutes later than i normally do, so i walked into class right as they were getting started. it was the end of the world, basically. i got kicked out of class for three weeks..hahah JUST KIDDING! i was one of many many people that came after the teacher came in the room so it really made no difference. anyways enough with the comedy act for tonight. wednesday i have my last ten point quiz in dutch class and then next week is the final exam..scary. one day writing and two days speaking..but i am trying to practice and listen more and i think i am making some significant progress! today my class went to a different place for lunch than usual. it was a restaurant on the market and they all had spaghetti but just ordered a coke and had my sandwiches since i can never pass up sandwich mondays! i believe i have mentioned that before, right? every monday my host brother and i have "sandwiches" to take in our boxes for lunch..and for you americans, a sandwich here is what we call a hot dog bun, basically. only not a crappy wonder bread hotdog bun. sorry if the blog becomes a bit redundant after a while, i do not want any readers to be confused! heaven forbid you don't understand what i ATE, especially considering this is turning into one giant food blog. "Jamie goes to Belgium..eating my way across the country" or something, hahaha. so anyways then we went to school and i really don't remember much so i assume it was boring. i know we had english class for two hours and then two hours of music so a lot of nothing. then i came home and i was looking online at office max stuff because we have a gift card there or something, and you would not believe what happened!! i was reading the list of items they sell such as "books, paper, chairs, electronics, safes, etc" and when i read the word "safes" i pronounced it like i was reading Dutch so in my head i said "sah-fez" and actually had to click on it to see what it was! then pictures of safes popped up and i was like DUHH JAMIE!!! but it was really funny, and a good sign i think. my brain is converting to dutch or something. sometimes i spell really simple things wrong in english, i bet you've noticed that in the blog maybe? oh well! for dinner we had leek which was really different for me! at home all we do with leeks is put them in soup or something! but it was chopped up and put in a frying pan then with some milky sauce on it. it was awesome! and there was also really yummy soup of course..broccoli! hooray for soup! so now i must leave you because i have an important episode of desperate housewives waiting for me on iTunes. but before i go...

on Tuesday a special someone back home has a very special BIRTHDAY! my second mother SUSAN HELSPER of SKH Designs! dearest susan, life just isn't the same without you! i wish you a very happy 60th birthday, you cougar you! and remember..age is just a have 6 decades of wisdom, hahahha. i can picture her saying something like "you aasss" to me right now. anyways happy birthday! nothing but fond memories of my silpada sister suzie q!

just wouldn't be a blog without some pictures..goodnight world!
ps i changed my settings so now anyone can comment i think!!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

2 months!

hello all. today marks 2 months in belgium! today i went with my host mom and brother to Lier. its about 45 minutes away i think. we went there last weekend and we went there today too since it was the "winkel" day so the shops were actually open on a sunday! all i got was a scarf but thats okay, kind of a knitted mustard color haha.. i am waiting to see what comes in my box of warm clothes my mom sent me this week. anyways! after being here two months i find myself still missing home a lot. i really like life here but home is still in the back of my mind. i keep wondering what i am missing out on asa freshman in college. don't get my wrong i appreciate life over here but some days (especially tired days) i just get overwhelmed with differences and constantly translating and the homesickness gets to me. i am hoping it will stop soon because i really want belgium to be REALITY instead of this dream-state i feel like i'm living in sometimes. the things i miss the most: family, friends, pokey & frostina, my bed, american food, my car!, hearing english, and just the complexity of the life i had at home. here its pretty simple..the same routine every day. at home i felt the options were endless, its america so you can do whatever you want to do, maybe. here i feel like belgium is belgium and i'm not making enough out of it. but please believe me when is say i like it here, because i do..i'm just being selfish. kids all over the world don'thave food, water, shelter, clothing..and here i am complaining about the differences in food, shelter, clothing..not to mention the fact that i have not one but THREE more families that are welcoming me into their homes during my stay here. i think that puts it in a different perspective now, eh? but moving on now. in lier we walked around the winkelstraat-shopping street and we got a waffle, yay! my first warm belgian waffle..i was so excited! so i will leave you at that, the picture of my beautiful waffle, and i will also mention that i had schnitzel with paprika (red bell pepper) sauce for dinner. thanks for reading, and sorry if said anything stupid!


hooray for day 60, tomorrow it will be 2 months! well as expected today was a pretty busy day. after attempting to wake up and go to the market i fell back asleep and ended up not going..oh well maybe next time! then i got ready and caught a train sometime before noon to Antwerp! in Antwerp i met my friend and fellow exchange student Brendan from Canada and we walked around to some winkels (shops). here are some pictures of my day!
first things first, the BEAUTIFUL Antwerp Central is amazing!
second stop..STARBUCKS!!!!! youhave no idea how happy i was to have a cappuccino with hazelnut and a lemon poppy seed muffin! it was an incredible way to wait for my friends train to arrive.
next thing you know we are walking down the street and theres a guy playing piano..a REAL piano..that he pulls with his BIKE! so there were big tires on it and a bicycle somehow attached to the front. he was really good too..and he had little egg-shakers on his foot so when he tapped along it was a nice shaker sound. then of course there was a guy playing with those chinese yoyo things or something..typical.
then would you believe it but we found an URBAN OUTFITTERS! (an amazing funky american store that sells things my parents wore growing up only they make it look cool somehow) and it was extremely expensive otherwise i definitely would have bought something. for example, a shirt there (like a normal girls tee shirt with a special design on it) would be like 30 dollars but here it was like 60 euro..honestly who buys that stuff!? but anyways i got a picture with it because it was cool!
next stop was the closet thing i've seen to a MALL so far. it was a really beautiful building for a mall! plus it was heated and we were pretty much freezing the whole day! it was this elaborately decorated building with gold all over, a restaurant in the middle, and a champagne bar can see it on the left/middle of the first picture!..its shaped like a glass!
after that we found a third exchange student and we walked around a bit, i found a giant sandwich (a smos that i always talk about!!) to take a picture with..and then we had MCDONALDS! it was not very good actually, i am getting too used to good food here. but nonetheless i got a kids meal and it came with tropicana orange juice that was really tasty along with a bag of mini carrots. the rest was the same as at home!
so as some of you know Antwerp is like the world center for i would love to tell you that i got a beautiful picture of the diamond street but sadly i did not. i also did not get any good pictures of any buildings with historical value or purpose, but i did get to see the inside of a lot of stores and the mcdonalds which in my mind is just as cool, haha. so we will save the educational stuff for next time.
last but not least i caught the train home..this is what the trains from turnhout look like! there are a few different kinds of trains, i haven't quite figured it out yet...but i know some are nicer and faster than others and this one is not one of the fast and nice double deckered ones..but whatever here is a picture for your pleasure.
soooo after getting home i got ready to go out to "the reflex" with 2 of my music friends. there were not too many people at the club place tonight but we still had fun. it went pretty late though considering i am just finishing this blog and it is almost 5 in the morning..ahhh! time for bed. slaapwel, readers!