Sunday, October 10, 2010


today was a much-needed fun, crazy, beautiful saturday. i'm wondering if i wrote that first sentence correctly, but i'm not sure..english is not a priority at the moment! anyways. early morning today..woke up at 5:15 to get ready, eat breakfast, pack a lunch, and bike to the train station. of course it was still dark and very chilly! luckily there are lights on my bike, and i used the cool flashlight Hartz gave me when i walked outside to find the darn bike and open the door to get the silly thing outside..not so easy to shove a bike through 2 doors when its almost pitch black outside. but nonetheless i biked quickly to warm up and made it to the 6:45 train.
when i got to the brussels station, of course i couldn't resist a little chocolate croissant and a mini espresso, right? who can blame me!!!! I'M IN EUROPE! instead of the freshman fifteen, i'll take the Belgian 15...(no metric system use here please)!

oh i suppose i should mention where i was going on this early morning there was a rotary exchange student gathering thing in Namen in the south of Belgium. it takes 3 trains and about 3 hours to get there, but it was well worth it. we all met and listened to RULES and things about the trips we are able to take through the rotary. personally i am sick of hearing the rules and even more sick of hearing the exceptions to the rules such as.."no drinking. are in europe so go ahead, it wouldn't be right to have cheese and bread without wine, so just don't get drunk" is very contradicting and makes it awkward for everyone. anyways, after that we walked around town eating our packed lunches for an hour or so then took a beautiful boat ride for 2 hours. it was beautiful for two reasons. one: the first hour or so i was TERRIBLY motion sick, sitting in the sun, just ate lunch, rocking on a boat with singing latinos..just not my kind of afternoon. two: after taking dramamine there were many pretty houses along the river, such as the ones pictured below.

after the boat ride the day was over for the rotary stuff, so a few friends and i decided to stay and explore the town. a lot of people were going to Brussels but since we are smart we figured you can always easily go to Brussels, so we came all this way so we might as well stay in Namen! plus it was a really fun, clean, cute city and it was sort of refreshing to hear people speak French. we walked around and had some good conversations about life back in the USA, life here, and how we're dealing with it. i was with two other americans and a canadian, but his life appears to be about 80% the same as in the US, so i don't think he cared that the three of us girls were constantly chatting about American things. anyways, after walking around for a few hours we decided we needed a drink! so of course i had my lovely cherry beer at some quaint "cafe":

then after our relaxing drink (haha i sound like my mother or something) we decided to go to PIZZA HUT!!!!! the pizza was really similar to pizza hut at home, and i actually really liked it..but it was very different to eat thick, greasy pizza when i am just getting used to the authentic thin crust stuff we usually eat. b
ut hawaiian pizza is always a favorite of mine so yummy yummy pizza in my tummy, right? one of the better parts of the pizza hut was the PANNA COTTA for dessert..aka unflavored white gelatin with raspberry sauce, but it's still humorous to me that you can get Italian dessert at a pizza hut..belgium is funny sometimes.
sometime while shopping i dropped my phone and the battery fell out. usually not a big deal with my blackberry at home but it is not a good thing here! if you shut down your phone or take the battery out, you need a PIN number to make it work again!! lucky me my pin number was at home on my night stand so my phone didn't work all evening! i was so scared i would have to take the train home alone, and then maybe even miss it because our first train was almost 40 minutes late..but by pure luck i found courtney and manuella (other exchange students from my town) and we got on the last train to Turnhout. they were just coming home from Brussels, and it was some dumb luck that i found them and didn't have to ride trains alone at night with no working cell phone! so i used the self timer and took a picture of us at the station. notice we are all wearing black tights, seems to be a popular trend here. also notice my jacket, my high-quality PLEATHER jacket i bought today. 30 euro, can't complain. real ones are at least 250 what do you do. i compromised, i guess.
i guess i don't know what else to say about today, other than the fact that i worried my family a little bit when i didn't respond to any of their texts and randomly came home right around 1am! but here i am, alive and well, and i had a very, very nice day. :)

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