Thursday, November 11, 2010


so you're all probably wondering what my excuse is for not blogging yesterday..and i must say, its a good one!! yesterday (wednesday) was thankfully a great day in belgium. things are definitely looking up. i went to language class like usual in the morning, thinking i would have enough time to come home for lunch to grab my camera and change before going to a rotary get together..but nope! no time for that, had to meet the rotary lady shortly after courtney (south african) and i quickly ate a smoske and hopped in the car to meet the rest of our districts exchange students to tour a sugar factory!
we all got to see how a beet turns into sugar and for me it was very interesting..although i must say it smelled weird the whole time, almost like a dairy is too general to say it smelled like "beets", but i guess it technically did smell like...sugar beets! it was like an episode of unwrapped on the food network, or how its made on the science/discovery channel! first the grow the beets, harvest them, and bring them to the factory in big trucks. then then wash the beets a few times in some kind of watery solution then then proceed to shred them like french fries! (i'm not sure if you, my dear reader, actually care about how a sugar beet becomes sugar..but in case you are interested, you're welcome). so then the sliced roots go through a kind of diffusion process, in these giant rotating barrel water goes one direction and the beets go the other and somehow a sugary pulpy syrup of some sort is created. then that is boiled (at which point molasses is created, fyi) and soon enough its crystalized and boom..sugar! at the end we saw some of the packaging process too, we even saw sugar that goes to poland! and then we got free sugar cubes, yay for souvenirs yeah? so after all the fun with the hairnets, helmets, and free sugar was time to go home, right? THINK AGAIN! Brendan from Canada somehow talked Courtney and i into going with him to Kortrijk, which i believe is by the north west corner of belgium but don't hold me to that. so after running around Tienen (the town with the sugar factory) and buying a last minute toothbrush, toothpaste, undies, and tee shirts..courtney and i were thoroughly prepared for our backpacking adventure! we rode the train for a while and upon our arrival in Kortrijk we grabbed some french fries and hoofed it (30-45 minutes?) all the way to the HOSTEL! yes folks, i stayed in my first hostel! i can tell you that i was not the most luxorious place in the world, but for 20 euros we got a private room (dorm room without the wifi, couch, mini fridge, and big screen tv) along with "breakfast and a shower". hostels are really not as intimidating as they sound, and i actually hope to do it again really soon! a while after we got there two other exchange students from canada came too. we decided it would be a good idea to go out somewhere, which it was, until we left and realized we had just spent at least 2 hours in A GAY BAR! haha, thank goodness i am a girl right? so we went back to the hostel, and somehow stayed up till about 4 talking and laughing and things. needless to say, the homesickness is long gone for now. just have to go with the flow! :) more about today to come later tonight, thanks for reading!

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