Somehow I fell far behind on blogging this week. Now that classes have begun, the days are flying by, and I can already tell that this semester is going to be over before I know it.
Here are some snippets from the week:
Tuesday night a bunch of us ISA kids went to a real, live football match! USA versus Belgium. It was raining, but we were covered, and thus, our face paint thrived. Shirts came off and chests were painted and shivering ensued. Beer was consumed. Our team deservingly lost. But it was still a grand time.
After the game, our group sort of stopped looking where we were walking. Part of this was because of the downpour, and students fighting with their umbrellas and so on. The other part was because of the gorgeous view of the Atomium, which apparently is lit up at night.
On Wednesday, I went to a flea market at la Place du Jeu de Balle downtown. On my list of things to buy were (and still are) a light raincoat and larger bag/briefcase for school. I actually found some pretty sweet vintage briefcases, but I could not find the guy who was selling them. Instead, I found peace in one of several enormous piles of clothing on the ground, and came away with a couple funky sweaters and a scarf for one euro apiece. I miss dressing like a grandma like I so often do at home, but I’m sure I’ll be able to find a replacement cat sweater at this market another day.
And after 1 p.m. on the first Wednesday of every month, a bunch of museums have free entry. A couple students and I went to the MIM, the Musical Instruments Museum, which houses three floors of instruments from all over the world and from different time periods. When you enter the museum, you receive headphones, which you can then use to listen to recordings of all the instruments as you roam.
And later on Wednesday, my “host-sisters,” if you will, came upstairs while I was doing laundry (side note: a small load of laundry costs about 10 euro here, so I’ve been laboring over the sink and hand washing). The younger daughter asked for help on her English homework. I obliged. The older daughter asked if my roommate and I would like to come out to the bars with her that evening. I obliged.
Going out with four Belgians girls was pretty hilarious. Switching languages every few minutes was expected, as was the constant presence of cigarette smoke, but the wholesome grooving to classic American rock all night was not. There was legitimate boogying. There was Blondie. There were bounds of hipsters sporting glasses, ironic t-shirts and dress shoes. And it was all in a rundown carnival-esque setting. Thanks Madame Moustache, I’m sure I’ll be seeing you again soon.
Thursday played out like a normal school day. I went to classes, napped in the afternoon, and then went to more classes. Dinner was tasty as usual, and I confirmed with my family that I’ll be making them an Asian-style dinner next week. The week after that, my roommate and I are planning to make American-breakfast-for-dinner. The host family is really excited to try pancakes, apparently!
And after dinner, host-mom made mojitos. Just, ya know, because! And at one point, while host-older-daughter was preparing to go out, host-mom had her change her shirt. And then she fixed it. Pulling it down and rolling up the sleeves and doing mom-things, all the while host-daughter was rolling her eyes and drinking her mojito. It was cute.
I joined a couple of friends for a night at Place du Luxembourg, a large square where a lot of EU expats go and drink on Thursday nights. It’s always a very international and properly-dressed crowd, and for some reason this evening, there was a huge stage set up and a Spanish band that had been jamming all night. So we joined in the festivities, and we danced as if we had been dancing all night.