Day Three: I use French.

It was just about the picture perfect day for weather today. You know when Miss Rhode Island describes her perfect date? June 18th in Brussels.

I packed up my things in Ixelles and took the train to work again. (Thanks Jess and Frank! You’re saints, both of you. Drinks on me very soon.) I need to be better about carrying my camera around on work days – the Trone station here looks JUST like the Harvard stop on the red line. I can’t get over the similarities between Boston and Brussels sometimes. Except Boston gets voted worst dressed, and Brussels definitely would not.

There was a lot of reading to get done today, and I continued my preparation for the European islands meeting on Thursday. One of the other interns said we should all do some field work by each picking an island to visit, I think it’s genius, haha. The list of EU Overseas Countries and Territories is pretty much my DREAM list of places to visit, minus that whole Antarctic thing:

  • Anguilla (UK)
  • Aruba (NL)
  • Bermuda (UK)
  • Bonaire (NL)
  • British Antarctic Territory (UK)
  • British Indian Ocean Territory (UK)
  • British Virgin Islands (UK)
  • Cayman Islands (UK)
  • Curação (NL)
  • Falkland Islands (UK)
  • French Polynesia (FR)
  • French Southern and Antarctic Territories (FR)
  • Greenland (DK)
  • Mayotte (FR)
  • Montserrat (UK)
  • New Caledonia and Dependencies (FR)
  • Pitcairn (UK)
  • Saba (NL)
  • Saint Barthelemy (FR)
  • Sint Eustatius (NL)
  • Sint Maarten (NL)
  • South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands (UK)
  • Saint Helena, Ascension Island, Tristan da Cunha (UK)
  • St. Pierre and Miquelon (FR)
  • Turks and Caicos Islands (UK)
  • Wallis and Futuna Islands (FR)

saw it/want to see it real bad. (I’ll be checking one off later this year!)

After work, everyone went out for a little happy hour down the street. I ordered my wine… in French! I was so proud of myself. Annnd then the guy responded in English. Really? It was that bad? Sigh. I stayed there until about 830. I really like the whole team we work with, it’s similar to the feeling I had in New Orleans when I felt like I had found my community. Similar career goals, similar interests, though there is great diversity in the paths we took to get here and our home countries. And one of the girls made me feel better when she said she was surprised I had never been here before since I dress so European (hilarious, because living out of a suitcase and not having access to things like my hair straightener make me feel sloppy… but I have been making an effort to dress well.)

After a bit of panic about how exactly to get all my luggage moved at one time (that hadn’t happened since going from the car to check in fifteen feet away), I finally called a cab. The driver started spouting in French about the weather and ‘oh, vos valises!’ I couldn’t catch most of it, but I wanted to! So I finally said, en francais, que j’arrive hier a Bruxelles, et je dois aller a mon nouvel appartement. “Aahh! Americain!” But I didn’t let him let me off the hook so fast, and I told him I really need to practice. So we did! I told him about my job and school, and he told me all about my new neighborhood, the landmarks, how the car’s not usually his… halfway through he realized he never turned on the meter. So much for those expensive taxi rides in Brussels! I gave him a crazy tip but he literally wouldn’t accept it. I know tipping protocol is different over here so I did what he told me, and took some money back. haha

I haven't mentioned this yet but Brussels is HUGE on comics. They're painted everywhere, and there are a few museums dedicated to them as well.

I haven’t mentioned this yet but Brussels is HUGE on comics. They’re painted everywhere, and there are a few museums dedicated to them as well.

All that to say I’m finally settled in my new place! No pictures yet, I got here late, but the garden! The skylight! The storage! My roommates! I didn’t have the chance to get to the food store so my lovely Italian roommate Marta cooked me an Italian dinner as soon as I arrived. Too sweet.

Tomorrow will be food shopping, and cranking out more work on the islands. Who’s up for a Skype date tomorrow night? 🙂

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