Day Eighteen & Nineteen: I host a UN meeting.

And by that I mean a Fourth of July party. Countries represented were Ireland, the Netherlands, Hungary, Romania, Italy, Finland, and the good old US. And by “good old,” I mean the Irish person pointed out that Guinness is like 75 years older than my country.

First of all, good on you for knowing that off the top of your head. But what!

I tried to have as many American foods as I could find… by some kind of miracle I found Fluffernutter (which I don’t even eat at home, but whatever). But there was not a single graham cracker to be had in this entire city, gosh darn it. Fortunately there was a non-cinnamon French version, and my Pinteresty version of S’mores was a success. I also made homemade mac n cheese. 🙂

This was the first year I’ve spent the Fourth outside the country. It made the whole day feel rather anti climactic, what with going to work and no fireworks and all. The only event I saw for Americans in Brussels was discounted food (with your US ID) and “live American-style music” at the Hard Rock Cafe in the middle of the city. I was tempted to go just to find out what music they’d be playing.

'merica 2012

‘merica 2012

Last year I had a super, small-town-America Fourth of July – fireworks, little parade, everything. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss being home for that, but it also gives me a new sense of pride for the US. When people approached me to say happy fourth, it felt just as good as a happy birthday to me. 🙂

Granted, despite the American pride I have, Snowden is becoming quite the polarizing topic of conversation when you’re talking to a roomful of Europeans. That situation comes up almost daily now, what with the Bolivian president’s plane being searched and jokes being made in meetings about choosing one’s words carefully, ‘because you-know-who is listening.’ (I pictured Snowden cracking up in the Moscow airport when he heard what they did to President Morales. That was a baaaad move.)  I don’t quite know what a happy resolution will be to this situation, or if there is one, but I hope we find one soon.

To all mes amis back home, I hope you had a fabulous Fourth, I miss you, and wave some sparklers for me.