Day 46: Plan de Dieu.

Some of you might have seen the post that went up earlier this week titled honesty & anxiety. It’s private now. It was a little too much to share, but it was cathartic to get off my chest. Mostly it had to do with the nerves surrounding the job search and flying home into  unemployment. I’m not a girl who likes having a plan, I’m a girl who lives and dies by having a plan. It’s just my nature and I can’t do much about it. (On a related note, I could feel myself being annoying in Italy when I kept asking what the plan was. Sorry about that, E. haha)

I’ve got a whole pile of job applications out there. Some I like a lot more than others, some I think I’m much more qualified for than others. But it’s summer, so it seems like many orgs are dealing with the hiring process post holidays. One position that I really loved is listed alongside HR manager… so I’m not holding my breath there.

I was in a crap mood after work so I went to the food store to de-stress. Don’t laugh. It’s like clothes shopping but much more practical, haha. Right before I left I decided to wander down the wine aisle, and one of the bottles caught my eye: Plan de Dieu. I wasn’t 100% sure if plan was the same word in English and French but I thought, huh. God’s plan. (Turns out I was right.) My friend recently reminded me that I can only help my future so much, I’m not really the one in charge here. So I thought what the heck, it’s a good reminder. I bought it.

I came home and checked my phone, and there was an email for me requesting an interview. I literally leaped for joy. 😀



Since most of my colleagues are going on holidays within the next week, we had an ice cream send off party today. Here are some of the people that make work so darn enjoyable. 🙂


Days Twenty Nine to Thirty One: ACK it’s been a month.

What! Seriously. I let this little gem of a milestone slip by unnoticed yesterday.

Except for the fact that I bought myself ice cream, haha. I mean gelato has been relatively cheap and all, but you get one stinkin’ little boule like (thisbig) for 1,50 or 1,60. I went to the grocery store around the corner to see what I could find, and now I understand that I will need to buy a cooler to sneak a stack of these home.


Holy moly. Vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce hiding around the sides and like, a pound of cocoa powder. In case you don’t understand this level  of deliciousness yet, here’s a close up.


I won’t show you the aftermath, haha. (No, it’s not gone. I’m not totally crazy).

I’ve been working and thesis-ing mostly this week, but I’ve also been checking things off my Brussels bucket list. I went to Place Lux on a Thursday night with all the Euro Parliament interns + JB…


We also ate the fish and chips at Bia Mara… best meal I’ve had in Brussels, besides Soleil Afrique.


I also had my Guinness at Michael Collins…

jenclinton/07172013awhich was followed up by LITERALLY the weirdest set of nachos I’ve ever had in my life. Now, to be fair, some of the best nachos at home are from an Irish pub. Like, go out of your way to go there and eat tortilla chips and guac and sour cream and olives and peppers and omg. But when I ordered Mexican nachos at the Irish pub in Belgium, I ended up with American doritos, Thai sweet chili sauce, guac and cheese. For real? I was told it was an interestingly misguided decision, and I couldn’t say it better myself.


My retinas, ow. (And of course there was the museum trip.)

There will be some more radio silence this week, as I’m off to ITALIA! Good thing I’m flying or I might get off in Switzerland or something. Here’s some more of life through my phone this week:

I think I’m hungry. There’s a heck of a lot of food in this post. The best part of traveling is for sure expanding your food horizons, as long as that’s the only thing that’s expanding. Amiright?

Side note, exciting news! I was interviewed by a (pretty big if I do say so myself) newspaper today about my environmental policy work. Can’t wait to share! 🙂

Day Twenty Three: GATSBY.

But really. GATSBY.

It’s a small miracle that it’s still playing over here, I feel like it came out ages ago. My roommates and I went to see it after I got out of work Monday. I have no problem admitting my love for everything Leonardo DiCaprio does. Inception! Shutter Island! The Departed! Blood Diamond! Romeo and Juliet (also Baz Luhrmann) is one of my top three favorite movies. (Note: I have not seen the Beach or Django Unchained yet, and once was enough for the Titanic because movie rocked my eleven-year-old world.)

I loved Gatsby for everything it made me think and feel, besides being stunningly designed. And the soundtrack! I have always loved Fitzgerald’s story, but Leo brought Gatsby’s desperate infatuation to life for me. Definitely a movie I want to own.

The theatre itself was very similar to those back home, but there were a few slight differences that I noticed. No announcements about smoking, texting, or where the exits were. Unbelievably comfortable seats that were better designed for napping than movie watching. And of course, the subtitles in French and Dutch (you know you’re in Brussels when…).

Afterwards we got ice cream  ‘Ă  emporter’ at Haagen Daazs where A works, and I just had to try Belgian chocolate. They also have a Creme Brulee flavor that doesn’t stand a chance next time I visit her at work. Thanks lady!

(PS. I didn’t post on time yesterday because of crazy deadlines and being the last person to leave the office. And I’m happy to say it wasn’t that I was stressed about deadlines, but it was because I genuinely love what I do here and I didn’t mind staying late to finish. Besides no one eats dinner until late anyway, ha.)

I don’t have movie theatre pictures so here is a completely unrelated photo of my lovely puppy after her summer haircut. She’s the best. 🙂

my pretty precious girl.

my pretty precious girl.

Day Twelve: The schedule.

7:46AM: Where am I? What time is it? %**&%$! 
Forgot how to set alarm on new phone, wake up twenty minutes late. Rush through a shower anyway, you’re all welcome.

8:25AM: Breakfa
just kidding.
Forgot to buy soy milk too.

8:40AM: BONJOUR pain au chocolat.
The market on my block is dangerously full of pastries and cheap wine, and nearly all markets have a delicious homemade bread section. I just went for the cheapest (.60 euro) option, obviously.

8:45AM: *bip* *bip* *bip*
That’s me playing the absurd, midi-tone-filled game on my cell phone on the metro. Did I mention the phone cost 20 euros?

9:02AM: *bip*
That’s just the elevator. I’m on time-ish. Wait though, how crazy is this? The elevators aren’t enclosed!

9AM – 100PM: …
If you think we’re totally silent for four hours you’re nuts.

100PM: BONJOUR brie.
Lunch is jasmine rice with melted brie and breakfasty potatoes. There were also some leftover sweets from yesterday’s work picnic. I’m going away for the weekend so it’s leftover city for me. I also take a trip to the mall, again, during lunch. I need a blanket, okay? It’s cold, and I don’t want to sleep in my jacket anymore.

100PM – 600P: …
Crunch time, I actually am pretty quiet. There’s a Monday deadline and I might be away for the weekend.

600PM: Special boyfriend!!
Skype date time 🙂

615PM: I didn’t eat enough unhealthy food today. Let’s remedy this.
Two of the interns and myself hop on the metro to “The House of Haagen Daazs” to visit my roommate working there. Almost five euro to sit on the terrasse with one ‘boule’ of ice cream! That’s ball (like, just bigger than a golf ball), not bowl. But caramel cone explosion is SO GOOD.

730PM: Must. See. Gatsby.
No, not tonight. But on the long walk back to the metro, we pass a big theathre and it’s still showing… and I haven’t seen it! (Trishy, I hope you didn’t wait for me.) Now here’s the big question – what language will it be in? (Turns out it depends on what theatre you watch it in.) We’ll be back next week.

800PM: *bip* *bip* *boop* GETOVERHERE!
Metro. Not playing Mortal Kombat, but that would be funny, right? No? Fine, whatever.

830PM: Saiddd one two princes kneel before you, that’s what I said now…
Cooking dinner. The radio plays the WEIRDEST STUFF here, switching between that and French singers. Dinner was spinach and ricotta tortellini (fresh, obviously, because it’s cheaper) with peas and carrots.

845PM: Salut, comment s’est passĂ©e ta journĂ©e?
Roommate #1 back from Haagen-Daazs. I’ve been trying to work on my French with them. Some days are more successful than others. “I would have rather” was a tough one to translate. Facebook says it’s roommate #2’s birthday, so we whip together a chocolate cake in the microwave. She’s too clever.

1036PM: I don’t think she’s coming home… oops.
Sad cake on the counter. Almost time for another skype date with boy, and then with mom, and then zzzzz.

Note: This is not a typical food day for me, haha. Which just makes it all the more important to remember when I’m dreaming of cheap French cheese and fresh German ice cream.


In other news, shout out to my bestie in the whole wide world who is not turning fifty today. Happy birthday anyway! (And wish I had thought to send you an AARP card you old lady.) Miss you like crazy KG!

sistah from another mistah