I know what I said–I’m long overdue for the tale of my last trip to Belgium, as well as My Personal Francophone’s second trip to the United States, but both of those things might remain untold on this blog, because what is going on now is SO MUCH COOLER IT IS NOT EVEN FUNNY. HOW IS THIS MY LIFE.
Out of all the jobs I applied for, and all the graduate programs, I would never have expected this. Through the generosity of friends and family, as well as a lot of fry scooping, framing, and child chasing this past summer, and with a healthy dose of Pure Dumb Luck, I have found myself living in Antwerp, Belgium, in a large (!) apartment right near the middle of everything, and five short minutes from Lessius University College, where I will be studying for a Master’s in Specialized Translation from 2012 to 2013.
I arrived last Tuesday morning, with three bulging suitcases and an equally distended carry-on shoulder bag, at an ungodly early hour, squinting in the fluorescent light of the immense international Brussels Airport, to find My Very Excited Personal Francophone practically breaking his neck trying to see me stagger out of the baggage claim.
We promptly went to his charming yellow house and had waffles and chocolate.
We also toured some of the art nouveau architecture in Brussels, including the Comic Book Museum, a Socialist-Press-Turned-Museum, and the North Passage, lined with bookstores and chocolate shops.
“Wow,” I said, as I craned my neck up toward the Hotel de Ville in the Grand Place. “I’m back!”
“Yes,” he said, or maybe I only think he said, because what I remember is the huge smile on his face that would have made it hard for him to talk. “you’re here.”
On the window of a lace shop near the Grand Place, we saw a sign that proclaimed to all and sundry, but perhaps most particularly to the people lined up at the waffle shop next to it “PLEASE DO NOT EAT YOUR WAFFLES IN FRONT OF THE WINDOW.”
I covertly snapped a photo of an Asian woman who was doing just that, enjoying her whipped-cream covered waffles in front of the doilies and baptismal gowns.
Ah, Belgium. It’s good to be back.