Thursday, January 17, 2008


Triumph of the day: A women on the street asked me for directions in French. This means I at least blend into this city and appear to be somewhat of a civilian.

Failure of the day: I could barely reply “I do not speak French”. I feel like a mute in a land of stories and have this urge to speak to all these bustling people.

Oddity: milk and most juice come in waxy cardboard containers and only needs to be refrigerated after you open it.

My appetite finally came back today. It was the first time since I got here and jetlagged that I felt like eating. I went to a Pennini shop close to campus with Lauren and Ashley. It was good to feel hungry and the simple sandwich was delicious. This afternoon I explored our neighborhood and walked for what seems like miles around and around the heart of Brussels. At first I was in search of the Metro Boutique to buy a 3 month pass, but after I got so turned around Lauren and I looked up saw the steeple above city hall and walked to Grand Place. Each time I walk into the square I am reminded I am here. As I walk across the cobblestone I can’t help how many people over hundreds of years have stepped on those stones. I am surrounded by stories and conflict and wealth and culture.

I try to conceal my amazement and gawking, but sometimes it’s hard. Each street hold the same types of shops, but each is uniquely beautiful. Kathleen often says Brussels is a village, and I can see how this is true. Patronage and friendship must keep the city economy working. I had a beer in the afternoon with Lauren and this charming cafĂ© right off the square. I already feel like I’ll go back. America has either strayed so far away from this sort of business that we can’t fathom it or it never existed. I just know I never want to step foot in another corporate restaurant if I can help it.

Jet lag finally hit last night and today. I’m tired and going to bed early. It was so good to speak over the phone to Mom and Dad today. Everyone should get a skype account; it is the easiest way to speak to me. It worked very well today when we tried it.

Smiles peace and love,
Amanda Mar

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