A Travellerspoint blog

What ?

I have had so many wtf? moments in the past few days it is crazy. This city is both incredibly strange and amazing: they have 7 different governments, three national languages, are famous for a statue of a peeing boy (which they dress in costumes), and its usually cheaper to buy a beer than it is to get still water. However, their chocolate really is that good I have yet to understand this crazy place, but so far I love it here.
Yesterday, our study abroad group met up at the hotel we will be at for the next few days - its only been a day and I already love these people. A bunch of us went out to an irish pub for some group bonding last night, and honestly I have never been surrounded by such fascinating people who have traveled the world and tell the most amazing stories. The ladies in our group also had the fortune of being able to dance with a 60 year old drunk irishman who kept screaming "I like to wiggle!!" Definitely the highlight of my night, I am laughing just thinking about him...
Today we had orientation at the Universite libre de Bruxelles, where our classes will be held for the next month. Our EU studies building is a beautful spanish style building that happens to sit next to the Danish permanent residence and the japanese embassy... not too shabby of a neighborhood. We ate lunch at the University cafeteria and I was able to try out some of my french. I was shaky, but it wasnt bad, and the lady understood what I was asking :) It was a good moment.
Tomorrow our adventures begin with a trip to both the EU Commission and the US Mission to the EU - not going to lie I am super excited. This is going to be an amazing opportunity. Also, im excited to see all of our group all dressed up in professional attire.. im sure there will be a lot of pictures taken.

Posted by lmaitalia 14:53 Archived in Belgium Comments (0)

Pre-Departure Chaos

I leave for Brussels in ONE DAY. This is surreal. However, there are a few minor problems at the moment:

1. I have yet to pack. There is an empty suitcase on my floor, but in the way of a true procrastinator I have turned it into a makeshift laundry bin instead of beginning to pack. I clearly prioritize well.
2. My ability to communicate in French is severely limited. Reading french is a piece of cake, but when it comes to the speaking part it's a complete disaster. Firstly, my pronunciation is all Italian. I accidentally roll my r's, pronounce every silent consonant I see, etc. I sound like an Italian, which is GREAT if i were going to Italy, but I do not think the Belgian population is going to appreciate my severe butchering of their language. Second, I am very apprehensive about attempting to communicate if I think I will sound like an idiot. I have two options: speak in english and sound like an idiot american tourist, or speak in "fritalian" and sound like an idiot italian tourist. Im not sure which is the better idiot to be.
3. I also am on page 45 of my 500 page textbook that I have to finish before my classes start. Thank goodness I am a fast reader.

Aside from those minor issues, I cannot wait to arrive in Belgium. I am extremely nervous for my first few days by myself in a place completely outside my comfort zone, but I have some cool things planned so it shouldn't be a problem... Hopefully I wont get myself into too much craziness in my first few days.
Au revoir america!

Posted by lmaitalia 09:30 Comments (0)

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