Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Week 3

I am well into my 3rd week in Brussels! Time has passed so seems like I just got here!! I managed to survive the parking garage saga on Friday night...and was finally able to get groceries on Saturday morning.

The weekend was very productive and it was a 4 day holiday weekend for me! I love Europe and all of their holidays! We have 3 holidays in the month of May...May 1 (Labor Day), May 17 (Ascension Day), and May 28 (Whit Monday). As each holiday approaches I will try to give you the reason it is a holiday! I need to learn this too! I think that Labor Day is pretty self-explanatory!

I made my first trip to Ikea on Saturday. I needed 3 closets, a TV stand, and a desk. I was hopeful I could get all items in 1 trip and spend the rest of the weekend assembling! Ikea is a huge warehouse building (actually larger than Sam's or Costco!). It is set up as a showroom on the top floor where you walk around and pick out the items you want, write down the number on the tag, and then go downstairs and do as best you can to lift the heavy boxes onto your cart and make your way through the check-out. No one will help one!!! I suspect they have hidden cameras somewhere and the staff is watching you trying to lift something double your weight onto a cart with wheels and no brakes!

I went through the showroom and found everything I needed. Then I went downstairs and attempted to find my items. I found the closets I picked out, but when I tried to lift the box I became keenly aware this was not going to be pretty. I am not sure how much the box weighed, but it was HEAVY. I lifted with all my strength and somehow got it on my cart (more like just let it fall onto the cart). There was NO WAY I was getting 3 of these closets in 1 trip. I then tried to get the TV stand.....and there was no way I could even try to lift the I gave up entirely and left with only 1 closet. I will leave out the part where I about killed myself and my car getting the closet into the back of this tiny Mercedes! HA! I am not sure that car will ever be the same.

Long story short....I got the closet home and assembled. Clothes are now hanging so nicely!! YAY!

Sunday I had dinner with a very sweet lady, who is a FedEx expat as well, and her family. It was a very nice experience to get to know someone who is in the same situation as you are, exchange adventures, and also to hear some good ole English!! I was also able to practice my Belgian etiquette. In Belgium when invited to dinner it is customary to being along flowers and something chocolate. I shopped Sunday morning for flowers at my out door market and bought Beth a beautiful bouquet of roses and picked up a chocolate dessert on Saturday!

Here is a picture of the bouquet I bought for Beth and one I bought for myself!

Monday I ran some errands and also joined the American Women's Club of Brussels. I am so excited about being apart of this group. It consists of American women who are living in Brussels. Most of these women do not work (as they are with their husbands who do work) and volunteer their time at the club. The club hosts many many events throughout the year ranging from traveling tours, wine tastings, girls night out, french lessons, a holiday bazaar, etc. It is amazing the activities this group participates in. As a single girl living over here alone, this club will be my lifeline to making friends, traveling, learning, and socializing! As a matter of fact, this weekend the club is hosting a "Run for the Roses" (a Kentucky Derby party). There will be entertainment, food, drinks, and even a hat contest! HA! Nope, I am not participating in the hat contest so don't even ask! It should be a fun event...and it is cocktail I am a bit nervous about that as I really did not bring anything 'cocktail'ish' with me! I will not know anyone at this party so this is my chance to totally put myself out there and meet some people. The girls I met last week should be I may know a couple of people!

Here is a picture of the American Women's Club Clubhouse!

Tuesday (Labor Day), I did some much needed laundry at Lindsay's. I also borrowed her lawn mower and cut my jungle of a yard. The grass was so high it was literally higher than Maxie...and she would eat her way through the 'garden'. I found out today it is illegal to mow your yard on a holiday...or on Sundays! HA! At least I did not get arrested or fined!!! Check out my freshly mowed yard and roses in bloom!

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