While Martin had a final going away party, the rest of the family and I went to Alain’s mother’s house where she lives with her friend Serge. There’s nothing more manly than a manly man with an AWESOME garden, and both Alain and Serge have them. With flowers, auburn Trumpets of Jericho, and an ostentatious lavender patch, to a small plot of green and purple grapevines, blossoming aubergine plants and a greenhouse full of tiny tomatoes. And then after dinner, I was taught a card game they called Rummy but it’s not the rummy I know. I should mention that its SO cool that the cards read “V,D,R” for Valet, Dame, and Roi, instead of Jack, Queen, King, and the Aces read “1.” Then Alain’s mother and I stacked card towers. She’s a pro. I even saw a few Chateaux on the short drive to their house. When we returned, Martin’s party was still going on and I got to meet a lot of Martin’s friends, drinking Belgian beer of course. Tout a la culture. But not me. I didn’t drink beer. It’s against Rotary rules.
Once at dinner, I looked up after about 30 seconds and realized that I had understood everything that was just said. Then I got distracted by my smirking and totally missed it when a question was directed right at me! But Martin’s grandparents are maybe even cuter than the Vanrykels themselves. And champ card players.
I must get up EARLY (6:30) in the morning to take a train for a tour of Bruxelles with the other rotary kids. I hope they don’t all try to speak English with me all the time! Or at least expect me to respond in English (all the time)
It seems as though we’re taking a break from my typical SHAMELESS stream of consciousness style. Enjoy it while you can.
First thing in the morning August 25
I definitely just had a very small dream in French. It was not me speaking, and not me translating to myself, and the French was very bad, but it’s in there…