18 September 2011

Joyeux Anniversaire a Moi!

Sep 16
I went shopping Liege after school yesterday.  I bought a pudding at a grocery store for 17 cents, and I bought 3 items from H&M.  I don’t think I have a good sense of Belgian style yet, so they probably still look American.  But I bought them in Europe!  That has to count for something.  Besides, it’s my birthday tomorrow.  I bought myself a present.
I think I’m going to return the pants for a size larger.  One is allowed 14 days to return an item at H&M.
       My Friday schedule is the only day I have in the week without a study period.  This is common for exchangers, but not for regular students.  And I cleaned my room last night instead of going to bed on time, so I was pretty tired.  But here, when the teacher is absent, you just don’t have class.  So today, the Morale teacher was absent.  So I went to the sale d’etude and slept.  I would have gone to the rheto room, but they locked it since everyone was writing on the walls!  Hilarious!
      The morale course exists because it is written somewhere in some government document (along with the gym requirement) that students are to have some sort of religion course in public school.  So you can take Catholicism, Judaism, Protestantism, and some others I think, but if you don’t really want to study a religion, you can take morale, which is basically the theory of morals.  Pretty straightforward.  We talked about the fact that morals means right and wrong last class.  It was much more prettily said, but that was the point.
      After school I went straight to the home of my friend Chloé with our group of Charlotte and Pauline, too.  I met them the very first day because I needed someone to tell me what to do while they assigned the classes (I’m 6D, have I mentioned that? That just means I’m 6th year and in the 4th division of the class).  I’ve had lunch with them everyday since, and they invited me to come celebrate my birthday a day early!  It was really one of the best birthday parties ever!  Not that I understood everything that was said, or haven’t ever had more fun in my life, but having real friends here means SO much to me!  Charlotte wrote me a happy birthday note in French and I didn’t know how to express to her how much that meant to me.  I don’t think she will ever know, because it was such a simple gesture.  I don’t even understand all of it, but it’s just too much that even though I’m useless right now, they still want to be around me!  It’s not exactly that, but it’s something like that.
        First things first, this morning my host mother took me to get a little box of chocolate muffins as a gift for my host for the evening.  It’s a cultural aspect.  So I gave it Mme Stévenne very first.  And then she took us into the next room where she had made a chocolate cake and a tarte au pomme with candles in it!  Again, these gestures that mean more than they know.  I gotta write thank-you notes!  But it's too much trouble.
really 18 candles!
Jungle Speed!
     We did a lot of just really fun stuff!  We played a game called Jungle Speed, which can get very silly, but it involves cards and matching and grabbing the totem in the middle when your cards match.  Very amusing.  Then we sang karaoke on the piano.  Lots of English songs for me, but they knew more of the English songs than I did anyway, so that was really funny too.  So much “Grease.”  “Summer lovin’, had me a blast…”
    Supper was extremely cool!  Single serve fondue-style something.  They tell me it’s Swiss.  But it was really fun, and really delicious!  You just put all the fixings you want into your little pan, and then put it over or under the heater until you think it’s ready!  Cheeses ,cuts of meats, salami, already cooked onions, mushrooms, and peppers, pineapple, tiny, tiny bird eggs with blue interiors, eggplant, and pickles (sweet midgets!).  It was really a blast, and the conversation was very lively!
It was so very delicious!  That's Chloé drinking a "Liègeois,"
a drink with orange Fanta (which is very different here than in
States, by the way.  More like Orangina without pulp) and
some sweet flavoured syrup.  I think it's strawberry or pamplemousse or something
    After dinner we just danced in the living room for a while, then lay on the floor listening to filmscores, and then did more piano playing.  Everyone in the whole house enjoyed him or herself!  Finally it was time to go home, but the car ride was 20 minutes or so, and we pulled up to my house right at midnight, so they said my first true happy birthday to me!
the Macarena!
Harry Potter soundtrack
     I had so much fun, I don’t know how I’ll be awake tomorrow.  But it’s sure to be an amazing day!  The echasseurs Namurois are celebrating their 600th anniversary at the Fete Wallonie in Namur, and I’m playing drums again, and then staying the night in Namur with some friends!  Il faut faire des fête sur ton anniversaire!  Should be quite fun!  I’ll be back with pictures!
     (by the way, Chloé taught me how to do easy accents on a qwerty keyboard! You just hit alt+e for an ague and alt+` for a grave, and alt+i for a circumflex. Bam.)

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