Epic Belgian Email #2

Good morning, everyone! (Or afternoon, as the case may be!)

Today is a beautiful day in Belgium. The sun was out this
morning, it was nice enough to go out with a coat, and everyone
seems to be in a good mood because of it.

That’s a nice cap on the week, I guess.  This week has been much
calmer than last week. I thought classes started on Monday, but
I turned out to be a bit confused about that. Monday was the
official start to the academic year – the professors all
processes in their finery from the main school building to the
cathedral – but only a very few classes started last week.

My one and only class was on Friday.  It was a class in
prehistoric Egypt. I think the subject should be very
interesting, but to this point, I’ve had NO background in Egypt
at all. The professor (who had long hair and kinda buggy eyes,
just like any good, slightly crazy professor should) encouraged
us to ask questions, but I kept asking such silly questions (as
in, questions any good archaeology student should have learned
the answers to years ago) that I think he was sorry. After
class, he lent me a couple books on Egyption History (for
dummies) and suggested I could peruse them before coming to
class next week.

Hopefully I’ll be a little better prepared for my other classes.
(I think I will.)

I spent the rest of my week trying to get settled in to my new
abode. By now, I’ve met all but one of my housemates. What I
know of them:

Koen: The only male resident, he lives in the other room on the
main floor (I have the first one). He smokes like a chimney and
looks a little like a billy goat.

Marianne: She’s the first girl I met, and very friendly. She’s
always happy to answer my questions and give me suggestions on
how to get things done. She’s here to start a second Bachelor
degree – her first was in Interior Design, this one will be in
Art History.

Delphine & Lies: These girls have been friends for a long time.
They’re very nice to me in passing, but I haven’t had an
opportunity to really talk to them yet.

Sarah: Housemate #6 hasn’t made an appearance yet.

I’m the only non-Belgian resident, although no one is from
Leuven, which makes getting advice on local shops/hangouts/etc a
bit difficult. And they all go home on weekends. I think it’s a
rule in Belgium: Students Go Home On Weekends. It was very quiet
without them.

The house itself is very typical, I think, of student houses
here. You walk in from the street into a hall. My room is the
first door on the right. My window looks out onto the street,
which means I have to be very careful to pull my shades at
night. Koen’s room is at the end of the hall, along with the
stairs which go up and down to the right (and are VERY steep).
The kitchen and the bathroom are both in the basement, along
with a little garden in the back. The rest of the rooms are
upstairs, two on each floor.

My room is very tall. My bed is in a loft which is almost tall
enough to stand in. That means I get a lot of good light during
the day and have plenty of space for my things. The only sad
part is the lack of drawers, which means all my clothing (with
the exception of my socks) are on hangers.

This week I also managed to procure a bicycle which I will rent
for the year.  It’s not very pretty, but it gets me places. I
actually think the lock that came with it probably cost more
than the bike itself…

My other endeavor for the week has been cookie sampling. I
forgot how much I like the cookies over here.  So far, I’ve
decided on my favorite chocolate-covered biscuit (Pims), but the
verdict is still out on my favorite waffle. But my very favorite
cookie of all (so far) are the mergpijpjes… these lovely
chocolate and marzipan and cream things… Mmmm.  I’m going to
be chubby in no time flat. 😮

I think that’s it for my news this week (and probably more than
you really wanted to know.) I hope all is well in your various
parts of the world. Hugs and love to everyone!

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