Epic Belgian Email #6

This week’s Epic Email (which almost got forgotten – uh oh!)
brings you: Adventures in Personal Hygene & Other Saturday
Amusements. (Paraphrased.)

It turns out that my weeks all end up being pretty much the
same. The only thing that made this one very different from the
last one was the extra 15 minutes all my professors tacked onto
the ends of their classes. :p

The interesting part of this week did not even involve the
chickens, although they are doing well and send their love. The
interesting part of my weekend was trying to take a shower
yesterday.

The shower blew up.

KaaaaPOW.

It’s been behaving badly all week. I wouldn’t produce much more
than a half-hearted dribbly spray, and finding the happy place
between hot and cold could take longer than the shower itself.

It was being exceptionally difficult on Saturday. I’d been
fiddling with the hot and cold for a good five minutes (freezing
all the while) when all the sudden –

KaaaPOW!

The rubber hose connecting the showerhead to the pipes exploded.
Never seen a hose do that before. I shrieked. It was loud.
Anyone listening would probably have had visions of Psycho.

When I recovered from being startled, I suddenly found the whole
situation quite funny.  It’s a long weekend here, which meant
all my roommates have gone home and I might be stuck without a
shower until next Wednesday.  Hahahaha!

I dried off, got dressed and headed out to the pay phone so I
could call my landlady. Her husband answered the phone. Turns
out they’re in Southern France, this weekend.  He told me to
call back in half an hour so I can talk to her myself.

I went back to my room and entertained myself for a half hour,
then went back outside to call again. When I left the house,
that second time, I wouldn’t have guessed my situation could get
more ridiculous, but I was wrong. As the door was swinging shut,
I realized I didn’t have my keys.

😐

Remember those roommates? Not back until Wednesday.  Remember
the landlady? She’s in Southern France. Remember my spare key
(yes, I have one)? It was also locked in the house.

I stood there on the street, wearing my bedroom slippers and a
grubby sweatshirt cackling at myself. I am amazing.

First thing I tried was knocking on the neighbors’ doors. I
thought maybe, if one of them was home, they would let me into
their backyard and I could climb over the wall into MY backyard,
where I had helpfully left the door open when I went out to feed
the chickens (see they ARE good for something!) No neighbors,
though.

With no other good options, I went to call the landlady. I have
one roommate who lives in town, and if I could get her phone
number, maybe she could come let me in.

Just as I was explaining this to the landlady, my phone card
runs out of minutes.  Click!

I have no keys. I have no phone card. I have 2 euros in my
pocket which is not enough to buy a new phone card. I am wearing
my bedroom slippers.

After calling mom for a little pep talk (international phone
card, and no, Southern France doesn’t count when you’re calling
a Belgian cell phone), I walked across town to the house of one
of my classmates.  I knew he would be in town because I had a
dinner invitation for that evening. I only got a little lost
trying to find him. The first thing I did was borrow his phone
to call the landlady back.  She gave me my roommate’s phone
number and said if that didn’t work, I could always take the
train down to meet her? (Not without my purse I couldn’t!)

The way my luck was going, you can probably guess that my
roommate was not home. No answer. No one there.

So smiling and asking pretty please, I talked Jeroen (classmate)
into coming back to my house with me, thinking maybe he could
boost me over the back wall. The back of the house faces a park.
The brick walls around our yards are quite tall, and even worse,
blocked by thick holly bushes, but I was getting desperate.
(Come to think of it, I’m not sure I could have identified my
house from the back…)

Then I finally got a break. When we got back to the house, a
construction team had arrived to work on a house next door. Not
only did they let me into their backyard, but they let me use
their ladder so I didn’t have to take a flying leap into the
chicken coop. The back door was open, and my adventure came to
an end.

As a coda, I should probably also point out that I fixed my
shower. There was a spare hose in the work room, which wasn’t
too hard to attach once I got the shreds of the old one off. So
yes, I smell pretty.

I think maybe tomorrow I’ll take myself on a date to eat pizza
and see a nice, foreign film. Aaaah!

I hope everyone out there has been having a wonderful week. I’m
sending extra love and hugs to Michigan for grandma Lorena. I
love you grandma! Relax and let them take care of you so you get
better!

And to everyone – have a great week coming up, and I’ll send
more news later! Mmmwah! Love to all –

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