Epic Belgian Email #34

Chickens in a Box

Greetings, oh greetings from Belgium!

It is raining today. Great big determined rain. You’d think it
might let up for a minute (say, long enough to run to the mail
box) but then you find out it’s only holding its breath long
enough to put forth an extra effort and really soak you on your
way back to the house.

Otherwise, it has been a fine, relaxing sort of week. Last
Tuesday, the last of my academic deadlines was met. I gave a
mediocre presentation about the Abu Ballas trail in Egypt,
breathed a sigh of relief, and then spent most of the rest of
the day in a cafe with my fellow students, drinking iced tea and
gossiping about professors, classes, grades, summer plans, life
plans, and what have you. It was very relaxing, very nice.

During the rest of the week, I made a few feeble efforts at
packing. All my clothing is laid out in piles around the room,
but that seems to be about the best I can do. One suitcase lays
open on the floor – I was going to put in it all the things I
won’t need again until I’m back in the States – but I’ve found
woefully few things which qualify: a few books I’ve read
already, a few heavy sweaters I won’t need for the summer.
Otherwise, it somehow seems that I need all my Stuff. I can’t
imagine why. I’m going to have to start making up my mind soon
here.

This week is a week for results. This afternoon, I have to go
sit around while a bunch of professors talk about my thesis.
I’ll be on the other side of the door, excluded unless they have
something to ask me. I sincerely hope they don’t. I’ve been led
to understand that they only ask to talk to you if something is
really wrong. What a bah humbug sort of thing to do. On
Thursday, then, they announce the results. Friday I graduate,
assuming the results are positive.

In between times, I’m going to take off with Marianne and see a
few other bits of Belgium. Tonight and tomorrow I believe we
will spend with her family, in Maasmechelen. Later in the week,
we’ll visit Koen, wherever he lives, and maybe go up to the Sea
for the afternoon. Sounds like a very victorian thing to do,
somehow. “Yes, we’re taking a day trip to the Sea.” Hehe. Must
be the influence of all the books I’ve been reading lately. I
found a used book shop with English language books and had a
hayday earlier in the week…

Today’s other activity was the Capturing Of The Chickens. We
chased them around the yard and stuffed them in a box, so they
can be shipped off to Chicken Summer Camp. They weren’t very
happy about it. Sneaky speedy little boogers, when they know
you’re after them! Germaine got herself cornered against the
chicken fence, then stuck her head through the wires. Apparently
she thought she could fit the rest of her soggy chicken self
through, but to no avail. Getting her head unstuck was not the
easiest task either, but I think she made it into the box
without any undue trauma. They are currently sitting in their
box on the kitchen table, waiting for Marianne and I to depart
this evening. Every time you go into the kitchen, they begin
cluck-clucking in a rather pathetic manner. Sad clucking box…

Box O' Chickens

I probably won’t leave for the Netherlands until the 12th (next
Tuesday), in order to have time to pack and clean and such. The
Evans family has also invited me out to their house for the
weekend for a bit of a send-off, which will be really nice. My
specific plans thereafter are a bit hazy. I won’t know my new
address until I get there, but I’ll be sure to keep you
informed. Then I’ll be in the Netherlands for a couple months
before heading back to the States in September. I suppose at
that point, I’ll be expected to find a job and Get A Life, but
I’m just going to take this one step at a time. 😀

Very good! Off I go to sit around feeling rather nervous. I hope
everyone is having a wonderful summer! I send love and many hugs
from afar! Mmmmmwah!

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