February 23, 2014 · 12:14 pm
- Waiters take your orders for drinks and food separately.
- Brussels is very large and my feet hurt a lot.
- Met the woman who is renting her harp to me during this trip and who I met in Vancouver last October – she has a really cool performance space in her apartment and an awesome electric ramp for getting harps up the stairs! Also apparently her husband/partner/friend (I didn’t ask) is a famous Belgian glassmaker. Cool.
- We went to the Musical Instrument Museum and there were ocarinas there the size of a large cat! Huge!
- Saw above and below ground palaces.
- Waffles are consistently delicious.
- Went to Bruges, very beautiful city. Much more green space, open area, and water than Mons or Brussels. If I had to pick a place in Belgium to live, I would pick Bruges.
- Made friends :)
Sorry, I would post more but I spent all day yesterday and today in Brussels and Bruges and I’m real tired.
February 20, 2014 · 1:48 pm
Hello from Belgium! A few things of note since I have arrived:
- Most restaurants in Europe (or at least Belgium) don’t give you free water. You have to pay for bottled water.
- Cobblestones are hard on the feet.
- Mons, the town/city we are staying in, is roughly the size of UBC campus.
- No matter what you think, you cannot totally escape jetlag.
- Belgian waffles are delicious and basically function like donuts in Canada and the US.
- All bread found in Belgium is amazing.
- People really like their sandwiches here. And they are made on baguettes so why wouldn’t they?
I was going to upload a photo with this post, but the uploader is not working so you’re just going to have to wait!
February 15, 2014 · 9:21 pm
Currently I am sitting in the airport waiting to board the plane which will take to London, and from there to Belgium.
I am incredibly excited, but before I left the house today I don’t think I had really internalized the fact that I was travelling so far away.
As my friends hugged me and waved goodbye, told me to have fun and travel safe, suddenly I realized that I’d never been so far away from my family and friends, and I wouldn’t even be able to use my phone to text my boyfriend while I was away. I mean, Vancouver is already halfway across Canada from home, but we’re talking a separate continent! Suddenly I felt quite small and quite alone.
I got to the airport and suddenly felt like, oh my gosh, no one is going to talk to me the entire trip and I’ll just awkwardly be doing stuff by myself. Totally unfounded, and not something I was feeling for the last several weeks leading up to the trip.
Now that we’re through security, I feel a little more settled and I’m not too worried about being far away or alone. I’m feeling excited and happy to be here.
Basically, I’ve decided that whatever happens, I am going to keep a good attitude and have a good time. Not everything will go perfectly, but if I can keep a smile on my face I’m going to have a blast. More to come from Belgium!
February 12, 2014 · 11:41 pm
After many months of preparation and anticipation, I will be leaving for Belgium this Saturday! Needless to say, I am mega excited.
The preparation phase has been kind of hectic, as there are a lot of things you need to do before going overseas. Pay for flights, buy insurance, get currency, make photocopies of documents, pack, sign up for the student registry (a list of UBC students overseas so that if something bad happens in a country, eg. the tsunami in Japan, UBC knows where you are and helps you get home), keep up with coursework, and then annoying unexpected things such as forgetting your duffle bag on a bus and then having to go all the way downtown to pick it up from the Translink Lost and Found office. (Yes, this happened. To be honest though, I’m just happy that it got turned in.)
I am so stoked to be going on this trip! After finding out that exchange wouldn’t work for me, I thought I’d never get an opportunity like this in my undergraduate degree. I am so thankful to Dr. Bob and everyone at the School of Music and Go Global and UBC in general who made this happen!
P.S. There will be pics. At some point. Don’t know if I’ll have time to blog in Belgium.