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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

FETES

   This one is a bit late.... LIKE THE BELGIAN GOVERNMENT. But TODAY after 540 some odd days Belgium got it's government back . And i was here for it . booyah
                     Bonne Saint Nicolas everyone!!! Okay non-europeans: Europe, if they want to admit it or not seem to have a deeper connection with religion than the United States , but I think that's because they have more history than us. Saint Nicolas is the Saint for children and suspiciously looks like Santa. And Today is Saint Nicolas day , for kids and students. Some schools have the older kids dress up in lab coats throwing eggs and flour at the lowerclassmen unless they give them money. My school had Saint Nicolas come into the class room with his creepy ( BLATANTLY RACIST) helper , Black Pete. I say blatantly because the person who is to dress up as him is in black face and has red lips... i just end it there and if you're lucky i'll add photos! But when Saint Nicolas comes you have to sing to him and he'll give you Speculoos (this part is unique to belgium). When i got home from school there was a bunch of candy on the table for me because its my holiday I AM STILL A CHILD.
      On Saturday , Audrey Quinn and I went to Brussels AGAIN for the Marche Noel , the Christmas market! It was awesome so much food and hot wine. There was also an ice skating rink , polar bears and a giant Ferris wheel . I'll post the video of us on it. The views were pretty awesome. We also found a giant Asian grocery store which was really cool so i went in and bought a bunch of random food because it was cheap and i like trying new things .
     Sunday was the start of the three day festival of Sainte Cecile , The saint of music ( like the simon and garfunkle song) . The Festival takes place in the city of Binche , Where I'm apart of one of the three Fanfares that play there. SO I HAD TO PARTICIPATE. Sunday we got up very early and the three groups play in the streets from bar to bar . so you just drink and march and play and have a great time. After that there was a big meal for the fanfare i belong to with my host parents, and i was given an award. I am now an honorary member of the  musicians association  of Hainaut ( My Provence) ! I didn't really expect it but I was very flattered! The festival is Sunday , Monday, Tuesday but I really don't have the energy to do all three days. I may have been the youngest one there. but they go hard!!!!
 So you may think , SARAH , You've been in Belgium for a while now , you much be really good at french. and the answer is NO . NO I'M NOT. And I'll tell you why. Because I'm getting the two extremes in school , when I speak with friends they use a lot of slang and local dialects and then when I'm in class I'm getting advanced french , Symbolism , Sciences all in French... I need that middle ground , NORMAL french . So I'm going to.....sign up for courses. I'm really trying to do a lot to keep myself preoccupied here because i know i complain about not hanging out with Belgians outside of school but its somewhat unfair of me to expect them to have a lot of free time. All the 6iemes (seniors) are now cramming for exams and getting ready for college while I get to sit around and maybe do a few tests if it catches my fancy . I'll give it more time. Nevertheless I go to the gym , play in the ensemble with my parents and I wanted to join a volleyball team at the indoor sports place down the street but apparently i don't have enough experience..... SCREW YOU. If anyone knew that i went to Salem for high school they would know i have plenty of experience . We go CRAZY for volleyball. Maybe I'll give Zumba or *shudders* basketball a try.
      Recently a lot of people have been asking me I'm going to be going home for the holidays and even though that would be ideal, I can't . It's not allowed . Then they ask if I'm homesick and and I say not really. It's more of an indifference as of now .ALTHOUGH i'll probably be feeling super crappy on christmas anyway. I'm here , I'm gonna do this. Overall I've realized that Americans are way more independent than Europeans. My main reason, here everyone goes to universities that aren't terribly far from home. they think two and a half hours is a lot. And then they come home every weekend. Americans do the exact opposite , we go to schools across the country , across the continent even , and we stay there, until the holidays. I was trying to explain to people that the school I'm going to be attending when i go back is about 6 hours west. People looked pained . " You're going home every weekend though, right?" they would ask . No .... No i'm not .... To them going home is normal , to us  it's a sign of defeat. NOBODY wants to be that kid that leaves for school august 25th and comes home for labor day weekend, the one that's wandering the halls of the school looking for teachers to visit...

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