Everyone asks if I miss home and I always tell them no, in the sense that I don't cry myself to sleep at night thinking about the United States. Well, sometimes, but it's mostly political. Sure, I miss the routine and the ease, not to mention the ability to communicate effectively. I also wish I could talk to mijn broertje more often, but there's a new girl in his life and he has no time for his big sister. Ah well, I'm only an ocean away. How many kilometers is that?
Five Things I Do Miss About Home:
1. I miss snow. I went skiing today with my host parents' niece in this indoor ski hill with fake snow and heavy Dutch accents. It sort of reminded me of that scene from The Truman Show where there's a door in the sky and he realizes it was all fake. Walls on a mountain do that to people. I actually started to miss mountains, snowstorms, skilifts, and all things associated with winter. I've heard there isn't much snow in Belgium. Well, Belgians think there is, but it's all Belgian relativity.
2. I miss having a car. When I ride my bicycle through torrential downpours uphill both ways so I can get to Dutch class if only for the heat, oh poor pathetic me, I miss having heated seats and a roof while I travel.
3. I sort of miss patriotism. I don't mean forceful recitations of the Pledge of Allegiance, but I sort of wish that I weren't the only person who liked Belgium. I worked so hard to learn De Brabançonne and actual Belgians don't even know it.
4. I miss my soy-loving mother who gladly let me make vegan cupcakes to my heart's delight. Here with my legume-fearing host parents, great as they are, it's a decent struggle to get the right to cake. They said I could make cupcakes this weekend if I had time and proper ingredients. They're letting me near appliances! Do you realize I haven't had cake in two months? Do you know what that does to a person?
5. I miss being the smart kid. Here in Belgium, I know nothing. I don't know much about physics, I don't understand Dutch grammar, I speak the wrong kinds of French and Spanish, I wasn't aware that Belgium had enough history to study, and theory is not my forte.
Five Things I Know I Will Miss About Belgium:
1. Beer. I have to go back to the states and wait three years for my next drink. I know there are ways around that, but I'm not taking the risk of posting it on the internet.
2. Everyone is so darn cute in this country. With their little Belgian sweaters and their little Belgian scarves, they shiver through the cold Belgian autumn while I sweat in my host-mother-mandated cardigan.
3. Again, everyone is so darn cute in this country, but in a slightly different way. Like, I want to put them in my pocket but at the same time they're breathtaking. Belgium is an untapped well of beautiful people. I don't want to go back to the Dirty O. Belgians are prettier.
4. Everyone is so relaxed here. They all deny it, but there's no stress. It's hella chill, as we say in my country.
5. I love the food. Speculaas, hagelslag, chocopasta, those little vegan pâté
things, these are all things that I've never seen before. Seriously. Put chocolate sprinkles on your bread. It's magical. Why did no one in the western hemisphere ever think of it?