Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Things You Take for Granted

If you grew up in Belgium:
1. beer
2. a relatively spotless history, if you don't count Congo
3. fancy things like castles and a royal family
4. art and architecture
5. multiculturalism without hate crimes
6. protesting and going on strike
7. the right to complain. Seriously, if you whined like that in the New World, you'd get your ass handed to you.
8. The food is fantstic.Even just the speculoos, waffles, and beer found in the vending machines should be appreciated
9. public transportation can get you across your cute little country in like four hours. If that doesn't work, you know how to ride a bicycle. You know how long it takes to drive across the United States (because Canada is too big and full of islands to make this comparison)? Like two weeks. And that's without stopping to pee.
10. All those Catholic holidays you get off from school

If you grew up Across The Pond:
1. poutine
2. asphalt
3. machismo and badassery
4. Everyone sort of speaks some version of the same language. Most people speak English in the North of the continent and Spanish in the South. Those two groups don't interact, so it almost works out. If not, you can always try Espanglais.
5. snowmen
6. automatic transmission
7. You don't really need to tell anyone what happens stateside. It usually makes international news. Embarrassing? Extremely. But it saves the trouble of having to tell people what goes on in your country.
8. maple syrup
9. time to choose your path in life. Belgian students have to decide on a career and a definite lifestyle at, like, twelve years old
10. Graduation, Prom, the big game, standardized tests, and all that nonsense that gets made into these huge milestones to sort of make life interesting for high-schoolers