Friday, April 20, 2007

Welcome to Belgium

I though I'd start off with the obvious! Life here in Belgium! Most family and friends know we moved here last August, and most of you know that the change has been a difficult one at times. But, now that we've had a couple weeks of sunshine my head is clearing and I am ready to share. I hope those of you who are planning to visit will find a few of these thoughts helpful, and for the rest of you maybe a couple laughs.

1. Yes, fries come with that, but you have to pay extra for the sauce.
2. Pantelon de Jogging!? But it's not nice for the baker to see you that way!
3. The LARGE coffee is SMALLER than a small at Starbucks.
4. We have bread vending machines, just in case.
5. I have a field full of cows for neighbors, so does everyone else.
6. It's only 15 KM away, but if you get stuck behind a sugar beet truck....
7. You might as well order beer with dinner, it's cheaper than water.
8. Athletic shoes with jeans? Obviously American.
9. And on the subject of dress code, everyone wears a scarf, all year long.
10. Contrary to popular belief, not everyone speaks English, just almost everyone!

So, I guess if you take in the whole experience so far, it has been a good one for our family. We have learned to spend less money, but spend more time. Eating out is a special treat, but eating at the dinner table is a nightly special event. We have learned very quickly that you really can live without your television. Fresh is better. Consuming less equals polluting less. You do not need a hybrid to get good fuel economy, just a European car. You can loose weight relatively easily if you do not have the convenience of fast food. Children are highly adaptable. Family is most important. And no matter how far we go, or how cool it is, we are all just Americans at heart!

I hope each and every one of you get a chance to visit here in Belgium. We miss you and miss being a part of your daily lives. It's been hard at times to keep everyone up to date with our adventures, and our simple day-to-day stuff; but hopefully this blog will give you all a little better window into our very real experience living so far from home.


  1. See, Kell? Isn't this fun? Now we're communicating again--like we're neighbors--only instead of across the parking lot, we're across the ocean! Interesting on the dress codes in Belgium; I never knew. Tell David and the boys I said hi. Mason doesn't understand why we aren't going to visit Taylor this summer. I keep having to explain the Atlantic!
    Miss you tons!

  2. Hi Kellee - too funny - I just read your last email from February to the class! We are all fine here, except for the exceptional sadness of the tragedy at Virginia Tech (my hubby graduated from there). Michael has broken up with Dani, and now Nick (16) has a girlfriend, Anna! Miss you and look forward to future blogging! Deb

  3. Loved your first entry, Kell. Tell us more! Be sure to include any special input from the two youngest monkey's....they probably have some interesting insigts of their own. I'm glad to know there is an upside to your new life. Learning to live with less, enjoying real people time (vs. the electronic relationships we're addicted to here in the U.S.) and actually gathering for home cooked meals. I think there's a problem of disconnection here in the U.S., so we need to pay attention to the things you're finding of value.
    Went out to an English Pub Friday evening with my professor friends and shared with them my upcoming European adventure while slurping our pints of beer and eating sliced bangers with mustard. They all had input and suggestions and wished me well. Can't Wait!

  4. Hi Kell. Great to see that you are adapting to the European way of life. Cows as neighbours? We have them (and monkeys) as neighbours in South Africa too - also have cows on the national roads! Hows your French coming along? My baby's first tooth came through yesterday - she's growing up so fast! You were right, parenthood is so rewarding...
    Take care, Cecilia