Tuesday, June 17, 2008

American Girl

Hi everyone! I don't have much to report on about today or yesterday... pretty much typical school day here in Brussels. So I thought I would bring you a post detailing some of the differences I've noticed of late and some of the things that I'm missing about the States. (Sorry in advance because I'm sure most of them will be about food for now.)

First off, I have been craving Mexican food like nothing else. At this point, I would probably give my left foot for a taco. Although Brussels has just about every type of food you could ever want (from Turkish to Lebanese to Japanese, etc.) there aren't any Mexican restaurants.

An interesting food thing I've learned while over here is that European foods have a lot less preservatives than foods in the US. Consequently, food (especially fruits, veggies, and bread) goes bad much quicker. This is probably why most of the people in the grocery stores are not buying all that much food. It seems like most people only buy a couple days worth of food and go to the store much more often. I always feel ridiculous with my full basket walking down the aisles... me and my silly trying to shop for a full week! Going along with this topic, the European Union has banned any genetically modified foods. (Just an interesting fact I thought you might want to know.)

Most grocery stores over here now charge you for plastic bags, so most people just bring their own. This is one thing that I'm behind 100%, even though it's a nuisance sometimes to have to go back and get a bag to carry groceries in, the end result is worth it. (Sorry Uncle Bob... I had to put some of my liberal opinion in there.)

On a completely different topic, dryers are not very common in Europe. Almost everyone just air-dries everything, which is probably a smart thing to do since gas prices over here are so ridiculous (yes... even more than in the States! You should be grateful it's only $4 per gallon and not $7 or $8 like it is over here.) Having to wait a day or two for your clothes to dry can be rather irritating though (especially when you have as limited a wardrobe as I have!).

People here in Europe walk everywhere. If you go to the grocery store, you walk down to the one closest to you and pick up what you need and walk back. I think it is the reason why you don't see any obese Europeans. The diet here consists of a lot of breads, cheeses, and meats, yet most people are slim and trim. Along these same lines, apparently the term "diet" has a bad connotation here so everything is "light" instead of diet (ex: Coca light, not Diet Coke). A very different mindset and lifestyle.

Well, that's about it for now. I'll try and include other little idiosyncrasies that I notice along the way in future blogs.

Love to all,


Mary and Bob said...

Hi Court:

You’re a wonderful writer. Who knows, Doubleday may offer you a book deal entitled, "The adventures of Courtney". You sure are getting a lot of sightseeing and experience under your belt, but you better stay out of those red light districts. We're glad you're getting so much education and enjoying all the side trips. These will be memories you will carry for a lifetime. Keep up the good work and enjoy! Has Tim shown up yet?

Love You,

Aunt Mary and Uncle Bob

emilyvux said...

Oh wow, you're pulling an Emily and talking all about food. I don't know if it's because we like food so much, or because the situation is so different from America over in Europe. Hope things are good!