Published: February 12th 2012February 8th 2012
Today is usually reserved for the rotary exchangers weekly visit to Le Carre, but as it rolled around the time to go, I was just so knackered, along with the fact I had some work to do, emails to reply to, and a song to learn. So remembering the fact that it happens EVERY Friday, I decided not to go this week and catch up on some missed sleep. It was totally worth it, and sleeping most of the day away after doing a few jobs at home gave me the energy to get through the rest of the week.
The worst day of the week I’ve come to realise. Reasons ? When you’re already a perpetually tired exchange student, any time off is a treasure, and given high value. So after a half day on Wednesday, but not having the conclusive feeling that Friday brings to the week to help you get through the day, Thursday is a no less than a crater in the road to the weekend. And cannot be avoided, but must be traversed. So luckily today a piping hot Cinnamon Belge Waffle was my fuel, and got me through a tiresome afternoon. Took
the danm wrong bus again, but I went exploring today, and found a short cut through a suburb between the bus-stop that just seems to eventuate from any bus ride, no matter how accurate I try to be when selecting busses to ride, and my house. If it wasn’t -10 degrees outside, it would have been a jolly good afternoon stroll in Rural Belgium.
FRIDAY !! nothing feels better than this, the end of the week has arrived ! One fact my host family loves to remind me about is that I can SLEEP IN tomorrow ! this never ceases to excite me, combined with the fact that I don’t quite know where I was headed that Friday, but I knew it would be fun. After school as always, a small army of parched, dehydrated students made the certain road to a familiar El Chicco, as getting there during happy hour was the goal. 1 euro beers. This was a saving to good to be missed. The only limitation of this deal are the two types of beers you’re reduced to being able to order. Although they are low quality in Belge standards, compared to their NZ
counterparts, they’re up around a Stiney Pure, which is all good. It’s amazing how quickly the bar fills, and in less than 5 minutes, it goes from being any old pub, to being filled of thirsty students. Its amazing to see. So after a few here, it was back home for Dinner, and then back out into Verviers to see what the night would bring. As I waited at El Chicco for JP and some mates from SFX, I got talking to the bartender, who noticed my accent straightaway when I asked for a ‘Desperado’, which is like a tequila flavoured beer, which is everywhere in Belgium, served with a slice of lemon down the spout. Because I’d always wanted to try one, I ordered it, but narrowly dodged heart attack when in return from a 5 euro note, I got the beer and a one Euro coin. That’s right. A FOUR EURO beer. My god.
Anyway, she was from Italy, and she’d just recently come back form spending 8 months in the US, basically in order to learn English, in which she was really good at for being a relatively new speaker. So she filled in a good
20 minutes it took the boys to get into action, and the picked my up from El Chicco, and we went to maccas for a feed before town. The stock standard order here for most people is the ‘Belco Burger’, which I guess is Belgium’s version of NZ KiwiBurger. All it is is a Mc Angus in a different box. The student fav here are the 1 Euro Hamburgers, which make a night out easy to calculate if you choose your pubs right. Beers – 1 Euro, Hamburgers – 1 Euro. Sorted.
So back to El Chicco we went, but it was mainly filled with old people and Cougars, so we left for a bar I’d never been to called ‘Beluga’. Beluga is awesome. It’s basically where all the students go from El Chicco after happy hour ends, and it was buzzing by the time we got there around 11. Man, being an exchange student definitely gets you brownie points with the locals, and my biggest expense of the night were the Two cheeseburgers I had. That’s a gauge of their generosity. The majority of the night was spent here, and by the time we were picked up for
home, I’d had a great night.
Today started out like most other Saturdays, with a sleep in. Oh joy, it’s truly a total recharge of the ol’ batteries. After a lunch, I basically lounged around the house, practicing a bit of guitar, chilling out. Conserving energy for tonight. Tonight, it was Chris and I’s first night being called in to help a Rotarian, which is all part of being in the club. We were asked to help serve out food and drinks at a work do for one of the Rotarians, who was celebrating a business deal or something. It was a work apparel firm, who I found out after chat with the son of the owner, had been in the family for over 100 years. We helped man the bar and served people brinks such as “Verre de Blanc” (white wine) and “beere” (no tricks there). The men were particularly favourable of my inexperience in serving spirits, and in this case whisky. So I was giving out very ‘generous’ whisky’s.
When it all came down to start serving the food, it was pretty simple, just serve women first, and go table by table. There was no entrée course (quite unusual for a Belge meal), and the main course we served out was called “Tartiflette”, which is basically scalloped potatoes with a creamy cheese sauce and bacon pieces. This was served with a salad, and two slices of ham and Turkey. After serving, we sat down to eat, and for a mass produced meal, it was quite nice. We helped clear plates, and to serve the NICEST Tiramisu I’ve ever tasted out. This was honestly amazing, light and not too strong tasting, and a generous serving size too. This changed my view on this dessert, as Cadbury has ruined it years earlier with a disgusting re-creation of this delicacy within it’s chocolate range. Sorry Mum, I know you love it, but it was just so bad.
After this it was tea and coffee, and the evening basically wrapped up around 11. From here, I’d been invited by Riley to movies at her house , so off Alain drove me to find her house. That afternoon, they’d gone shopping for American food, so I had some smores and doritos, and we lounged around and watched such movies as Fight Club, Kill Bill and American History X. We couldn’t really find a reason to sleep, so we stayed up until around 5:30, keeping some who’d chosen to knock off earlier awake the whole time.
The next morning, Sonia collected me, and it was back off home to catch up on some sleep. Sundays are usually reserved by most for a lounging, lazy day here, which suited me fine. The rest of the day I laxed around the house.