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Want to live like an Expat in Belgium?

June 4, 2008

Perhaps you have read about my trips to Paris or my forays into the Punk/Rock scene and are jealous of my exciting life in Europe? Well, if you follow my daily routine, you too can experience the fab-u-lous life of an Expat in Belgium…

It goes like this: (presented in European style, i.e. 24 hour format)

6:00. Alarm on the cell phone goes off. Hit Snooze.

6:10. Hit snooze again.

6:20. Shuffle into the shower. Try not to trip over the unreasonably high rim of the shower tub.

6:21 AM. Trip over the unreasonably high rim of the shower tub.

6:30. Walk downstairs and start the hot water boiler.

6:31. Plop down in my comfy armchair and begin drying my hair while perusing online newspapers and magazines. First NYT then then some kind of travel site (National Geographic Traveler, Budget Travel, Rick Steve’s, etc.).

6:36. Break to make coffee.

6:40. Coffee in hand, resume hair-drying.

6:45. Still drying hair.

6:50. Contemplate chopping hair off.

6:55. Think, “How is it 6:55?”

7:00. Travel mug in hand, either hop in the car or get a ride to the train. If it’s the car, sigh loudly in anticipation of the abundance of traffic and stupid driving I’m about to witness. If it’s the train, grab a book to read and sigh contentedly in anticipation of 20-25 minutes of reading time.

8:00-8:15. Turn on the computer at work.

8:20. Check work email and before beginning my daily battle with Excel.

8:30. Go to NPR’s Song of the Day page. Add today’s Song to my playlist. Put in headphones and drown out the office sounds – a combination of printer hums and foreign languages (Dutch, French, Bulgarian, Romanian, Danish, Turkish, Indonesian).

9:00. Say “Goedemorgen” to the Belgians as they arrive.

12:00. Go to the cafeteria.

12:10. Eat lunch at desk while listening to the “Morning Mix” on Think about how much I wish I was Cindy Howe. Begin sending emails to schmuckaface with ominous subject lines like “Dear Ms. Spencer, we regret to inform you…” or “Final Notice: Payment Overdue on Acct #12381234”

16:00-16:01. (4pm) Stare out window.

18:00. (6pm) Say ‘Goede avond.’ (good evening) to the Belgians as they head home.

20:00. (8pm) Have dinner at my desk.

20:30. Contemplate jumping out window.

20:31. Check the windows. Still painted shut. Exhale a low sigh of resignation.

20:32. Return to desk.

21:00-21:30. (9-9:30 pm) Stop pretending that I’m going to make any more progress on work. Try to make a post. Trudge to my car.

22:00-22:15. (10-10:15pm) Pull into the garage just as the sun sets.

22:20. (10:20 pm) Mumble something unintelligble to BF. Suggest we watch an episode of tv or a TED video online. Fall asleep on his shoulder within 10 minutes.

23:00. (11:00 pm) Shuffle upstairs half-asleep. Try not to trip on windy staircase.

23:01. (11:01 pm) Trip on windy staircase.

23:02. (11:02 pm) Pass out.

Repeat every weekday. Do half of routine on Sundays.

It’s. Awesome.

You should be jealous. Very jealous.

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