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how to begin?

May 18, 2009

Dear Kelsey,

As you are the ONLY person bored enough to still check this site even though I have given new meaning to the word “slacker,” I will address this post to you. I’ll start by saying “Sorry.” Sorry for breaking that promise to “post frequently” (unless… does 1 entry since February 1st count as frequent? I mean, it’s all relative, right?). Sorry for being too busy living a proper Euro life to write about the Euro life properly.  Sorry for being my idiot self and getting so overwhelmed by all of the things that I needed to write about that I just gave up all together rather than start with something simple.

Anyways. No more excuses. I’m sorry. And I will try to do better. I can’t promise that I will update every day. Or even every other day. But I will try to post once a week. So, do check back. Like tomorrow. (I’m totally writing tomorrow’s post right now…)

Now for the hard part. Where to begin? This otherwise innocuous question is what has been keeping me from posting these last 3.5 months. So much has happened that I have trouble knowing where to start…

Hmm… well… In honor of our upcoming trip to Austria, I watched The Sound of Music this past weekend so I suppose I should follow the wise words of Maria… “Let’s start at the very beginning. A very good place to start.”

And by “beginning” I mean the beginning of this week. (any other sort of beginning would be far more than a slacker such as myself could handle…)

I went to the lovely nearly-brand-new Leuven Stadhuis (the town hall/commune) this morning to get a fancy electronic version of my residence permit (instead of a heavy paper it now looks like a credit card). As I waited for my number to be called I  noticed that the 18ish year old, trendy student sitting next to me was in a particularly good mood for 9am on a Monday morning – especially a Monday morning spent in line at the Stadhuis (it’s about as fun as going to the DMV). She was all bouncing in time with the song on her ipod and softly singing what sounded like “I’m in love with a fairytale…” Semi-interested, I tried to see what she was listening to – perhaps a hot new Belgian song? – but before I could catch a glimpse of the name of this apparently catchy song, my number was called.

(Note: when trying to charm the ladies at the Stadhuis to hurry up the process so you can make it into work more quickly, referencing American movies such as “Office Space” and being sarcastic when they hand you back your truly horrid passport photo “oh, this is lovely. thanks so much.”  just leads to awkwardness all around. Especially since she may think that “Case of the Mondays” = some kind of flu  and  she may suspect you are legally blind when you make a not at all funny joke about framing your incredibly unflattering photo. Just fyi.)

Eventually I extricated myself from the awkwardness and hopped into the car – all legal and registered for my 2nd year in Belgium! – and heard the tail end of what sounded like “Fairytale…” on the radio. Kind of an odd coincidence, but I dismissed the thought as I was distracted by the blue sky and sun – yes, SUN – on my drive in to work.

However. From the time I entered the lobby til I hit my desk it was impossible to dismiss the song anymore. I heard “Fairytale” not once but THREE more times. 3! From the middle aged Manager humming it in the elevator to the group playing it on a computer on the 1st floor – there was no discernable demographic. What song could a trendy teenager, a 40-something Manager and a group of Transfer Pricing accountants ALL like? When I reached my desk and found my 20-something American cubicle-neighbor watching the video on YouTube, I was truly perplexed.

I skipped over the obligatory “hello, how was your weekend” and barked, “WHAT is that song?!”

She and the rest of the people around her desk looked up at me like I was an idiot and replied, “Uh, Alexander Rybak? [crickets] Of Norway? [more crickets] The Eurovision 2009 winner. [duh…]”

Oh… right… Eurovision 2009. Has it really been a whole year since the quirky, campy song contest that is Eurovision last baffled me? (You may remember Belgian’s made up language entry last year) Amazing how time flies.

Now Kels, I know this isn’t your kind of music. But. To prevent you from looking like an idiot at work when all of your friends are humming about fairytales, check out the video below to hear the EUROVISION 2009 CHAMPION:

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One Comment leave one →
  1. May 18, 2009 10:20 pm

    Hey! Glad to see you are back in action on your blog. I was beginning to wonder what had happened to you!! =) Hope things are going well!!

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