Saturday, November 01, 2008

From 360 to 180

I've been back from Belgium for over a little more than a year, now. And, it took a flash trip back to Belgium; hence the 360 in the title, to realize how much my year in Belgium had truly changed me. That's the 180.

Flashback a year. Coming home was very difficult - I came home to a new home, a new boss, new school (for Edouard), but set in the same old...

Traits once charming by Quebec standards became irritatingly annoying by global standards: the petty linguistic and cultural "quarrels", the xenophobia, the impatience, the lack of basic civility, and most of all, the butchering of the French language. Angry, I stopped blogging.

Flashforward a year. I'm in a Delhaize grocery store in Brussels. Hubby and I are in Brussels for a medical conference. Actually, he is a speaker and attendee. I'm the "spouse" - and a bad one. While the other spouses are dutifully participating in the "spouse program", I'm ditching cultural activites for extra sleep. I leave the hotel searching for fries and a waffle, having missed 2 of the 3 planned buffet times. Looking for food, I did not expect to find self-understanding. But, here I am in the grocery store, overwhelmed to tears by the nostalgia of cookie brands once so familiar and now so foreign. I had finally accepted that I had evolved and that perhaps my surroundings had not. And, that's its all good. I can blog again.

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