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Chasing The American Dream

June 30, 2006


Notes taken overseas thus far.

I had a 9-hour flight + 6 hours gained. I was pampered by flight attendant Kim. We got along, we smiled, I was her favorite passenger; I thought there was potential. When the flight was over I wanted to say goodbye and give her my card, but she wasn’t in the greeting line. Oh Well. Easy come, easy go. I took a train from Paris to Brussels and the only thing I saw was farmland through the misty haze (see Flickr photo badge below. New pix added daily).

European quirks:

It’s Gent in Gent and Ghent in the U.S.
The architecture in Gent is jaw-dropping. The buildings are around 700-800 years-old.
Brother can you spare an ice cube. Drinks are served without ice.
It's called Coke Light here not Diet Coke and
it's served in a glass bottle not a plastic one.
It stays light until 11 p.m.
I'm eating dinner at 10 p.m.
The urinals sit high here.
Days have been misty grey. Have had my doubts whether sun exists here.

Day 4, yay, sun.
People are mayo crazy here. They even put it on their frites.
Frites are French fries
Smokers are all over the place including restaurants and bars.
The majority of cars, taxis included, are bubble-like hybrid cars.
The Euro is the currency. Anything under $5 is a coin.

English is language #4 preceeded by Dutch, Flemish, and French.
Electric outlets are two-pronged ‘outies’ as opposed to our two or three-pronged ‘innies.’ Thus, adapters are required.
They're called Cocoa Pops here not Cocoa Krispies.
Belgian Chocolate and Belgian Waffles are truly to die for and the bread…mmmm, the bread.

Speaking of bread, it's actually sold in vending machines in complete loaves.
Belgian Law: you get minimum 20 days vacation.
Belgian Law II: you get your car paid for. Like 500 Euros a month or $650 a month plus they pay for your gas. Can you imagine?
Thinking of moving to Belgium now? With all the taxes, you only take home 30% of your gross pay.
They have white beer and cherry (Kriek) beer here.
Ran on the hotel treadmill. Was proud of myself for a personal-best time for 2 miles. Uh, that is until I told my co-worker who said to me that the machine was set to kilometers not miles. Oops.
Last night, the lobby was filled with models. Lingerie models whose woredrobe was wide-open for all to see. Why does the man upstairs do these things to me?

Leaving for Paris tonight. More thoughts and pix to come.


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