It’s been a while since I’ve participated in any blog tagging activities but this one was too good to pass up. The lovely Tez, a Canadian gal in New Zealand and one of my former university room-mates, has tagged me with six interesting questions. You’ll be hearing more about Tez and the rest of my uni gang in a series of up-coming posts, so stay tuned.
So on to the questions:
What’s your favourite thing about winter?
Am I allowed to say ‘when it’s over?’ No… oh. Seriously if you’ve been reading here at all, you’ll know I am not a fan of winter. In fact it’s one of the reasons we left Canada.
That said, there is one thing I love about Brussels in the winter and that is the Christmas Market. The first weekend of December, the little huts are constructed from Grand Place down to St. Catherine’s square. They will soon be filled with people selling everything from hand-made leather bags to delicate Christmas ornaments. Producers of local cheese, meats and alcohol will be offering samples and selling their wares. There is an ice-skating rink and a Ferris wheel and two of the most bizarre merry-go-rounds you’ve ever seen. The air is filled with the smell of mulled wine and sausages.
My best Christmas market memory was last year when my beauiful sister-in-law Katie came to visit us. The three of us went down to Grand Place and watched the light and music show projected on to the town hall building while we sipped champagne and downed oysters. It was festive and magical.
Best comfort food on a rainy day?
I love a lot of ‘winter foods.’ I’m a huge fan of soups and stews. I think my favourite is a Belgian dish called Stoofvlees, in Dutch, or Carbonade, in French. Basically you stew beef in beer and spices until it melts in your mouth. Being Belgium, the most common thing to eat it with is frites! Very, very low calorie dish…
Why do you blog?
Wow, there are so many reasons. So many good things have come my way because of my blogs. I’ve met some fantastic people through blogging and I am continually amazed by the warmth and generosity of the expat blogging community. A few months ago I wrote a guest post called How Blogging Saved My Expat Life, on one of my favourite blogs, Almost Fearless. That post still gets comments today so I think blogging has definitely helped a lot of us who have felt lost and lonely.
What is something you always grumble about, but secretly enjoy?
Haha, Belgium! Bitching about Belgium is a great expat pastime. For that matter most Belgians I know grumble about the country too – the weather; the political situation; the bad customer service. Despite my grumbling though, the good things about this insane little country far outweigh the bad. There is so much culture and history here. There is great support of the Arts. The food is incredible. Even the weather can surprise you (in a good way) sometimes. For me, the best thing about Belgium is the multitude of cultures that exist here. Is it perfect? No. But no place is perfect. I can’t think of anywhere else that I could have a circle friends from around the globe all sharing our cultures with each other.
What is something you’ve done that you’re really proud of yourself for?
Well, Tez knows this about me and maybe some of you who have known me for a while, but I’m actually a really shy person. Since becoming an expat, I’ve really had to push myself into social situations that terrify me. As you all know, lately I’ve dived into the art world. It’s been terrifying but also fantastic. Even though it scares me to put myself out there, I’ve enjoyed meeting people and talking to them about my work. I proud that I took that leap and I’m so grateful for all the support and encouragement I’ve had.
Something that always brings a smile to your face, no matter what is…
My husband, who can always make me laugh; My cats, who seem to always know just when I need a cuddle; My incredibly supportive family and friends who are always there for me; and travelling which always inspires and invigorates me. I can’t choose just one. I’ve been really blessed.
So now it’s my turn to come up with some questions and tag some others:
- What experience has most shaped who you are and why?
- If you had a whole day with no commitments, what would you do?
- What food or drink could you never give up?
- If you could travel anywhere, where would that be and why?
- Who do you have a crush on?
- If you were the leader of your country for a day, what would you do?
I’m going to tag a few folks but there’s no pressure. I’d love to hear The Tribe’s thoughts on these. I know the lovely Louise will have some insightful answers. The sensational Sion should give us her Parisian perspective. If you are tagged or not and want to answer these questions on your blog, post a link in the comments so we can share.