Week Four

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Well, I’ve been drinking a lot of this…

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Trying to get rid of this…and it is not working. In fun news, you should see the size of my left kidney, the CT scan shows it taking up twice to thrice as much space as it should. It’s pretty cranky right now. Heehee, if you are not familiar with cross section CT scans, that’s my butt crack at the bottom there, with the first white thing as my spine and the two white things in the side are my pelvic bones. The circle is the stone measuring 6.81mm, about half the width of your thumbnail.

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Did you look at your thumb? At the beginning of the week we had some nice weather. Cold, but nice.

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I got to do a little walking around and saw some sights. Just like a baby, the more I move the faster this stone will come out. This is St. Michel, just down the street. Like no big deal. This giant, beautiful old church just sits there like, meh, there’s one on every corner.

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A local tavern and eatery. So you think parking is tough in your city?

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And then it snowed. It was such a nice snow storm and the locals had to be laughing at the American girl who kept saying SNOW! LOOK! SNOW!

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Bailey even walked out on the balcony to see what it was all about. I’m pretty sure it was the first (and last) time she’s ever touched snow.

And now, I will call this.next section, huh, well, that’s different?!?
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Turn handle 90 degrees to open the door

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Turn handle 180 degrees to allow door to lean backwards for fresh air. This was a terrifying first discovery when I flipped up the handle and had the door start falling back on me. I thought for sure I had broken it and now had to support the weight of a falling glass door coming towards me.

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Mandatory recycling (yay!!!!). The commune has different color coded bags for you to use and recycling couldn’t be simpler. White for trash trash (but soon once we move into our new house this won’t be much because we can compost outside) blue for plastics/aluminium and yellow for paper. Glass goes in containers on the street. Europeans love and respect our planet and for that, I thank you EU.

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Mold and algae, everywhere. The climate here is quite conducive for its growth. For those of us who have massive allergy issues with it, keeping up with allergy medication is a must.

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It’s pretty, but I do want to give everything a nice power spray.

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To use a cart at the grocery store, insert a coin into the slot, which unlocks it from the other carts and allows you to use it.

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This proved to be an embarrassing situation when I walked into a grocery store for the first time and circled around and around looking for the carts. In broken French I was able to ask an employee who raised an eyebrow and pointed outside to a shed…and I had no coins.

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Street level and tunnels. You have to be careful driving here. This is all the same road but as you see it is broken into 4 sections. The tunnels allow you to skip roundabouts and other busy street level issues. But if the street you need to turn on is in the middle of the tunnel, your GPS may tell you to turn right when you are underground. Previewing your drive is a must if you are unfamiliar.

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Motion sensing escalators. No, it’s not broken, it is just conserving energy. Respect for the people, animals and planet. Loving it.

An Observation: Figure it out.

I have noticed something. European mentality versus USA mentality. No babysitting. The way children are raised here, the way people speak, the signs all around you; these are all indicative of the independent spirit and mentality of Europe. Here, the message is clear…figure it out.
There are no detailed instructional signs.
Entering the doctors office complex. Where to park? No idea, not labelled. Oh a garage. How do I get in? How do I get out? Is it ok for me to park here? Why are there stripes here but not there? No signs anywhere. How do I pay to get out? Entrance only, where is the exit? No signs?!? Jump the curb.
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Translated this says to cook in the microwave, find an appropriate sized dish and don’t heat it in this box. That’s it. In the US this box of soup would be labeled with detailed microwaving instructions including options for different wattage mircowaves. Here? Figure it out.

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Do you know the name of this street? If someone told you to take a left at Rue de l’escadron, would you be able to locate it?

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What is this metal bar and why is it in front of everyone’s door?Figure it out.

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Stores don’t offer free plastic throw away bags. You are expected to purchase durable reusable bags. If you accidentally forgot them, you can purchase a flimsy thin plastic bag for 15 cents a piece. Each of those bags also come with a nose flair and sneer. (why do you hate our planet Madame?)

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Last but not least, isn’t that the cutest thing! Too bad Jason didn’t do it and it is a complete coincidence it was parked outside our window.

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Ah, there it is. I could surely find that while driving in my teeny car at ridiculous speeds down narrow streets. Thank you GPS lady.

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8 Responses to Week Four

  1. tjebran35 says:

    You are a very brave and competent lady!

  2. Liz says:

    So why is the metal bar outside everyone’s door?

  3. Angelique says:

    The contrast of what you describe here to Egypt is mind blowing. Not only do they not recycle here, they step outside and just throw trash in the street. There are heaps of trash on the beaches and along roads, the railway, and on the sidewalks. There are hundreds of cats scavenging through the trash. A friend and I attempted to start a compost bin on our rooftop, and the doorman (we suspect) took it and disposed of it somewhere. We haven’t confronted him on it yet. My family is enjoying our time here, but we are mildly shocked at many things.

    • 104wks says:

      Is there anything more advanced than the US there? I’m finding that Brussels is so far advanced than the US in some things and in others they are SO behind. Electronics and technology for sure.

  4. I don’t know if anything is more advanced in Egypt than the US. They are a developing country for sure. I was surprised to find organic food here, so there are some conscientious people and businesses.

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