Going Native

I would like to think I’m finally getting the hang of life here.  I’ve got a few favorite pubs, I know that when someone says the first floor, they really mean the second floor, I bought some British clothing items (intimidating because of the size difference but I survived!) and I got a British hair cut.  This is progress right?  The haircut was a bit of a struggle because finding a new hair dresser is never easy, even at home.  I chose based on online reviews and proximity to my office so I could go at lunch.  I chose a place that was probably a bit too posh for me, since they kept trying to offer me lattes and the hair washing room had a fake fire place.  I just wish I’d thought about it a little more, and realized that when she asked me if I wanted fringe, she was asking if I wanted bangs.  I’m not sure how I feel about them yet.

Running is going well too.  I’ve discovered the world of Park Runs, which is an awesome program that hosts free 5k runs every Saturday morning in several countries.  There are a bunch in the UK, and two within a 20 minute drive of where we are, which I have done the past two weekends. That, and the local running club keeps me busy. And being able to go to the gym on my lunch break, although I will say I miss the gym culture from back home. It is impossible to find somewhere reasonably well equipped, clean and fairly priced here, so in general you end up settling for a rather disappointing mixture of the above. But it works, so I can’t complain too much.

As far as travel goes, we booked our trip to Belgium this weekend so it is shaping up to be a busy spring. There was also talk (at the pub so who knows) of venturing to Turkey in the coming months as well. There are so many places we want to go, but obviously due to time and money constraints, we have to pace ourselves. Which is so hard! As is making decisions about where to go!

I can’t believe this is my 5th week of work, the day’s definitely go by faster now. It is going well so far and not so different from working in the U.S. Even if I have to stop myself from saying kips instead of kilo newtons on occasion.

Aside from that, I am ready for summer weather! And I am not sad to be missing the disturbing amount of snow New England is getting. 😦 at least lots of snow days, right?

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13 Comments Add yours

  1. What are you going to visit in Belgium ? Bruges, ghent ? Brussel ? Exciting !!!

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    1. Staying in Brussels for 4 nights, and hopefully day trips to Bruges and Ghent. Any suggestions??

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      1. Bruges, you have to go to Bruges, this is a must do, yes ! It is so romantic. By train from Brussel it is very convenient, and the town is close to the train station. I would recommend walking near the canals and exploring the town on foot and you won’t miss the major attractions (the Belfort, the Grote Markt, the staddhuis, the Spiegelrei, The burg , …). If you are not sure, next to the train station, there is a tourism office, you can get a map from there. My favorite place in Bruges is the Begijnhof, you have to visit !!!
        Don’t bother going to the chocolate museum, not worth it. If you try to find a good place to eat, avoid restaurants near the Begijnhof, most of them are tourist traps. A meal should not be more expensive than 20 euros, keep that in mind.

        Gent, I would also recommend going there, from Brussel it is also very convenient by train. I’ve made a post about Gent, maybe you can have a look : https://beautifuliceland.wordpress.com/2014/11/26/visiting-ghent-promenade-through-an-enchanting-belgian-city/

        In Brussel, checking out the Grand place and going to “mont des arts “nearby is quite nice. The museum for music instruments is awesome !!! Go to the café “le delirium tremens”, they have more than 1000 beers. It is great. You can have a “moule & fritesé chez léon nearby, the best restaurant in town !!! I love going there. Don’t stop at the other restaurants of “la rue des bouchers” it is a MASSIVE TOURIST TRAP. It’s not fresh, my dad got seafood poisoning there. For fresh mussels, go chez léon. If you go on the website, you can download a voucher and have a cheaper price.

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      2. Thanks so much for all the tips. And I’ll definitely be reading your post about Gent. I am so excited for beautiful architecture and delicious beer! 🙂

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      3. You will get that !!! For sure !! For the beers… I really love fruity beers (white and red beers), but that’s my girly side speaking 😉 My favourite are the pêcheresse (peach beer), floris apple (apple beer), passion max (passion fruit beer) and kriek (cherry beer).

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      4. I’ll have to check out some fruity beers, I like Belgian beer so I’m sure I’ll find lots of things! Any recommendations for must eat food?

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      5. These are real belgian specialties I love :
        – Moules-frites (fries with mussels, “chez léon”, a must, a must.. so good !!!)
        – Carbonnades à la flamandes (beef cooked with beer and vegetables for a very long time, in bruges you can find that easily)
        – Chicon au gratin (it’s endive with ham and a white sauce, cooked in the oven)
        – Waterzooi (specialty of gent, it’s either with chicken or fish, and it’s kind of a thick soup) ..
        – garnaalkroketten : shrimp croquette, delicious with some white wine
        – Salade liégeoise : it’s a salade, with bacon, egg, beans, it’s so good as well and very refreshing. with a special dressing

        You can google the dish so you have an idea ! 🙂

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      6. Those all sound so good!! I can’t wait 😀

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      7. I’m excited for you !! I hope you will enjoy your time over there 🙂

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  2. Lisa says:

    Hi Amanda!
    This is taking me back to when I first arrived in the UK for a six year stint (that was 7 years ago!). For about three years I just never had a haircut there because I lived in a place where the standard style was really not to my liking…. So I commend your bravery! I also would like to (kind of) welcome you to the Park Run community! I hope you find it as fun and welcoming as I always did- in fact, I liked it so much that I still take part occasionally here, in Moscow, where the runs are very popular and growing.
    I would be very interested in collaborating with you, but I’m not sure what your readership would like to hear about- I can dig out some pictures of my life in the UK if you like, and chat about my favourite places there, or do what I do over on my site, and chat a bit about the weird world of Russia. I think the easiest communication would be twitter (@LieslSunshine) or Facebook (find the link on my blog) if you have either of those, or email me- but I don’t really want to put my email in a comment!
    Looking forward to hearing from you!
    L

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    1. Hi Lisa! Great chatting with you over Twitter, and I agree that park runs are awesome. That’s exciting that they are in Russia too, maybe by the time I eventually go back to the states they’ll have made their way there as well!

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  3. Brittany says:

    Wow, what a haircut experience!! HAHA.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha I know! Hopefully next time will go a bit more smoothly!

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