Sunday, June 19, 2005


Auf wiedersehen Deutschland, bonjours Belgique!

Yesterday we said goodbye to Germany, and headed across the border into Belgium, for a two-night stay in Brussels. Once again, I felt a flood of emotion at being able to speak French. But what emotion?

Was it relief? Joy? The sheer seductiveness of the French language? Actually, I think it was a feeling of mastery. My mastery over the beautiful but elusive French language was clearly established in this, one of my first conversations in Brussels:

[Translated from the French:]
ME: The check, please!

WAITER: (various French words) .... sandwich .... (more French words). Five euro fifty, please.

ME: (Holding up € 50 bill, the only Euro cash I have on me.) One can to change the?

WAITER: Yes, it goes. Have you fifty cents?

ME: I believe. (Rummaging through pockets to produce a fifty euro cent coin.) Voila!

WAITER: Ah. Magnificent!
Magnificent indeed.


Why do I think that's so cool?! ~jlp
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