Sunday, September 11, 2011

After a school week that felt much longer than three days (due mostly to my understanding nothing of the school system and only about 2/3 of what anybody said), I started off the weekend by buying some school supplies and mailing home some chocolates and waffles (you're welcome Mom and Dad <3 ), and by having my first field hockey game in Belgium.  I unfortunately couldn't play because of some rule that, whenever a foreigner wants to play on a Belgian team, a letter of no objection is required from the national league in their home country (because the US Field Hockey Association clearly knows who I am and wants me to themselves).  I ended up being glad that I wasn't playing this first match, because it's a completely different game than at a small US high school.  For one thing, my Belgian club plays on turf, can lift the ball and essentially throw it down the field, and has set plays and a press -- I didn't even know you could do that in hockey.

After the game, the rest of the team and I hung around the club to shower, socialize, have a few beers, and watch the other games of the day (my brother Hugues played right after me, and the Dames II (a couple notches down from my team's skill/dedication level: they practice 1 hour a week).  We had dinner all together at the club, which consisted of lots of gossip and jokes, of which I understood less and less as the night went on and I got more tired, and random toasts to the girls who had played especially well.  As per the tradition of the club, we voted (by writing on coasters) for the best player of the game and for the "Citron:" the person who had done something silly or who we just wanted to make fun of.  At the end, the Citron had to drink some sort of condiment concoction while we sang a song about lemons (citrons).

Today was occupied mostly by organizing my school things in the binders that I bought yesterday, trying to consolidate courses into the fewest number of binders that I would have to bring to school the fewest number of days, as there are no lockers at Athenée Royal.  I did a little bit of homework and a little bit of reading (of French children's fables, because real books are still a bit out of my vocabulary range) before Maman served the family dinner (my Belgian family always eats together, and my Maman always serves everybody's portions) and we settled down for the evening.

À la prochaine! (when hopefully I'll have some slightly more exciting stories of school and culture to share)

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