Everything is going really well. This last week has been pretty low key. With everything that is going on in Brussels after the shootings in Paris, I have decided to stay around our neighborhood. Two arrests associated with the shootings in Paris were made 20 minutes from us.
I’m happy sticking around our neighborhood, because it’s super cute and has lots of little clothes shops, butcheries, cheese shops, restaurants and we have a fantastic farmers market on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday's.
Sales! So, sales do not happen here like they do back home. Brussels allows stores to have sales I think twice a year and January is one of them. For the whole month stores have had 30, 40 and 50% off their items. Interesting. I’m not sure when the next sale is.
One thing I really like here is we walk, walk, walk. I walk to the grocery store and bring my rolling basket. We walk to the shops, we walk to restaurants and if something is a bit out of the way we walk to the metro and then walk.
Today, I went to the butchery shop and had them ground lamb for me. It's a really nice shop that’s only two blocks away from where we live. I'm making Skillet Pastitsio. The recipe is from America’s Test Kitchen. It's an Italian pasta dish with tomatoes; broken up lasagna noodles, ground lamb and cream. We will have a salad and a fresh baguette from a bakery. Oh my goodness... The bread here is amazing. I was the one who tried to avoid eating bread while living in the US. Nope, threw that out the window as soon as we moved here. I literally have eaten the most croissants in my life, and I can't stop eating the bread. I will really miss the bread when we come back to the states.
I have been expanding my palate these last two months with a variety of foods. Next on my list is horse beef. I didn’t notice if they had it or not at the butchery shop. Horse beef is supposedly very popular around parts of Europe. I asked Adam if he would try it and he said, “Nope.” So, I guess I’ll have to order it at a restaurant. Cheval is how you say horse in French. Paard is how you say horse in Dutch.
We finally got our car! We purchased it over a month ago, but had to wait to get our registration before taking the car off the lot. Everything is a long process here. With purchasing the car before the holidays, it made it an even longer process. We purchased a Mini Cooper. It's called a Mini One D here. The D stands for Diesel. I finally picked it up last week, while Adam was at a conference in Norway. BEEP, BEEP! It's super fun to drive. Oh, yes and the driving here is a bit different. We had to take a driving course, which included two tests at the end. The signs are crazy! There are 156 of them.
Our building. I was excited to meet our neighbors after we moved in. I had this idea of becoming great friends with our Belgian neighbors. We would have them over for dinner; they would have us over for dinner. They would show us around the city, we would travel together and be friends forever. Well… come to find out there are no Belgians living in our building. People from Japan occupy the other five apartments. Last week one of our neighbors stopped by and gave us a gift. She was super sweet and we chatted at my doorway for a good ten minutes. She even mentioned that we were the only American’s in the building. That made me giggle. I hope to have the chance to get to know her a little more. I could see us hanging out and making our weekly trips to the market. She might become my best Belgian Japan neighbor friend.