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More on my life in Mons…

patio pic My hotel patio

It’s Sunday morning, and I’m sipping my coffee while listening to the maids clean the rooms near me.  I’ll be getting the knock soon, which is annoying because I’ll have to answer the door with my bed head and sloppy sweats and repeat what I say every weekend, “non.  I’m okay.  Merci!”

This time in two weeks, I’ll be in my apartment, scrubbing away, getting it ready for my furniture delivery.  My little hotel studio is the perfect place for me to temporarily live.  It has a little patio and friends two doors down, but hotel life is hotel life even when you have your own lil yard, fridge, stove top and microwave.  Besides, I’ve heard enough of my revolving neighbours’ noises — from snores, to off key singing, to their kids banging on my back sliding glass door, to their phone alarms. Thank God I haven’t had overzealous couples or loud bathroom goers!  There’s also the crappy Internet, but it will all soon be another memory to add to the pile.  Hopefully, the Internet at my place will not ping out so much, and I’m told since the bedrooms face the backyard my mornings and nights will be quiet.

archway

That archway leads to a shortcut to my apartment.

Anyway, I’m soooooooo looking forward to moving into my new home.  That said when I move, I will miss coming home from work to a freshly made bed, fresh towels and a shiny bathroom, with a tub that says, “Come on in Darling.  I’ve been waiting for you.”  My apartment tub will be there for me, but my fat ass will have to clean it because I love my bubbles, and they love leaving a ring.

Some shots of my currently empty apartment.  That room in the middle is the entryway. The living/dining room is also huge.  I’ll show more when I move in.  And, I have two square toilets!

I finally feel like I’m somewhat settling into everything.  Oh, I still have a boatload to do, and I tense up when I think about it, but I’m more than halfway up the hill.  I’ve got this.  I used this weekend to relax, grade and plan a lesson (the plan was to plan more, but oh well I got one two-day unit covered).  I’ll finally rent a car and start driving next week, which will help me feel more like a resident than working tourist.

I’m getting to know Mons a little better as well.  The Grand Place (pronounced more like Plahss) is a cobblestone mecca of festivals, food and alcoholic goodness.  There’s almost always something going on.  Weddings with their honking horns (which I enjoy — makes you wanna get in on the fun) on Saturdays, parades, festivals and tourist events throughout the weekends.  A few weeks ago, I literally watched World War 2 jeeps and tanks parade about, while a band played favourites from that era. This weekend it’s street performers, outdoor concerts and fireworks celebrating Wallonia, the French-speaking region of Belgium (which is where I am).

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Tanks in Town, the WW2 event, is such a big deal they’re already planning the next two years activities.  Click here to learn more.  As is this weekend’s  Les Fêtes de Wallonie – Wallonia Festival

The city is as Shannan puts it is a big wheel with The Plas (ewww what we locals call it) as it’s centre (although not quite the center), and streets and alleyways as spokes going out to the inner and outer rings, main roads that circle around the city.  The train station is on the outer ring.

The spoke my apartment is on runs parallel to The Plas, so I guess it’s more like a spider’s web (but I like the wheel analogy; it helps me when I get lost), and it’s a 5 minute stroll to all the good stuff.   My landlord said I’ll be in the perfect location for the Doudou, (sounds like do do) now, now it’s not a dog-park cleaning nightmare.  It’s a major event that dates back to the Middle Ages, and it involves pulling the hair off of a dragon’s tail.  So, Daenyrs ain’t the only blonde getting to touch a dragon.  This Mother of Heathens is gonna get her chance.  I’m fascinated by its story and look forward to visiting the Doudou museum, which just happens to be on my street.

There are so many alleyways and off streets to explore as well.  I love walking to get lost and then finding my way back to the way that leads to the hotel.  I now know enough food words in French to somewhat figure out menus.  I know that Filet Americain is a raw hamburger (the Belgium version of steak tartare) and that poisson won’t kill me since it’s fish.  Entre’ is an appetiser and chaud is hot.  The salads are almost always big and not low cal, and frites pretty much go with everything.  I usually order jambon (ham), fromage (cheese) scampis, boeuf or poulette.  I bet you can figure the last three out no problem.   LOL so eating is not a problem!  Nor is drinking — order the house wine; it’s usually good.  I even like the beer, so all is well in my quest to destroy my liver.

The job is still great, and I’m adjusting to wearing close-toed shoes.  It’s been in the 60s, which was a bit of a shocker for me since I’m not used to temps dropping that low until February.  I’m not complaining though — love experiencing Fall again!

And, last, but not least, some random shots of Mons (although the doggy sign pic was taken at another village; I’m sure Mons has one too).  My phone isn’t the greatest, so I promise to bring my camera the next time I walk to take some better pics.

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