je te promet.

What to write? I feel like I should express something new, something different about Belgium that I've yet to share, but my thoughts are blank. Maybe if I just write aimlessly, ideas will meet me along the way.

Tomorrow's Thanksgiving
and my amount of indifference worries me. Naturally, I should be longing to be home with my family and friends, smiling and laughing at jokes I actually understand, staring at a table overwhelmed by plates bearing turkeys in pilgrim hats buried by prepared home recipes, or rather those of Martha Stewart and Paula Dean.

Naturally.

But I just don't register anything. I think the speed of time confuses nostalgia. I don't know what home is anymore. "Chez moi ici", "chez moi aux Etats-Unis". Chez moi.. chez qui?
Though, it's not that it really bothers me. En fait, it's actually a little comforting.
I've found "home" in myself. Home to me is now the feeling of familiarity and comfort, not necessarily walls and a roof.

I'm at home when my headphones plug my ears as their red wires tangle in my hair,
or when I'm wandering without a destination, my camera resting with curiosity around my neck.
I'm at home when my back rests against the bark of a lonely tree and I can sing to only him;
I can inhale the new air of spring, crisp air of fall, or brisk air of winter
and watch the sun or the clouds or the rain or the birds,
whoever decides to join me that day.

Home is an escape, which to me is simplicity.

I don't think anyone here really understands that, that I find happiness in the simplest things.
It doesn't bother me when I eat lunch with no one but my ipod and rooted best friend. It's relaxing to be in solitude de temps en temps.

It's great and all that you're truly concerned about my well-being, but I'm not going to cry in a corner because you have plans to eat with someone else. I'm not as fragile as you think, I promise.

À qui je parle?

Okay, I'm done expressing the sorrows of my pride,
which then brings me to another thought:

to be an exchange student, you need to let go of "you".

Well, at least at first. Initially, you need to talk and try to make friends, but not be frustrated that you lack personality. If you aim to express yourself and show your true character, you'll only feel unsatisfied by your inability.

I always find myself trying to be Jordann, but I can't. At first, I was so bothered by it, but over time, I realized that it's just the nature of a language barrier.

Ironically, the inability to express character builds it. I find myself feeling more content with who I am each day although others don't truly realize it.

I just constantly think, aimlessly yet deeply;
consequently consuming my time.
Par exemple, I've been writing this post for nearly two hours now because of my thoughts

who now think it's time to go.

leaf piles.

My legs have been wanting, more than anything, to snuggle their toes cosily into grass, feeling the crunch of forgotten, fallen leaves;
to spring into a mountain of red, yellow, and orange;
into the fire of autumn: the ceremonial bonfire which welcomes the snow.

My hair wants to intertwine with, lace her fingers with those of the fall;
become so tangled up in careless, child-like play.

My arms want to swim through the colorful, cackling pool the trees have made for them;
make snow-angels that smell of crisp earth, sunshine, and the gentle, constant breath of the season.

Though it's been raining,
raining for four days straight.

But today it stopped.

I looked outside to see that every tree was bare
and that my host dad had raked up all the leaves,
detaining them in big, black garbage bags.

They're sitting on the curb.

en fait.

I've recently realized how happy I am.

Truly, honestly
happy.

I miss, but I don't desire.
& gratitude overrules any
notalgic
or melancholy feeling.

And isn't that life?



the city of.

When I try to think back to the past four days, from Saturday to Tuesday, I can't seem to grasp reality. The speed of time and strength of laughter have teamed up to prohibit clarity of thought.

Therefore, thank goodness for my camera's memory, which never seems to falter, as well as a small notebook in which my pen decided to express her thoughts. Without the two, I would have woken up yesterday morning and simply smiled: the smile of a night's sleep overtaken by a perfect dream.

Nonetheless, what I do recall of Paris is that it met stereotypes and broke them as well. It truly is "The City of Love": I've never seen so much romance (hands always held and lips always kissed) in such a small radius (in reference to the radius in which we visited, by no means is Paris a small city). Also, Parisians do take pride in their fashion. I don't think I really saw anyone badly dressed apart from a few tourists. And, of course, cuisine is taken in a pretty serious manner as well.

However, I never really sensed the rude and stuck-up nature that people often think that Parisians have. Four teenage back-packers sat down in Café Angelina, a café with high ceilings and chandeliers, and they were treated like any other Parisian with his curly moustache and Dior chemise. Later, the four walked into Courrèges boutique, all too close to the Champs-Elysées, in search of Empreinte parfum. The tall black man behind the counter, wearing a sweater all too tight and probably all too expensive, smiled and displayed nothing but warmth and hospitality.

Never once did I receive a cold sneer or bitter words. But maybe they're saved for tourists who expect everyone to speak English and have no sense of courtesy.

Moreover, here's just a quick summary of my four days in Paris, which will be better illustrated by photos:

Who did I go with? Michelle, an exchange student from Colorade; Savannah, an exchange student from Massachusetts; and Jacob, an "exchange student" from Australia.

Where did we stay? Aloha Hostel, close the the Eiffel Tower. I recommend this hostel to anyone going to Paris.

What did I see/where did I go?
Day 1 (our night of arrival): The Eiffel Tower;
Day 2: Versaille, Musée d'Orsay, Latin Quarter, St. Sulpice;
Day 3: The Louvre, Pont Neuf, The Seine, Notre Dame, Champs-Elysées by night;
Day 4 (note: while carrying bags): Café Angelina, Courrèges, Champs-Elysées, The Seine and Pont Neuf for shopping, train home.


this is a blog

that you may find profound, deviant, or insipid.

It may teach you, inspire you and leave you lost in thought; or it may bore you and cause your eyes to drag slowly shut.

You may read it for an hour, or maybe not at all.

Maybe you'll get to know me, maybe in ways I don't even know me.

I left the United States in August 2010 as a Rotary exchange student. I'll leave Belgium in July 2011 as Jordann.

about me

My photo
Braine-l'Alleud, Belgium
I follow the sun.