belgië, zijn muziek.

I stood in front of the doors of Woudec in Alsemberg.
It had taken me fifteen minutes to walk there- five minutes more than usual due to the frequent slide of my feet on the icy sidewalks.
The doors opened up for me, and as my legs rushed in, ready to find refuge from the cold, I heard the common beep which signaled my arrival.

I raised my eyes from the ground as I walked forward and saw an elderly woman speaking with an employee of the store.
"So is it supposed to work this way?"
"Yes, that's right. Here, let me show you."

While thinking about how much I'd liked the employee's accent, I realized he was talking in English. They were talking in English.

I continued to the counter, waiting for the person in front of me to finish. In his hands was a Nikon DSLR, and he was saying something along the lines of "Mijn camera werkt niet goed."

At that moment, the other employee who had finished showing the woman how to use her cell phone walked up to the counter and smiled at me.
Returning the smile I said, "Bonjour, j'ai besoin de développer des photos."

He then led me over to the machine for the instant prints, and explained to me how to go through the process. We spoke in French, but at the same moment he was suggesting something to the man with the camera in Flemish.

Despite what most people think, I really like the sound of Flemish.

Something I've realized recently is that comprehension takes away from the beauty of a language. If you know the meaning of the words, you listen to understand them and forget about their natural beauty, natural rhythym. I used to be awed by the sound of French; I was so enraptured by the music of words although they had no meaning. But now the language is so common, so everyday that it's lost its essence of beauty. Though if I turn my comprehension off and just listen, I can hear it. This method pleases me momentarily, but then afterwards I always get the blank stares of "You really didn't understand what I just said?"

But I'm in this tiny store, only about as big as two bedrooms, yet three languages surround me: English in my head; French from my mouth, his mouth; and Flemish from theirs.
And at that moment I thought of how much I'm going to miss this, this diversity of language, when I return to the US.

Everything I read will be written in English.
Everything I hear will be in English.
Each word I say will be, in English.

I'm not sure how I'll be able to handle such monotony.
Or how I'll feel when each word I say is right, proper, unaccented.
I'll be able to speak freely, and I'll lose the smiles that are often developped in response to my words.

Is it really already the end of December?


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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.