Thursday, November 12, 2009

Buckle in...

This may be a long one.  *Takes deep breath trying to organize thoughts & events.*  It might be a little messy too.  But there are pictures!

So.  I've been sleeping like some kind of creature preparing for hibernation lately.  Yesterday I slept in until 7am (I normally wake around 5), then went back to bed at 11 and slept until 2:30.  I dozed off again on the couch later around 8pm and aside from being woken up to head upstairs to bed, slept right through until 5:45ish this morning.  Soundly.  Evidently I have a little black-bear DNA hiding in there or something.

Yesterday being November 11th, boyfriend and I both had the day off.  During our non-lazing about time, we went and paid a visit to the nearby American Cemetery of the Ardennes, in Nandrin.




Recently visited stones had sand rubbed into the engraving.  I'd like to know the story behind this.





This one confuses me a little.


I will say this much: it was a miracle that it wasn't raining when we went to the cemetery.  I'm beginning to think Belgium's winterish weather is worse than Toronto's.  Here, it rains.  It's cold and it rains, all the time.  It's miserable!  Going for a walk in the forest is a muddy mess, and though many would disagree on account of the colder temperatures in Toronto, all I can say is it's easier to stay warm when you are DRY.  Dry air is what we get with the cold in T.O., and you can brush snow off... rain...not so much.

Which brings me to Rally weekend.  The first day of Rallye du Condroz I woke up with very unpleasant stomach pain, and it of course was raining and cold outside.  Joy.  I did manage to get my butt out the door though, and we made it to the first special (race) on time to see the zero cars pass (these are the cars that come before the competitors in order to ensure the route is ok.)  I have to say that this is one of the things I discovered about Rally watching here: Hot spiced wine makes being out at 8am in rain and wind much better.

Are you shocked?  I should have taken pictures of all the people with 24 cases of beer, eating pain au saucisse at 8am for you too.  It's not just a Rallye thing either, morning drinking is not seen as odd here, really.  I've had friends say they're shocked to see people drinking beer at 10am in Berlin.  Here it's more like 7am that you can walk past a café and see two old gents chatting over a glass.  We had a good laugh last night while watching the news, when the subject of non-smoking legislation in cafés was being discussed.  It was because the report started off with the anchor saying "many people enjoy their morning cigarette accompanied by a cup of coffee or a glass of beer."  As if it were dead normal, which it pretty much is here.  Now for a few Rally pics:

Rain = slippery conditions

Very slippery.



Did I mention it was slippery?



On our way to the second special.

Finishing off day 1.  Cold, wet, dirty.

Day two was much sunnier!



And now for something completely different:  If you are into food and cooking (as I happen to be,) then you should see Julie & Julia.  Not the most serious cinema, but well researched, interesting, touching, and funny.

Rain rain go away.

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Chitika