Saturday, May 29, 2010

Cleaning house

I've been clearing up little bits of business here and there over the past few days.  I hate having all kinds of little things undone, piling up.  After a certain point, it starts to make me feel a little incompetent within my own life, guilty, crowded by pain-in-the-butt things that must get done, no matter how boring or tedious they may be.

Along the way I realized as well there were some things I should share, so I'm doing a little odds and ends tidying here too.  I seem to be enamored of numbered lists of late, so why not another?

First: it's past the expiration for my visa, and I'm still here.  That's because I have managed to secure one of these:

This is the temporary version of the "carte F".  Isn't it quaint, how it's on paper, and how my photo is riveted in place?  I think it's quaint.  And I'm happy because I'll get to use the same photo for my permanent card when they make it in a few months (hurray!  Finally a photo ID that isn't horrid!)

I had (also) been granted the right to enter and work in Australia for a year, but I've decided to forgo the lovely spine-tingles and adrenaline-rushes that Australia's freakish wildlife could provide for the time-being, given that I should be sticking around in Belgeland.  As the date of entry on the visa for Oz has quite recently passed, I have ceremoniously burned these papers.

Just a sample of some "Aussie-rules" biology...*shudder*   (photo from

Second: I have finally chosen a mutualité, going with Euromut.  I can fall-back on English with them if I'm confused, they seem to have reasonable coverage, they are politically neutral, and they have extra dental and hospital coverage options.  This of course does not mean I have submitted my papers to the mutualité to join them yet.  Hopefully... today?  Sometime next week?

Third: I have been horribly neglectful in general of emails received in relation to this blog.  And being able to hear from the shy-er violets as well as commenters has been great!  I will apologize in advance for not having been the most responsive human being at times, but I'm hoping to step this up a little because I really do appreciate the words, (some of you are riotously hilarious and really should consider coming out of the shadows!)  PS- if you email me it's probably a good idea to title your email subject something like "BLOG something or other", as my spam filter is insane.  I swear ymail is owned or financially supported by Ponzi Scheme Inc.

Fourth: Taxes.  Zzzzzz.  When oh when, will I find the mental fortitude to do these without slipping into a coma as a result of extreme boredom?  Taxes are serious business in Belgium though, they must be done.  How else will Queen Fabiola receive her annual hair-product allowance?

Fifth: Flossing frequency has improved!  I figured if I used reports of governmental turbulence in this country as a way of remembering to do this, the situation would improve 10-fold.

Sixth: Antwerp.  I am off now to wander this part of Belgium for the first time.  Camera and extra batteries are in tow. Hopefully something interesting can be found.  Will report findings upon return.

Seventh: Yesterday was "National Hamburger Day" in parts of the world.  To mark the occasion, I bring you a lovely (and brief) multimedia experience... Go on, make with the clicking.


Jessica of Hey, Mons! said...

Oh I got one of those orange cards too. I was dying inside when the lady at the commune busted out the DIY hallmark card making kit at her desk and started scrap booking with my ID photos. I am weirdly excited about getting the plastic one though. We keep saying we are going to Antwerp like every weekend, then something else comes up. You know this weekend and next is the world famous Doudou in Mons...which basically is a "cultural festival" created to give everyone a license to drink themselves into a coma and piss on every street, bush, public landmark or house within the city limits. Even our mayor sponsored some "concert" which turned out to be less about music and more about beer that only cost .50 cents.

Mademoiselle Catherine said...

Hello there! I'm just discovering your blog and will probably be around quite a lot...
Not that I'm being a foreigner in good ol' Belgium, but I used to be an "expat" a few years ago and am soooooo glad to be back :)

Happy cleaning!

EfruTik said...

First of all that hamburger video is creepy as hell! As I read the oiubt number 7 about yersterday's holiday I was beginning to feel less guilty for eating two hambergers from McD's, but then I clicked on the link...bad idea.

Congrats on ID card. I am super happy for you on that point. As for number 4, really? Do all royalties get a cut from a nationally imposed taxes? Gosh that's just plain messed up. But what you wrote totally made me crack up.

Enjoy Antwerp :)

ParisBreakfasts said...

Congrats on ID card too. why are hamburgers synonomous with Mc'Do?
Not that I eat many burgers in a year or two..
DouDou in Mons have anything to do with the mon doudous?
I miss Belgian chocolate-the REAL kind like toison d'or...

Jessica said...

Jessica - I read about the Doudou this morning in my "Dimanche" paper. Supposedly it has something to do with St. George. Later in the same article I read that there is a moment in the Mons doudou where the dragon is attacked by St. George with a lance (ok), then a sword (ok) and then a gun (what?! there were no guns then!) So I have to say that I'm with you... I think Mons adopted a reason to drink and that reason was "St. George" (which will now serve as a code-word for 50 cent beers.)

Mme Catherine - welcome!

Efrutik - Sorry, didn't mean to creep you out. I just thought this little sound-poem of sorts summed up my feelings about the mass produced burgers that are everywhere in N. America. I love burgers, but when I say that I love burgers I'm generally referring to the non-McDo variety. But who can resist their fries now and then?!? Not me.

PB - Wow! Hi there! If you want to see some chocolaty-doings, do pop in now and then... I'm just getting my work-area tweaked and set-up here.