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Saturday, April 7, 2012

Wanted: Ruby Slippers

  This week, I had my first serious bout of homesickness.   Sara, Tessa and I all celebrate birthdays this week.   So this time is always like a little Christmas with multiple family celebrations.  Plus it's Easter and, although we are overwhelmed here in Brussels with chocolate bunnies, I miss the real spring weather.  (Actually, I was glad to skip the major pollen season but it's still cool and rainy here.)

  This is how miserable I was:  I wasn't in the mood to go to Paris.  That, I believe, is a sign of depression worthy of a little electroconvulsive therapy.  We had planned on a weekend in Paris and I chose to pull the covers over my head and stay in bed.  

   And instead of seeing the beauty in Europe, I'm zoning in on the graffiti, the trash on the streets, the piles of dog poop, omnipresent cigarette smoke, the difficult traffic and homicidal drivers. 

    So yesterday, I decided to be my own Cognitive Behavioral Therapist and forced myself to take some positive steps.   I went shopping on Avenue Louise and strolled through the fancy stores.  Do you know a Chanel purse costs about 3000 Euros?  Didn't buy one. (Sorry, Tess.)   We went to a more reasonable  shop where I found some shoes.  I thought my feet were big at a size 9, but here I'm a 40.  European dress sizes add 30 to a normal American size so if I were a size 8 (which I haven't been for 25 years), I'd be a 38.  Many items are so much more expensive here.  Levis cost 99 Euros, plain old regular jeans.  I'll save the shopping for the Mall of Georgia.

   We walked down the street and found an Irish pub.  I drank two pints of beer and met some nice people.  The bar maid had a beautiful British accent (she was actually a French-speaking Belgian) but explained she had an English boyfriend.  One regular came in with his cute little Jack Russell who was served a beer in a dog bowl.  I assumed the guy was Irish because he spoke flawless English, but he was actually Dutch.   He explained that his dog drank beer frequently but always knew when to stop.  I should learn from that dog.

   We went to a very nice dinner within walking distance from our house for a wonderful dinner at Le Passage.  Salmon appetizer, lobster for the second course and amazing lamb for the third, plus two desserts and matched wines.  Ahh, feeling better already.

    Happily, we are scheduled to come back in 3 weeks for a too brief trip to the U.S.   I want to see my friends and family so much.  I want Mexican food and to shop at Target.  I want to wear sandals, get a real pedicure and see the sun.   I want to click my Ruby Slippers together because there's no place like home.

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