Homesick for no reason

Its been about 5 months since we moved to Belgium. At first I didn’t want to go back to the States, because I was just enjoying this life abroad too much. But after being here for few months now, I must admit I miss my home badly. I mean, I am extremely missing everything about America. My home, my neighborhood, my work, the surroundings, familiar faces, speaking English, last but not least TACO BELL (their Mexican Pizza and chalupa) …. everything. We came to Brussels for 2 years (well, atleast 2 years, may be 3/4 years… who knows) but now it seems too long. Even my 6 years old daughter is homesick sometimes. She is enjoying her school way more than I expected here in Tervuren, Belgium. But when she comes home, she keeps talking about how she could do things back in the States that she can’t do here. Also, We have visited too many places in a very short time after moving here (we are very lucky in that sense). But even that is enough for now. I forgot some of the places we have gone to earlier this year or even middle of this year. My daughter already hates going to the airport and flying a plane. I can’t blame her. She went to places with us that sometimes don’t even interest her. Other than flying, luckily she does like visiting new cities, staying in the hotels, eating out, and buying souvenirs (just like her mom :)) Also, as everyone says, and I know it too, she is being exposed to so many different cultures, religious, and people, that it will shape her personality in a very unique way. Hopefully that will make her someone who is very flexible and open to everything.

But back to what I was saying, I am really, really missing my home in Portland, OR. Then again, that’s what happens when you move to a new place. I remember when I moved to the States in my early teen years. First couple months I liked everything about America… the school, the stores, people, the fact that I could drive at 16 years of age, all the junk food from the menu of American fast food restaurants, and finally, the freedom that came without any costs and boundaries. Then a phase came, when I was missing Bangladesh so much that I wanted to leave my parents, siblings behind and just go back to Bangladesh where I grew up. That period didn’t last for too long either. I still missed Bangladesh at heart, but at the same time I started enjoying all the things that America had to offer me. I was young and reckless, wanted to do anything and everything to see how much I can spoil myself. And America was THE place for it. Then as time passed by, the childhood time in Bangladesh were nothing but sweet memories. I missed that country but didn’t want to go back there again.

So now… I don’t want to visit new places anymore, don’t want to learn French , don’t want to memorize anymore new Dutch words, don’t want to be too far away from my home, don’t want be an ex-pat anymore… Uhhh, fortunately, I know these feelings will change shortly 🙂 I will give it about couple more months, then I know, I will enjoy living this European life again. And that will be a permanent feeling. Then a time will come when we have to go back to the States and I will miss this present life of Belgium very much. Yep, that’s life. We don’t know what future holds for us, that’s why we keep missing our past, thinking our past was the best thing that ever happened to us. If we only knew that may be, just MAY BE, future is better than the past, then we don’t have to go through this feeling of emptiness.

Ok, Ciao for now

Best Lebanese food in France?

Ok, so we still haven’t visited Lebanon yet. But I have tried shwarma, kebap, kefta kebab many times in USA. But nothing comes close to what we had tonight in a small village of France in between Grasse and Cannes, called Mougins. We came to Marseilles this afternoon, then drove about 2 hours to come to our hotel in Mougins. After checking in, we all were very hungry, since the tasteless French pizza and pasta didn’t really fill us up for lunch. The reception guy told us to go to the old village center of Mougins and try out some cafes there. So we did. The streets to go to the old town were very quiet and beautiful, also enjoyed the view of some villas while driving up the hill. The GPS told us to make a turn at one point, but the streets here are so narrow that our car kinda got stuck while trying to make that right turn. Anyway, we just parked the car and decided to walk. Then walked up the small hilly alleys to go the “old village center”, which is barely just a block or two. No tourists were seen since its not really popular spot for visitor during the winter season. But this has to be one of the coziest, and most beautiful villages I have seen so far. The town kept its 16th or 17th century (may be older) look, and it felt awesome to walk up the tiny alleys, surrounded by old buildings and villas. The best part was that you get a night view of whole city once in a while from few of the beautifully decorated alleys.

Anyways, we went to this Lebanese restaurant that looked very nice inside and out.  The waiter was even nicer and after we tasted our shwarma and kebaps….we just went WOW. My husband was joking that shwarma (“chwarma” in French) tastes better here since we are so close to Lebanon. But whatever it is, couldn’t have a better evening than this. Later we were told by a local that this was one of the best Lebanese chain restaurants in France.

Next couple days we are planning to go to Grasse (world’s perfume capital) for a day, then Monaco for a day to see Monte Carlo Casino and famous Grand Prix racing area which attracts thousands of race car fans each year, then finally Cannes to check out the beaches. Hopefully we will get to enjoy more yummy food and pretty French Riviera all at the same time. If you want to visit these places check out the pages for these cities, Monaco and French Riviera.

1st month in Belgium

Its been about over a month now since we left USA. Things started to settle down, and we are finally getting our sea-shipment tomorrow after about 6 weeks. Can’t wait for that.

My daughter started her school last week. I finally started going here and there with the car by myself. I thought it would be hard driving in the narrow streets of this city. But once I started driving, it wasn’t that bad.

In one month I opened and already closed my bank account here. Banking is kind of inconvenient here or just that I am not used to the system. First, you have to make an appointment to open a simple bank account. Then when you go there they won’t explain you all the different types of accounts you can open, moreover different employees will say different things about fees/charges/services. Then you HAVE TO come to bank every 60 days to get your statement, even if you are checking your activities online. Otherwise they will send you a statement after 60 days and you will be charged for that. Another thing is once you open an account you will wait 2 weeks for the bank card to arrive. But oh wait, it doesn’t come to your mailing address. You have to go pick it up from the bank, and there is no guarantee that the card will arrive after 2 weeks. And don’t need to mention the annual fee for a checking account…its HUGE. Yeh, so I’ve decided to close my account and do the financing old ways.

Other than that, I am really happy to get fresh milk, fresh orange juice, fresh oven-baked bread in grocery or in friday market. Food go bad very quickly here, because they don’t use as much as preservatives as they do in America. Which is very good, but you just to make trips to grocery every other day.

The way our first month has gone by, I am sure two years will go by the same way…very fast. Before we know it we will be packing to go back home again. But I think I am getting used to this relaxed lifestyle here very fast….hmmm

Ok, will catch up again later. Salut

New in Tervuren, Belgium

The Royal Museum for Central Africa, seen from...

Image via Wikipedia

Its been about 2 weeks now since we have moved to Tervuren, Belgium from Oregon, USA. The first few days were kinda crazy. We had to buy every little thing for our house from kitchen stuff to electronics to linens. Thank God that all the furniture were in place before we moved in. As I mentioned, its been about 2 weeks now and we still haven’t spoken anything in French or Dutch yet, except for Bonjour or Merci. Majority of the expats live in Tervure, therefore, if you are like me you will get by just knowing English.

Ok, that’s all for now. Will catch up later.

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