Totally Frenched Out

From the blogger formerly known as Samdebretagne

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I'm happy to report that yesterday afternoon was better than yesterday morning was. I was still fairly sick and completely exhausted, but the fact that I had a bunch of Belgian dudes standing around watching me was motivation enough to get through the day. I'm still surprised by how few people speak French/English here - besides my customer and his wife, everybody else has been Flemish-only, even at the hotel. It's made for a lot of interesting hand-gestures and stick drawings, especially when working with the electrician and the plumber!

They've been very nice though, and contrary to what I'm used to in France, they came to pick me up at the train station (= no rental car, woot!), booked my hotel and they invite me to eat with them at lunch and dinner. They've also shown me around the area bit, and are in general just a lot more open than my French clients. I kept hearing all these stories about my co-workers being chauffeured around, taken skiing or yachting, etc, and I kept thinking "Man, I really got the shaft here with France", so it's nice that I finally have a customer somewhat along those lines too.

I'm kind of bummed about being here on election night - I have a feeling I will be getting up several times tonight to turn the TV on and see where things are at. I've gotten a little burnt out on all this election stuff, but now that it's finally here, I've got butterflies in my stomach (or maybe that's just all the coffee I've had today, lol). Seriously though, sitting there at lunch today, watching Obama on the Belgian news, I felt hope for the first time since he began campaigning - like maybe there really is a chance for change if he wins. I remember too well how it felt to lose in '04 - let's home tomorrow's results will redeem ourselves a little bit. I can't believe election day is finally here, and that this time tomorrow will we know who our new president will be!

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile



Blogger eastcoastsnob said...

I know what you mean about '04. I just got home from voting. My polling station was a church so I did a little praying too. I was living in Nueilly Sur Seine when Sarko was elected. I was taking a nap and awakened by yelling in the street when the results were announced. I now live in Oakland, which has a really diverse population, and I'm hoping for cries of joy in these street!!!

November 4, 2008 at 5:41 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth Harper said...

I'm missing the energy and excitement as well although I did vote by absentee ballot from where I'm living in England.

I've stayed a bit connected through a couple of blog posts some of which brought me some ugly emails from angry McCain folks, but I miss being able to watch the returns with friends.

I think I'm going to be up all night.

November 4, 2008 at 6:41 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

Hope you are feeling better.
And the French are weird about people coming to visit them for business- where I worked before they would purposefully make foreigners find their own way from the airport- kinda like "If you want our business, prove that you can figure it out."

November 4, 2008 at 7:33 PM  
Blogger Starman said...

The thing that makes no sense at all is that after the last eight years, how can the race be so close? Americans have to be the dumbest people on the planet. Of course, the rest of the world knew that after 2004.

November 4, 2008 at 7:34 PM  
Blogger Leesa said...

Hi Sam,

Glad things are going a lot better--WHEW! I mentioned your yesterday a.m. to Alex and he said that depending what region in Belgium you're in -- the people can actually be FINED for speaking French!!! Crazy, huh? I had no idea!! Anyhow.. he said that if you landed in an area that is Flemish that it's no surprise they don't speak any French... or that they have to pretend they don't -- so they don't get fined!!!

About the Elections--- I TOTALLY know what you mean... I have been following pretty close over the past month or two... and now that it's HERE, it's like WOW... I have restored hope--- DESPERATE hope... like WE MUST WIN!!!!!! Sure hope he wins....

November 4, 2008 at 8:38 PM  
Blogger Leesa said...


November 4, 2008 at 8:45 PM  

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