Tindering

Everything for the sake of speaking Polish fluently.

That is my motto. And I’m working really hard to live by it. So hard even that I did what I shouldn’t have done…

… I went on Tinder.

I sacrificed my reputation and privacy, but it’s all for the sake of talking Polish more often. Nevertheless this turned out to be a good social experiment as well. Find a place where people can show themselves, and you find the true nature of human kind. I promise you. This Tinder thing has been an adventure, but at least a funny one, so I decided to share it with you.

First of all, if you’re not familiar with Tinder, let me explain. It’s an app, connected to your facebook, where you can display yourself by pictures and if wanted a few words about yourself (with a limit, of course). The app will show other people your first picture, your name and your age, and they can swipe. Left means ‘no’, right means ‘yes’. You get to swipe pictures as well, within a chosen age category and distance. If you both swipe right, you have a match and you can talk.

In short, smartphone speed dating.

I put on three pictures, one of which not even showing my face (but with some lovely mountains in the background, that’s why I love the picture) and a caption stating I have to speak Polish fluently by the end of June. And there we went. Swipe swipe swipe. You have no idea how addicting it is to judge people by their pictures! Also, at first I had a lot of guys of course. So I kept on swiping and swiping and had a good laugh.

My experiment led to this model of the Average Polish Guy. His name is Michal, Mateusz, Kuba or something along those lines. He loves fitness and he likes to show off his six pack. If he doesn’t have a six pack, he will show off his car/motor bike. Those are loved immensely as well. Selfies are not a problem here, not even for guys. It’s okay if you take a picture in the mirror, with your phone clearly visible and you staring at your screen. He takes himself very seriously.

You can imagine what I’m talking about. This app is not only for speed dating, it’s also to brag with how strong you are or how fancy your car is, and that’s a very serious matter for some. This also shows in the “moments” – you can take a picture with a caption, and all of your matches will be able to see it for 24 hours. Again, you can swipe left or right. There’s a lot of attnetion whoring going on with those moments. Sometimes just a plain selfie, sometimes withh a caption that barely hides how it’s all about showing off.
Sometimes it goes even further. Then you have a match, so you think he’s somewhat interested (even if it’s just trying to get laid!), so you say something (for the sake of talking Polish) and then… he doesn’t answer. Oh well, it’s okay, I understand that you needed the match to boost up your self-esteem! It’s better not to start talking to anyone. Yesterday I couldn’t sleep, so I said to my latest match ‘Hey :)’. He actually answered (‘Hallo’), which shocked me.

Although, if they start talking, you’re in for a nice conversation for a while. Mostly it will end soon, but hey, at least you’ve talked Polish for a while! Not telling where I am from seemed to be a good idea, because I’ve had a few people asking me that. They all guessed wrong, one by one. And I had a good time not telling them of course. Who would ever guess you’re from Belgium? My name isn’t very Belgian either, which made it hard for them. I’m merciless, you know. Some managed me to flatter though, by saying I have a beautiful name. I’ve also had people ask me why I had to speak Polish fluently at the end of June. But the majority didn’t seem to notice that it’s somewhat strange how a foreigner can talk Polish quite well. (Quite well because of dictionaries.) That’s something that keeps surprising me: some people don’t seem to be wondering at all why someone, clearly not Polish, speaks some Polish.

o-TINDER-APP-facebook

I’ve met one interesting guy, who was also into languages. We had a good, long conversation and we even met. In my beloved park. It was nice talking to him, because I could understand him, and that’s always a pleasure. Also, talking to people who learn languages themselves is often better, because they understand how difficult it can be sometimes. Unfortunately we never managed to meet again, which also seems to be a sign that he might not be so eager to. It’s a pity, but I’m not the one to beg for attention.

I also had another ‘date’ (I call everything a date) with another foreign student. As it turned out, it’s easier to talk Polish with a native speaker than to speak English with a foreign student. Pity. He was a nice guy, but I don’t want to feel like I have to keep the conversation going all the time. He did remember my birthday though, which was very kind.

By far the most hilarious thing I had, was when my parents were visiting me and we went to Warsaw. A certain evening we were at a restaurant when suddenly a few Italian guys came in, sat down, and took their phones before even watching the menu. Get your priorities straight, people. You’re so close to food! They also managed to complain to the waiter that it took too long to prepare the food. In Italian. As if that would work. One of the guys was clearly on Tinder, swiping everyone right. Pathetic. At a certain moment he suddenly started staring at me, so I thought ‘oh dear, maybe he saw me there…’. I acted natural. (Haha. Sure.) That evening I went on Tinder and started swiping.

I found him.

We had a match. He then said ‘hey, we ate in the same restaurant yesterday!’, but in bad English. I said something along the lines of ‘haha, I already thought so!’. His next message was literally: ‘Tonight fuck?’ I almost laughed out loud, then said ‘Are you serious? Because no.’ He still tried, saying I was beautiful, that I could ditch my parents and go to a restaurant with him, that it was his last night there. I politely explained that I didn’t want to. Politely, because after all it’s Tinder.

He wasn’t even that good-looking, actually.

I’ve come to the point where there are barely new people to swipe, so it’s getting boring. There’s not interesting going on at the moment, no conversations (unless some of them will still answer), so we’re through it. If you were thinking of trying it, I can recommend it for being very funny and interesting form an antropologic point of view. But just yesterday I read an article about a women who tried dating via Tinder for a year, she went on a date fifty times, and yet no man found. I’m not looking for a boyfriend there, at all, but if you would think of using Tinder for that purpose, I will have to disappoint you. They’re just too busy admiring their six pack to actually talk to you…

What kind of man

Every once in a while, I stumble upon a song that instantly becomes my new music crush. As you may have noticed. (If you feel the need to be kind, you can now pretend to be surprised and say ‘No! Really?’) A few weeks ago, not to say a month, I accidentally ended up watching one of Florence & The Machine’s new clips, and it caught me straight away. Not only the song is really good, but the video just makes it better. It’s well composed and beautifully made. The combination struck me.

Which wasn’t really hard, because the song is about a difficult relationship. Seeing how things have been going with The Boys lately, I feel something inside scream dramatically ‘O MY GOD YES’ at the lyrics. The video includes a lot of touchiness, like when some guys takes Florence’s face in his hands – that kind of touchiness. Next to that there’s also more explicit touchiness, but all brought to you in such a way that it’s never really uncomfortable to watch.

In short, I’m just very fond of this song and video.

Now, inspired by this video and by my most recent adventure with A Boy, I came up with a few things you can do when things go wrong.

What To Do When A Guy Stops Talking To You Or When Things Go Wrong In General

1. Don’t even do the effort of thinking there is a logical explanation

People, unfortunately, are not logically thinking creatures. If only! I often think there’s some understandable reason behind things, because I like ratio, but let me tell you that that’s too much to ask sometimes.

2. Take a ballet class

Thank god for my ballet classes here. My muscles and stamina obviously need it… Also, ballet demands control of yourself. Of your muscles, of your thoughts, of everything. And you need to maintain a straight back all the time. Somehow it makes me feel very powerful, and that’s not bad, is it?

3. Put on your heels

Sometimes, those 5 extra centimetres added to my 180 cm can change how I feel. I’ve told you that before. Especially with my height I sometimes feel intimidating. Which I don’t mind! (If I don’t want to be too intimidating, I just smile kindly at people.)

4. Bother those who should be bothered

After a few bootycalls in the middle of the night, I decided to take a small revenge by bothering him a few times, reminding him of the fact that he’s got some explaining to do, as he promised. I knew he wouldn’t, but at least I reminded him of it. There’s no way I will just keep my mouth shut and give the impression I accept this. My sleep is important to me, so if you wake me up in the middle of the night twice, you just ask for revenge.

5. There are other things

That are certainly more important to be worrying about right now. Something along the lines of presentations, tests, trips, money, and so on. These are things that cannot be battled by wearing heels or going to a ballet class. So I’m doing my best to focus on making everything go right. Which isn’t always as easy as it seems… But hey, we’ll get there.

Now, go ahead and watch this video, listen to the song, and enjoy the drama!

Home and away

Studying abroad is some busy business, let me tell you that. Since my last post I have been busy visiting cities, making tests, and being ill. The travels were really good, it’s always nice to visit places that are very different from your own city. I’ve been to the sea-side at Easter Break, and in Łódź. That last one has so many nice restaurants and cafes, it’s really a young city, as we say! Also, we went to a Balkan party there, and god, what a party…! It’s been a while since I’ve had such a lovely party. They really played Balkan music, all night long, and everyone was dancing, and it was so nice. I had the greatest time, so great that I had muscle ache the next day because of dancing so much. But it was worth it! Just perfect.

The only downside to the travels was that it was often quite cold… Together with the busy week of an exam and three tests and tiredness, it caused me to pay the price – I fell ill. The last time this happened, I was 15, so I didn’t really expect it anymore! Yesterday I almost didn’t leave my bed, because I couldn’t stay upright, or even sit up, for longer than 5 minutes without falling down again. Such joy… But today things are already way better, luckily. I don’t have my voice back completely, but hey, at least I can walk around again!

Also, if that is the price I have to pay for that Balkan party, than I’m willing to pay.

Next to that it gives you a new look on your priorities. Now I’m so happy that I can look down without my head aching, I’m happy that I can walk around without falling, and that I don’t feel knives in my head the entire time anymore. Life is so pretty now!

As for the guy from this post, well, it seems that I’m getting good at cleaning the mess I’ve made. Of course the situation is somewhat more complicated than I told you, but last week I decided that the best way to get an answer is to ask for it. So I sent him a text asking why I didn’t hear anything from him anymore. (Then I shut down my phone in a flash of nervosity. Then I realised how stupid it was, turned it back on and put it in the kitchen so I wouldn’t hear the sound of a text message coming in.) He gave some lame excuse about thinking I was home for the holidays (I wasn’t of course) and something about being drunk. I didn’t fully get it, so I asked what he meant by that. Maybe that sounded a bit aggressive, because he texted back that we will meet some day and then he would explain it.

Eh, okay. I’m not convinced this will actually happen, for some reason (guess which one). At least I tried, I have proven to be the more adult one by trying to have a normal, rational conversation. If he had told me straight away what the real reason was, even if it would have been that he wasn’t really interested in me, then I would just have understood it. But oh well, I can’t be bothered with it anymore. I might be heading towards more adventures, so this one is ready to be the past.

As for the ‘I thought you’d be home during the holidays’, I must say there’s a strange tendency to think that here! No one asked me what I was doing during Easter break. They always asked if I was going home during Easter break. Errm no, I have only been here for two and a half months now, why would I go home already? I didn’t go studying abroad just to run home as soon as I have the chance. I surely miss some people and some things about Belgium, but despite that I feel like this is my home now. This is my town. I noticed how true that was when I was walking around in the cities I visited. I started saying things like ‘in my city it’s like this or that’, or ‘oh, we have the same thing over at us!’. Next week , my parents will visit me, and I already look forward to showing them around here, because I’m proud of my city, I think it’s pretty and full of good things. We have a lovely old town and a lovely big park right in the centre of the city. It’s just a good place to live, and I can’t wait to show them around in my new world here. This is my home. I feel it every time I arrive at the train station again. This is what I know best and this is what returning home feels like. I will surely be happy to be back in Belgium and to see my friends again and to go to a real good Belgian cafe again, but until then you can leave me here!

Variations on the Same Theme

It was somewhere between four and half past four during the night. There was no one in the streets, and it was raining softly, turning this into a sad kind of darkness. I was walking home, slowing down with every step.
I absolutely hate rain, but something in me was very satisfied with this decor.

I continued my existential crisis at the kitchen table, eating biscuits and staring at the sink until I realised that if I didn’t move immediately, I would become too tired to even brush my teeth. Somewhere around five I finally laid down and noticed how the sun was rising already. It was noticeable lighter than it should be when you go to sleep.

However much I dislike the situation I’m in, my dramatic soul fully enjoyed these conditions. The only thing missing was a good soundtrack to this all – but next to that, all was perfect.

The crisis is still there though. I’ve recently found out that I’m still stuck in the same old pattern, the pattern I wanted to escape by going away from Belgium. Maybe it’s not connected to Belgium at all, but to me. I should have realised that before, shouldn’t I… This is the thing: I’ve had a few nice dates with a guy, and all of sudden, he’s disappeared. Well, that is, he will respond if I ask him something by text, but it seems he’s not keen on more contact anymore.

Well, that’s not a big deal, I know that. And no, my heart is not broken, I’m not in tears, I didn’t fell in love or something like that. The point is just that it pisses me off for real, because I don’t see the reasoning behind it. Why would you first be nice to someone and then just stop talking to that person? Often there is some kind of explanation, but because of bad communication skills, you never get to hear it. Not until you put them in a dark room and put a lamp in their face.

Just kidding, of course. (Though, coming to think of it, that might just work…)

I used to think that thinking rationally would help me understand things, but I didn’t realise that guys aren’t necessarily the most rational species you can find. It’s a lie that women aren’t rational – so far, my experience tells me that it’s more the opposite. I’m never the one who suddenly stops talking. A lot of my friends are just as confused about the behaviour of the Male Species as I am.

Don’t get me wrong though – guy friends are awesome, and often way more laid back than girls often are. I like having guy friends and everything. That’s never really the problem. It’s only when there’s this extra factor involved, let’s call it ‘attraction’, that troubles begin. Or silence. More often just silence, after a while.

For those wondering, I’m pretty sure this guy is not too shy, is very well aware of what he’s doing, and I have tried a few times to stay in touch. As I see it, there’s nothing more to do. I’m not going to beg for attention, that’s for sure. After all this problem boils down to the fact that it was all very sweet and then, out of the blue as it seems, it’s dead. It annoys me.

Also, another guy tried to kiss me, only for me to discover afterwards that he has a girlfriend. That’s not a nice thing to do.

If I’d write a book about my story with the Male Species, I’d call it ‘Variations on the Same Theme’. It would be a boring book – different faces, different circumstances, different time, but almost always this end of sudden silence.

As for the soundtrack that would have fitted that night, I think Arvo Pärt will do.

The day has come!

Guys, guys, I have great news!

Last Wednesday, I had a ballet class.

*opens bottle of champagne*

I’m still a little sore, to be honest, but that’s the best part. My muscles have been reminding me of that ballet class for two days now, so I wouldn’t forget that it’s real. This has been my first dance class since the end of last June. Which is a long, long time. It was quite the struggle to find ballet classes here though. I didn’t expect it to be so difficult… If you want to do salsa or sexy dance though, worry not, on every corner of the street you will find a dance school for that. But ballet? Hoh no. And the classes that should be given, couldn’t happen because there were too little people to take part.

But luckily, one of the dance schools managed to gather enough people, and now there are dance classes!

The level was quite basic, because one of the girls started from scratch (and did a good job, seeing the circumstances!). But even for me it was sort of challenging, because I have no condition anymore. That is clear. After the class though, the teacher told me that I’m actually too good and that there are dance classes somewhere in a professional theater here, where I would fit better. That was quite the compliment! I’ll see what will happen, but at least there are dance classes, so that’s already very very good. And well, it can do no harm to work on your basic technique I suppose.

Also, when your in a dance class, you have no time to think. Or at least, the only thoughts crossing your mind are ‘stretch your leg! turn out! oh, and breathe, maybe!’. There was no time to think about my ongoing love-hate relationship with people, which has been haunting me this entire week. I’ve had a great time, because the weather was lovely and warm and sunny and I have been walking and walking, but on the other hand I’ve been so annoyed by certain people. Sometimes, logic doesn’t explain behaviour. I can be the queen of ratio, but when I try to understand boys, it fails completely. I wonder why they say women are difficult to understand, because honestly, I think I’m way more clear in my behaviour and everything. I’m never the one going all weird all of sudden. It annoys me endlessly when people aren’t clear to me.

But I’m not letting it get in the way. I’ve had a good week, I’ve had a good time, and in the end I am happy. And sore. Just perfect!

People (part 2)

Remember how I told you to nod with a very serious expression when I say ‘people’ and give this ‘you know what I mean look’? Well, you could also start smiling and say ‘yeah, people!’, because actually, there are plenty of reasons to do so.

I know I have been whining about the people, but it seems that the tide has turned and things have gotten better already. I’ve been visiting a friend in Poland this weekend, we had a great time, and then someone else texted me out of the blue, and I realised once more that I cannot live without them. I cannot live without you, people. You are the weirdest, most annoying things I know, but at the same time you can brighten my day and make me all happy.

The truth is that I need people around me. I need to talk to them, go have coffee of beer with them, have their company. I’m way more fun when I’m around people, because they are my audience. Give me an audience and I become a performer. It helps when I have good company. I’ve had the luck to run into some good people with whom I can really have fun. Also, I even made Polish friends, so I’m actually talking Polish for hours sometimes. (Needless to say it feels very badass.)

Whatever doubts I may have had, I’m not a loner. I can appreciate my moments without anyone around, but at the end of the day I need to talk to someone to not feel cut off of the world. So, dear people, whatever I have said about you, you know that I can’t survive without you…!

But… we make good girlfriends too!

People, people, we have to talk. Really, it’s about time! Remember the time I complained about the fact that only curvy women are real women? Well, a while ago we got part two. A friend of mine read fifteen reasons why short girls are better girlfriends. There was some logic in these reasons, I have to admit that. But still! I decided to spread the word about why tall girls are also awesome. (Because we want to be loved too…!) Being tall myself, I think there are plenty of reasons why being tall is awesome. Plenty!

Just don’t go asking which ones I have in mind.

Luckily there’s the Great Internet to help me out! This list of 15 Benefits of Being A Tall Girl is the best one for sure. The first reason it mentions is the fact that we are just badass – straight to the point! Because you see, we are pretty badass. We are slightly intimidating, we look like we could be professional basket ball players (those who know me will know that I am not…) and we can reach the highest shelve. Isn’t that brilliant? In our appartment here in Poland, I get to use all the top shelves, and I like that. We’re badass because we’re independent because we can take whatever we want from whatever shelve. There ya go.

It makes you a badass.

We’re pretty baddas. From the article linked to above.

 

Until a certain moment, I wasn’t too fond of wearing heels. Since I moved away for university, I suddenly noticed that I’m actually very tall, and not just quite tall. Not feeling the need to be looking over everyone, I didn’t wear heels for a while. But then along came my love for heels again, and I stopped caring. These days I’m wearing my winter boots with heels quite a lot, mainly because it’s winter. I don’t have a bike here, so I walk around the city on heels.

And you know what?

It feels great. As the article states, you feel like a super model. I can’t help feeling damn well when wearing heels. Even if I intimidate people, well, it’s not that bad, right? I’d rather have them be impressed than to laugh at me. So up the heels! It helps that in Eastern Europe, you’re never the only one wearing heels, and you’re never the one wearing the highest.

It also seems to be true that you can eat a lot and you’ll still be slim. Especially here I eat a lot. Really, a lot. Bit it’s okay, so far I still don’t get fatter. I have enough length to divide the weight. And because of this I also have legs to be proud of. Every skirt you buy will be way shorter on you than on the others, but hey, at least you have the legs to rock it!

So, let’s keep the positive vibe for tall girls going! And of course, also for the short girls and everything in between. I’m not trying to say we’re the best, but I felt like a little response would do no harm ;)

Somewhat Irrational Fears

Some fears are right, some fears are completely irrational. The third category consists of fears that have a good reason to exist, but still aren’t completely rational. I have discovered I have a few of those, so I decided to share them.

1. The fear that people won’t like me anymore if I haven’t spoken to them for a while

Most friends are still your friends, even when you haven’t spoken to them in a few weeks. That’s what I have discovered so far. You don’t need to talk to everyone daily in order to assure yourself that yes, he or she still likes you. But something deep inside wants to hear that every day, just to be sure.
Maybe it’s because of the saying ‘out of sight, out of heart’. Sometimes this is very true, and it’s completely understandable. Though your real friends remain your real friends, even when you didn’t see them so often. I’m well aware of this, and yet I still feel a sort of excitement when I start talking to someone I haven’t spoken to in a while. Will they answer? Will they still like me? Or will they have realized that actually, I’m not at all that great?

2. The fear of ripping trousers

For those who know me, this has to sound quite amusing. I’m not what you call fat, at all. So why am I afraid of ripping my trousers?
Simply because it’s happened before. I managed to rip two pairs of trousers in quite a short time. You see, Belgium has this bike culture. For six years, five days each week, I drove my bike to school. This is of course not very good for trousers. They get rubbed against the saddle for 40 minutes every day. Eventually, the wear and tear will make them rip open.

But now I get to live with the fear of having that happen again. Even though I don’t have to drive my bike 40 minutes every day anymore. Here in Poland I don’t even have a bike. (Though I miss that already!) And yet, when I wear a pair of skinny trousers, I will avoid ‘dangerous’ movements.

3. The fear of burning everything down because of a plugged in charger

This is something I didn’t realize I have it, until I moved to Poland. It turned out that my friend/flatmate has no problems with letting her computer charge during the night, or with leaving adapters plugged in without the object that has to be charged. It freaks me out a little. Though someone assured us it’s no problem, I’m still not fond of seeing this. It makes me nervous. I don’t actually think it will burn the place down, but better safe than sorry, no? Also, I once saw a warning on tv about chargers. If they get broken due to being carried around, it can cause some trouble. Then my very own charger decided to freak out. So since that moment I want to be close when something is charging, and I never leave stuff charging during the night, and barely ever when I’m not at home. You just never know. It’s better to not trust things too much, in my opinion.

So, that’s the confession for today. What are your irrational fears?

A cool housewive to be

Let me tell you something: the smell of mint tea can be one of the best things ever. Whatever the hour is, or wherever you are – mint tea never gets old. It smells like peace and quiet. We used to have our own mint in the garden, and then we would have real fresh mint tea. That was great.

Good, so far the philosophical rant on tea. You know, time really flies when you are trying to make your life work out. I’ve been here for two weeks now, which is not all that long. The past week I finally bought myself a desk lamp, for when I will actually start to do homework. So far I haven’t had too many classes yet, so not so much homework. So far, that is. I also bought coat hangers. These details, as it seems, can make your life be more like your life, and not like some kind of temporarily state. Because it is for four months. Everything here should feel like it belongs to me when I leave. The city as well. But for someone with my sense of orientation I’m doing a good job, I think! Maybe this is just an easy city or something.

Living here is not bad at all. It already feels quite comfortable. I don’t mind doing things on my own, I don’t even mind not becoming friends with all of my classmates immediately. Maybe that’s because I think it’s very cool that I do this, living abroad like this. It gives me some sort of strong feeling. I’m really doing this! I’m really cooking for myself everyday, I’m doing the dishes, the laundry, I even sewed the broken pocket of my winter coat. All of this sounds like I’m turning into a housewive, but somehow I find myself really cool for just doing it. And for talking Polish and Russian! However slowly it happens to be, I can talk to the people here, I can order food and drinks and I can aks for information. I even follow courses in Polish. Which is very hard and sometimes overwhelming, but still, I’m really doing it. Which is cool.

I start to take great pride in the fact that I speak six languages. Well, that’s exaggerated, because I’m not fluent in six language, but if I have to, I can talk in six languages. And however stupid and discouraging it can be, it proves itself worth it completely.

So me is doing well here :) How are you guys?

People

This might just be the most boring but straightforward title I’ve ever used. But the thing is, if I give this ‘you know what I mean look’ and then say ‘people’, you should normally nod with a very serious expression, and say ‘yep, ooh yes’.

People are the weirdest creatures out there. It’s not that I didn’t know in advance, but the past two days only made me more sure about it. We had introduction days here, which basically served to meet other foreign students. You would think they are cool and open-minded and very happy if they can talk to you. I was ready to make a bunch of friends and to talk to everyone.

Enter real life, and you get an entirely different image. I was quite convinced that everything was okay, because mostly, wherever I go, I seem to leave a good impression. I have made friends for life on many occasions. So I trusted that it wouldn’t be all too difficult now either. But then my friend and I entered the classroom where we had a presentation, and that was kind of not what we expected. Everyone seemed to group up within seconds. The Spanish people, the French people. After that we had lunch, and the Spanish people who sat across from us didn’t say a word to us.

When we returned home during the break, I felt like it was terrible. I really thought everyone would want to meet the other students, but they didn’t. And the best part was this: I had tried to talk to the French trio, but it didn’t last. At a certain point we were waiting, and one of the girls, who sat close to me, said ‘Belgium’. And then something about pretty girls. But it didn’t sound like she fully meant to say we were pretty. I just sat there wondering how French people can’t realize that Belgian people understand French… And seriously, if you can talk about us, then talk to us as well. But no.

It was strange. Very, very strange. We had tried to talk with many people, we did our best, but the response was meager.

In the afternoon there was an organised trip though, and then things changed. We figured out who the good guys were, as in, the ones who wanted to talk to us, and we managed to get them together and talk with them. Then some other people, who have been in Poland for the first semester already, joined the activity as well. There was this thing that we call ‘table football’  (do you know it?), and though I thought I sucked at it, I actually wasn’t bad at all. Give me such games, and I am happy. Even when I’m not good at it, I just like to play.

It ended up being a good night with nice people after all.

Then today we did a tour around the city, and it seemed to give more opportunities to talk with other people. So I made up the theory that a group of people who don’t know each other should have movement. As long as you can move around, you have the opportunity to talk with new people and also to end the conversation if you no longer know what to say. If you sit around a table, you just sit and you are stuck with the same people. For such a group as ours, that’s not very good.

Needless to say, the French people left the tour after a while. I don’t think we’ll ever see them again.

You know, my friend and I are both from Belgium, and of course you kind of stick together, but during the evening we spent a lot of time apart. We are not impossible to separate. We ended up having a good night with new people. Maybe not friends for life, maybe not friends for months even, but at least we didn’t lock ourselves in our own little Dutch speaking world.

Maybe the language was a barrier. As a Belgian person, who studies Polish, I can understand and speak English, French and Polish, so we managed. But the fact that so many people don’t speak English fluently makes it hard to communicate. It’s a sad thing, and not something I expected, but it can really become a problem when you want to have a conversation.

So yeah, people. Strange creatures, but interesting for sure.

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