Ten Things Thankful’s Debut on NBI

I was planning on writing a post on the small things that make me happy – to make up for all the whining here – when I read the Ten Things of Thankful Post by Lizzi, and I decided it would be a good moment to participate at last. There are still many good things in my life, but of course all the bad sides make me write and whine a little. To give you a better view on what my life is currently, and to not scare you away with negativity, I’ll give you a list with ten things that light up my day.

1. The pleasure I still get from using my new bag (well, the one I bought in July – is that still new? It feels like it) and from wearing my heeled boots. Call it superficial, but they still make me feel good, fabulous and elegant. I love those things.

2. Or the pleasure I get from wearing my new winter vest, it’s the lightest shade of dark green, in combination with my green earrings, well, that can make me feel good. For real!

3. The beautiful autumn weather. It’s getting colder, but that’s okay, because it means I can wear my winter shoes! And the sun shines, there are still coloured leaves, it all looks so pretty and postcard proof. I want to go for a walk.

4. Having discovered Warpaint, I listen to them so often now. And in their songs I can appreciate the little moments, like from 3:10 on in this song – that guitar/bas, whatever it is, it sounds so good. Well, the song is just lovely in my opinion, but that say 1 min piece is extraordinary.

5. My brother’s girlfriend is here at last (she’s not from Belgium) and she turns out be the prettiest, sweetest girl. Which is nice because a) my brother deserves a good girl and b) if she becomes my sister-in-law, I can be sure that all will be well.

6. Going for a drink always makes me happy, especially when I do it with someone you can have a good conversation with. Thursday night a friend and I went to some book presentation, where three of our current professors were, so bonus points!, and then we went to a cafe. She’s the kind of person you can talk with for hours and hours and you know you can trust her. I find that a real pleasure.

7. I’m starting to notice that I really want to learn to cook better, which is nice because I think everyone should be able to cook a little. Of course I can do some things, but with two classes having finished, I now have the time to actually make some decent food. With vegetables. I’m more and more thinking of a healthy life style and I like that about myself.

8. But no fear: my brother’s girlfriend brought very delicious deserts. My god, too good!

9. I ordered a book for a very big paper I have to write, and there are photos in it, and it’s about ballet, so I was happy to see all the pictures! Besides, that book will save my paper. Huzzah! (Probably more to come about that paper…)

10. I’m keeping a kind of secret, but it’s a good secret and it makes me happy, it makes me happy. I’m probably posting about it sooner or later, but for now let’s call it a silver lining.

So my life definitely isn’t all tears and sadness, despite the fact that sometimes, not being in Russia still cuts in. There are always bad sides to everything, but as you see, there are also still quite some good sides. Whether those good sides are sweet or heeled, they are still present and can light up my day!

What are you thankful for? What small things can make you happy?

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And I’m back!

And we’re back! I hope you guys had a great time while I was gone, but I don’t doubt it. Did I have a great time? Oh yeah, totally! Thanks for asking. It was amazing. We did a lot of Belgian things together. She was a great tourist!

We drank some typical Belgian beer. Because unless you don’t drink at all, you should try them. Nothing represents us better than our fluid gold. You’re more of a wine person? Well, that just means you haven’t tried the real Belgian beer. It is pretty impossible you don’t like any of them. According to Wikipedia there were 1150 original beers counted in 2011. Let that sink in for a moment.

Wait for it.

Yes, that’s incredibly much indeed! But we reached the good amount of trying six different ones in a few days. Yay!

She ate vol-au-vent, the favourite dish of many people here. It contains chicken, so I’m not a fan, but well, it’s something you have to eat if you come to live as a student here for a few days. No way around!

She ate a warm waffle. As in, a waffle, warm, with a lot of sugar. It’s something you find on every corner of the street here, more or less. Because Belgians sell so much food on the street. I never realised how focused we are on food and drinking.

We even have these places where you can buy only French fries and meat to go with it. And some drinks perhaps, but that’s it. You go there, ask what you want and they’ll prepare it right in front of you. It’s awesome and cheap and tasty. And it’s food, again. We like eating.

I hhave come to realise I’m not a bad guide, so if these pictures make you hungry and thirsty, feel free to book me! 😉

FAQ to the Vegetarian

You don’t eat meat?

Nope, I don’t.

Really?

Yep.

But a bloody steak can be so good…

I disagree. De gustibus etc, you know.

Do you eat fish?

Considering the fact that they are also animals, no.

Then what do you eat?

Yeah, nothing you know. Vegetarians don’t eat. A sporadic thistle perhaps.

Are you kidding me?

Is it so hard to imagine vegetarian food? There’s plenty. You can easily eat pasta without meat. There’s tofu, and quorn, quinoa, rice, blé, nuts, beans, dates and so on.

Aren’t you a hypocrite? You’re wearing leather shoes.

Yes, I am. But there are reasons for this. Leather shoes are better for your feet and last longer than plastic ones. Plastic is ecologically not much better than breeding and killing animals. Next to that, I stopped eating meat because of ethic reasons, but by now I just dislike the taste of meat a whole hell lot. I’m not a raging vegetarian who tries to convert everyone. So in this context, please excuse me my leather shoes.

So you don’t think everyone should be a vegetarian?

No. It’s a choice you have to make. If you choose differently, good for you. The only thing I ask is that you stop talking about bloody steaks when I tell you I don’t eat meat, and that you consider not eating meat every now and then. It’s ecologically better to skip it for let’s say a day each week. Be open minded towards this. Thanks.

But, I mean, it’s silly anyways, because people are made to eat meat. Didn’t the cave-dwellers shoot bisons and eat them?

Yes, they did. But before that, people were herbivorous. Plus, I don’t know about you, but I don’t live in a cave anymore.

Don’t you miss it?

No. As I said, I started disliking the taste and even smell of meat. It just doesn’t appeal to me anymore, just like some people don’t like oranges or something.

When will you eat meat again?

If you let met the choice, never.

One day you will.

Shut the fuck up and get out.

In case you meet a vegetarian one day, please try to ask something more original, like ‘Do you prefer quorn over tofu?’ or something like that. Thanks a lot.

We’re having a picnik and you’re invited!

Looks pretty Belgian.

(*picnic)
A few nights ago, when I didn’t fall asleep immediately, I started thinking about how mind blowing great it would be to meet each other in real life. As Motherventing is planning a trip to Belgium (pretty pretty Belgium) I suggest you come over here somewhere during the summer. Maybe, if the weather gods have mercy, we’ll see a ray of sun broken by the trees. We could have a picnic in one of the parks in Brussels or in Antwerp,as you please. Imagine us sitting there, surrounded by greenness and a blue sky and a sun shining heavily! If everyone would take something with him/her, then we can have a great picnic. Lisa being a mother, could for example bring some food in a picnic basket, and a blanket to spread out on the ground. There we would sit all together, eating pancakes (who will bring the pancakes? Addie?) and strawberries, and melon at whatever you eat when picnicking. Michael would of course bring his books, with signature. Lily could bring her great sense of judging and her contagious smile, Mooselicker should certainly explain that game of his even better so we can play it. Audrey, do you mind bringing your poetic thoughts and reflections upon life?
Oh, and then we’d walk around and I would tell you all I know about the Belgian beer (please do not try to say that Heineken is Belgian. it’s not true. we’ve got better beer. more beer. oh, like we’ve got beer!). We have a very tasty, pink, light beer that tastes like heaven when it’s warm. And we’ve got plenty of other kinds of beer, for the heavy guys we’ve got heavy beer. And the chocolate is everything you’ve imagined. If you haven’t tasted Belgian chocolate, you haven’t tasted chocolate at all.
Plenty of things to visit too! We have a thing we call the Atomium, but it’s known better as the Belgian Balls. We also offer you a little statue of a little guy peeing. Belgian pride. And old buildings, you’ve never seen old buildings if you haven’t seen ours. The shopping street of Antwerp is widely known and appreciated. If you all turn out to be the most trustworthy people ever, I might even invite you over at my place, and we can watch a movie together (OR we go to a cinema – to the movies, for the American friends).

Oh, the fun we’d have.
When imagining it, I want to organise this so badly!

For the ones I haven’t mentioned: enroll yourself by commenting below and telling what you will take to this picnic!

Oh, and don’t forget to pick a date. (Date as in day, not (wo)man you’re interested in. This picnic is for bloggers only!)

Mozzarella and Tomatoes 3: Mozzarella and Tomatoes

Today, you’ll find out why I named this series of posts Mozzarella and Tomatoes. Very obvious because that was the main food in Italy… It was well organised: the lunch was up to ourselves, but in the evenings we always ate together with the group in a sort of restaurant specially for groups.
If you want a cheap and quick lunch, you always end up eating pizza somehow. Once we ate something different, namely pasta (gnocchi gratinated with gorgonzola – good). That’s the most specatular it got. As a vegetarian (fake vegetarian, to be honest) I always ate Margherita (tomato sauce, mozzarella). Hurray. But that’s just my own fault, I know. In the restaurants we always had three dishes: first pasta with tomato sauce, then meat with vegetables (one kind at a time, never a combination) and dessert afterwards. Luckily I’d had the option to order veggie dishes, but when you are in Italy and you say ‘I’m vegetarian’, they look at you like ‘WTF’ (but in Italian then, their English wasn’t too good) and then they bring you a dish with mozzarella and tomato, or the same vegetables as the ‘normal’ people and a globe of mozzarella.
Tasty.
So I ate mozzarella twice a day in the beginning! Later on, we got pizza with fries for lunch. Bizarre combination for us… But the fries were good. That evening, we got fries at the restaurant too. And veggie me got it combined with a slice of Emmental cheese… To continue the bizarre combinations, I guess. The next day, I got the same dish (fries, cheese) plus beans. Somehow, originality seems to be hard.

I don’t think that Italians understand vegetarians. But most people don’t really get it anyway. I was happy that I didn’t have to eat meat, but I asked my mother not to give me mozzarella or tomato when I got home. (She was kind enough to give me something else.)(Which I can’t remember now because I was so sleepy back then. Exhausted.)

But ice cream in Italy is definitley good! Our ‘leaders’ bought us ice cream twice. *Omnomnomnom* They even have kiwi ice cream, and white chocolate. For me, lemon and melon are THE Italian ice cream tastes, but I like to try different ones everytime, so I also tasted that white chocolate, passion fruit,… aaaand that’s it, I think. O, and pistachio of course. And mint and chocolate. Very good. Very good.

So when you leave for Italy, be prepared and don’t eat pasta, pizza, mozzarella or tomatoes three weeks before you go.
Just a hint.

 

Dear servants

Dear servants and human beings I live with,

Do you eat the same everyday? No. I witnessed several of your dinners, breakfasts and lunches (but the last ones rarely, as they can’t really offer me pleasure), and your variation of feeding is stunning. You hardly eat the same thing twice in two days. Admit it! I know it. I was there.
Then why, my dear servants, should I eat the same thing my entire life? Now tell me, why wouldn’t I like to try something different from what I consume daily? Exactly – I demand new food, now.

And you, as inferior human beings, should not complain if I try to taste what you’re eating. It’s just a natural reaction to which you get angry. But what you eat, smells good, so then excuse me for wanting to know what it is! My apologies for jumping on the table – I wasn’t the one making it so high!

Now then, I’m glad we understand each other.

Sincerely,

His Catjesty