We are still new here so these things seem strange to us now, but I should write about them before they are just our new normal!
1. Kings and Queens are just fairytale characters in Morgan’s stories, right? Nope, Belgium is a monarchy. Here we are at the Royal Palace where Morgan is looking for princesses, of course. (I think I can spot one on the bottom bunk of the stroller.) Belgium will have a new king this month, Prince Phillipe, the son of the current king. We are hoping there will be a royal ball to celebrate and Morgan can wear one of her Cinderella gowns.
2. Extreme Recycling and Trash. Check out my trash CANS. I don’t actually keep them grouped all together like this but try to scatter them around the kitchen so they are not so conspicuous. Each can is for sorting a different type of waste/recycling, and each type of waste goes in its own color coded bag, each for pick up on different days of the week. And glass is a whole other story, it must be deposited at the neighborhood glass containers (Morgan Fairy is demonstrating). Good grief. I am all for recycling and I did in DC, I just don’t recall it was such an elaborate production!
3. Shelf Milk. The vast majority of milk in the stores here is not refrigerated and can be found on the shelf. Milk containers are also miniature, which is good, because we have a tiny European fridge so the gallon size I would buy in the U.S. would take up one-third of my fridge here. (Yes, that is the entire fridge, I think I had one about that size in my college dorm room! But I am growing to like the European way of shopping fresh and frequent!) We buy a six pack of milk every week… I hauled this load of milk and apple juice up our three story walk-up while wearing Gus in the Ergo carrier = quads of steel! Getting back into shape…
4. Pay to Pee and Funny Toilets. Public toilets are hard to come by here, which can be a challenge when you are accompanying a four year old who likes to guzzle drinks. When you do find one, be prepared to fork over your euros! The price to pee is about half a euro. Also, most people know there are funny toilets in Europe with the buttons on the wall to flush, but Morgan is not a fan and has decided that flushing is optional on these toilets. We’re working on that….
5. Degrees Celsius. How many times have I googled fahrenheit to celsius conversion for cooking? Too many. It’s 175 degrees to roast a chicken.
6. Multiple languages. I like to pretend that French is the only language here because it is the only one I can remotely understand, but Belgium is divided between Flanders in the north (Dutch speaking) and Wallonia in the south (French speaking), so just about everything here is in both languages, and sometimes in German too. Eieren, oeufs, eier = EGGS.
What quirky things do you like about Europe, or other overseas locations?