I am
...getting rained on in Tokyo.
...old enough to drink alcohol but not old enough to know when to stop.
...blogging since 02/22/03.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Now that I've been working for almost a month, I've managed to accumulate a whole drugstore in my desk drawer at work. Aspirin, vitamins, nose spray, antiallergics, lozenges, you name it. I figured that if ever I were to get sick, it would probably be at work (or because of it).
If anybody snooped around my workplace, he'd certainly believe I'm some kind of hardcore addict that can't keep her hands off her stack of drugs even during work. At least that would have been a good explanation for my brain working slower that the Belgian civil servant who is processing my application for a residence permit. However, I don't require any chemical substances to become daft. I was born that way.

posted by Bunny at 8:20 PM

Saturday, September 25, 2004

The better part of working is the time you spend not working
Had a fabulous start into the weekend involving TF, the co-worker with wonderfully wispy hair. We ate the leftovers of yesterday's dinner together, went to the movies and afterwards to a bar. At 1:30 am we found out that the best place to eat Belgian fries in Brussels was still open after all the fast food chains downtown had already closed. While waiting for our food we became earwitnesses to a barfight par exellence. Glass shattered, two chairs came flying out of the entrance. They were followed by two drunken guys that eventually started smashing the chairs on each other's intoxicated backs. After they'd left, four police cars arrived to record the barkeeper's statement. Seems like there isn't a lot to keep the police busy elsewhere on a Friday night. I've never felt so safe eating fries.

posted by Bunny at 2:03 AM

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Rolling to bed, hardly able to breathe
Today was a "first times"-kind of day. It was the first time I used the "networkday"-formula in Excel and it was the first time I bought groceries in Belgium which weren't either chips or cornflakes (which, by the way, had been purchased solely for the benefit of visiting guests). If your definition of cooking excludes boiling water, you could also say that it's the first time I cooked in my Belgian kitchen.

It was also the first time I complimented a co-worker for having wonderfully wispy hair. I blame it on the red wine he brought over for dinner. After a diet consisting of cafeteria lunch and ramen dinners, I ate thrice the portion that I can handle normally. Fortunately the monstrous hamster no longer haunts me. I am glad that my dreams didn't involve any giant rabbits. That would have been way too Donnie Darkonesque. Instead I'm currently dreaming of databases and how to align them correctly to my sleeping position. Feeling better than ever. Work becomes me.

posted by Bunny at 11:39 PM

Monday, September 20, 2004

Monster rodents and their impact on my diet
Had a very vivid dream about giant hamsters. Seems like I need to cut down on Belgian fries, beer and waffles before bedtime. It has been a tough weekend in the nutrition department. If I continue living like this, I'll become a giant hamster myself.

posted by Bunny at 9:39 PM

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Thank you, orange juice
I have visitors from the Netherlands for the weekend. It took them quite a while to get here despite the fact that it's merely a hop across the border. Being men they were not very good at following the directions so their aimless cruise through Brussels was only brought to an end because Remy had to pee. When he tried to find a place to relieve himself, he magically stopped right next to a map of the city. They had been looking for a bathroom in the vicinity of my apartment.

posted by Bunny at 9:29 AM

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

The early bird gets the work done instead of dozing off in the middle of the day
When you're paid for updating financial reports and not for constantly dropping your pen while making notes, it's time to go to bed before midnight.

posted by Bunny at 8:37 PM

Monday, September 13, 2004

The wonders of telecommunication
When you're so tired that you can't string enough words together to form a normal phrase (in any language), it may not be the best idea to make a conference call with a friend in Chile and one in the Netherlands via Skype. The friend in Chile can hear everything only with a 4 second time lag and I can listen to my own echo.
Me: Did you just croak?
He: Croak? No! I just said "What?"
She: Hihihi.
He: Hello?
Me: Anybody?
She: Hello?
Me: What?

posted by Bunny at 11:15 PM

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Having a good weekend
Today I learnt how to pronounce "Hoegaarden" properly. Life's currently revolving around beer. That's how living in Belgium is supposed to be. So good.

posted by Bunny at 11:56 PM

Friday, September 10, 2004

Becoming a better person by keeping my mouth shut
Starting from today I will make an effort to cut down my whining. This will not come naturally to me because the essence of my personality is discontentment but tonight showed me the wrongness of my way by introducing me to a moment of clarity. Or rather, I wished it would have merely been a brief moment. Alas, it was more along the lines of 2 hours that I had to listen to some hard-core Belgium bashing. I tried to steer the conversation away from the subject but, unluckily, I was outnumbered and so we kept returning to the topic of all that is hateable in Belgium. "Flemish Belgians are the spawn of Satan." "Brussels lacks any attraction, be it of architectural, cultural or infrastructural nature." And not to mention the bad weather.

It is quite suprising how people who have lived in several different countries can immerse themselves in all this negativity and narrow-mindedness. I don't have anything against people who see the disadvantages of living in a certain country but I do have something against people that think that one country is vastly superior to another. And it leaves me with one big question: How can a Parisian seriously complain about the rudeness of Belgian waiters?

posted by Bunny at 10:29 PM

Thursday, September 09, 2004

That's what everybody should call their child
We have a new co-worker in the office. She's Chinese. Her name means something along the line of "majestic" and "gracious". When you mispronounce it, though, it means "Go to hell".

posted by Bunny at 8:28 PM

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

A little bit of complaining in the foreign country
Nothing works as it's supposed to do: It took me two hours to reconfigure my computer settings to get my broadband internet connection at home. That's what you get when you mix a technical manual in French and a person whose brain has molten in the process of looking at excel sheets all day. Nevertheless, I was glad that the umbilical cord connecting me to the placenta of telecommunication was restored.
That called for a celebration with a little bottle of Belgian's finest peach-flavored beer. Anticipating my first sip I took off the crown cap only to find the bottle additionally sealed with a cork. No corkscrew to be found anywhere. All shops closed. Nothing works as it's supposed to do.

posted by Bunny at 1:26 AM

Friday, September 03, 2004

Blue, green, white and yellow
I finally got home from work before the local supermarket closes: A great occasion to buy the four different kinds of official color-coded garbage bags in Brussels. I know that the yellow bags are used for paper but am completely lost what the other bags are for. If you throw your trash into any non-approved plastic bag, the garbage men will ignore it and it will rot in the street until you have rats performing West Side Story in front of your doorstep. Now all I need is four different trash cans.

Except for some minor setbacks life in Brussels has been okay so far. Yesterday I met with a guy who's on the same trainee program. He's placed in another subsidiary from Company X in Belgium. Over dinner we did the business equivalent of comparing each other's penis size and I won: I got the better fringe benefits. He might have the cell phone and fancy business cards with grand sounding job title but I got a relocation service which organized my apartment hunt and takes care of administrative stuff. I hope we get to hang out with each other more often even though his office is about a mile away from mine. I already made him promise to go to the rock climbing hall with me. Let's just hope that he won't let go of the safety rope just because my penis was bigger.

posted by Bunny at 7:39 PM

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