...eat fries, chocolate, drink beer, ride a bike on the paved street, get bitten by a dog...ha ha yeah, Belgium is pretty random, what do you want :) This weekend I went to my coworker's family in Lokeren, and turns out his dad trains dogs - for defense purposes....and he asked me if I wanted to participate :D He probably didn't think I'd go for it, but I did. It was so weird to have the dog just jumping on you, he just wouldn't let go of my arm!!! A few pics to scare my mother - Don't worry, mum, I didn't feel anything ;)
Yes, for anybody who may still have doubts in their mind - the stereotype really does hold true in Belgium: THEY DO LOVE FRIES HERE!!!! They've become part of daily "diet" (uhm uhm) since I got here last Sunday. Despite the reason why French fries are called French fries, I still think that these should be renamed to Belgian fries.....it would only be fair! Oh and then there is the chocoalte! oooooh the chocolate :D I just bought close to 5 kilos of it to send back to the office in Redmond and London -any of you reading my blog? Get excited them, you have a care package coming your way ;)
Unfortunately, too much work this week at the office and I didn't get a chance to go to the city center of Brussels. However, we went to Leuven on Tuesday night to have dinner with Gunter and Chris. We walked around for a while - and of course spent some time at the terrace of a cafe enjoy the wonderful Belgian beer :) Enjoy the pics!
Un nouveau bebe dans la famille Poullain, ca s'arrose :) Hate hate hate de pouvoir rentrer pour pouvoir voir sa petite bouille! Toutes mes felicitations Melie, Seb, et puis puis Titi ca va etre bien un petit frere pour jouer :) Bisous tout doux!
i will be traveling quite a bit over the next few weeks - don't get jealous, I am not going on vacation again :) This is going to be business traveling, but notheless really cool. If you are in one of the following location at the time, give me a shout and we'll try to meet up :)
06/24/07 to 07/01/07: Brussels, Belgium to meet my account teams - Vous avez mis du rose au frais, les gars? :)
07/01/07 to 07/04/07: London, UK - Celinette?
07/08/07 to 07/10/07: Lisbon, Portugal - Cesar, wanna come? I need a translator :D
A etre partie autant....heureusement que j'ai pas de poisson rouge! :D C'est la concierge qui serait pas contente!
So Saturday was the Getting Lost Da.....mmm I mean the Connemara day :D, and then Sunday, we went South of Galway, to the Burren region, and followed the coast until we reached the Cliff of Moher. AND WE DIDN'T EVEN GET LOST!!!!! The water was incredibly beautiful, and at some poitn on the road, we could see a straight line cuting the water in half, with the deepest blue water on the left, and a bright silver grey on the right. Amazing! The cliffs are just breathtaking. It was my third time going, but I am amazed every time. You don't know how tempted I was to to straight to the edge of the cliffs and look down at the waves crashing on the rocks - and freak my mum out:)- like I did the past couple of times I came.....sadly, they've put a walll so that people can't get to close, so I couldn't do it :)
PS: We got a pic of Nils with a blue house :) That's his dream, and he got all excited :D A bit hard though to see his smile on the pic ;)
Last week my sister and my nephew came to visit me for a few days, and we decided to rent a car to get out of Dublin a bit and travel to the Connemara region. My sister got really excited to drive on the left side of the road - maybe too much on the left too at times too :D
Anyway. I had such a great memory of it from when I came ten years ago with my family. And the memories held true - it was absolutely splendid! Fields of green, a rocky coast and an ocean reflecting the thousand colors of the Irish sky - well that is, the one blue and 999 varities of grey :D
We had a great time. I hadn't seen the water since foerever - or at least it seemed like it. Having lived in Seattle for a year, seing the water on a daily basis has become like a drug! Driving around the coast, going over all of the little stone bridges, all of it felt so nice and peaceful.......that is, until we drove around for a while, and noticed grass on the road.....ha ha then not so peaceful :) mmmm did we get lost????? Nah, directions in the Irish countryside are so well signaled :D Lost? Nooooooo. My nephew "Maman, on est perdus?" mmmmmm, how to say, nooooo my dear, we are just enjoying the scenery of roads where nobody ever goes. Good times :) After stopping at the few houses in the area, and talking to the kindest man with the strongest Irish accent I have ever heard, we finally figured out where we were (that is, completely at the opposite from where we were trying to go :D ). Go figure :) The Belliard usually never get lost!!!! Maybe the leprechauns put something in our water....or maybe it was the Guinness :)
What a gorgeous day in Dublin! I was even able to wear my tank top without getting cold, what about that, eh? Yes, call it a miracle if you want to :) I went to the city centy, to the big mall right downtown - its inside is really nice, see the picture below- , and also spent quite some time just vegging and drawing in St. Stephen Green's park. There were people EVERYWHERE. A few concert bands played, so I stayed for a while to listen to them. And it was funny to hear them play all the classis - the India Jones and James Bond Soundtracks, etc-....tunes that I played once upon a time, when I used to be in those bands! Seems like a million years aways!
.... I HAVE MANAGED TO NOT GET RUN OVER BY A CAR :D Woohhooo go me! ....although uhm uhm, if it wasn't for my coworkers Chris and Eleonore last night...ha ha good times. Hopefully I'll survive my time in Ireland :)
Yesterday we went to a market that's pretty close to work with a big group of MS coworkers (picture 1). It was great, we all bought fresh food for lunch and sat down in the sun. A rare thing in Ireland :) One thing to say: I don't think I've met a single Irish person so far - unless the cab drivers count :) French, Spanish, German, Italian, Dutch, American people......but no Irish! I had been warned that Dublin is quite an international city, but I still though I would meet some locals. I am gonna have to go Irish people hunting!
Last night we went out with a few of my co-workers and friends, Chris (Belgian), Eleonore, Nives and Marcus (all German) - picture 2, except for Marcus is missing. We went to this bar called Diceys Garden, a really nice place with a big open patio in the back - another rare thing in the area. It is after the bar that the "i-almost-got-run-over-by-a-car" episode happened, go figure why ;)
Tonight I went for a walk in the street of Dublin, and was just wonderful to get lost in them and enjoy the last few hours of the days in these old street, with all the different musicians at every other street corner playing traditional Irish music or Flamenco music :)
Dublin's city center - taking the Luas, it takes me about 15 minutes to get there
Grafton Street, in the City Center
The Irish Flag :)
Oh I am going to be hanging out at this place quite a bit :) Butler's Chocolate Cafe yummmm :D
Today was my first day at work. Overall really good, got to spend some quality time with my coworkers - a good group of people, should be interesting ;) Grrrr people keep telling me that I have an accent.....do they realize that they are the ones with the accent??? eh eh eh. Geeze wherever I go seems like I am going to loose at that game: a French accent in the US, an American accent in Ireland....and even an American accent when I speak French. Soon I'll probably be adding a Belgian accent to the lot since I'll be spending so much time there :) oooh good times!
Alright, so one thing that is just WEIRD about the Dublin office: NOBODY has trash cans! And when I mean nobody.....I mean nobody!....The only trash can I found on our floor was the one in the kitchen :S I guess Irish peoople are really serious about not protecting the environment, they decided not to trash :D mmmmm I really have to figure this one out.
Other than that, I've got a nice place, and on top of it is right accross from work, so I can't complain! If you want the address, -as well as I my new cell phone number- send me an email or leave a comment and I'll make sure to send it over ;)
Yes, I, my eyes are sparkling quite a great deal.....I wish I could say it was because of the flash of the camera :) Mais c'est a cause de l'elixir d'amour et de ses framboises.....on ne dirait pas comme ca, mais c'est traitre, les framboise :D
In France, when you have you bachelor/bachelorette party -often celebrate together these days-, we are quite serious about it: we burry the bachelors' life.....litterally :) Last night, we had a such a party for my friends Pamela and Matthieu, who are getting married. So, in addition to having the couple go on scavenger hunts dressed in silly costumes etc, one of the oldest traditions for bachelor parties is to fill out a coffin with bottles of wine: each person attending the party brings one bottle and usually writes a personal note on it and voila! Evrything goes in the coffin. Then, the coffin is burried in either the couple's backyard or sometimes that of their parents, and is only to be brought back up when the couple has its first child and shared with the people who originally came to the bachelor party, to celebrate the birth of the child :)
Of course, part of the fun is also getting the couple tp dig the whole - or rather, how to make sure that they have the hardest time making it and keeping it as is until they are ready to bring the coffin at the end of the night. Oh on Saturday we had plenty of fun putting all the dirt back when Pam and Matt were not looking :)
Was a blast and seriously I would not have missed this in the world! Can't wait until they have their first baby.....means everybody who was there is invited to digg up the coffin. Soazic, you missed out really ;)
Last 5 year = 5 cities in 3 countries. And many friends, adventures, pictures, laughs, cries, dancing, surprises, and dreams picked up along the way. Along with the most wonderful man and two little girls that steal my heart every day.