Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Milk Expiration Dates, and Other Things

Did you know ... running empties your mind?

I had heard stressed people talk of it as a way of dealing with workload and rotten bosses but never understood precisely what they meant. I got into bed last night and had a panic attack. My mind was a large empty warehouse for a few hours, unprecedented and most uncomfortable ... I dream and there are rumours that I talk in my sleep ... that's how things are for me, and I like it.

Day two of Nederlands class and my international group is more international than I had imagined. There are 23 countries represented by the 33 of us, with 21 mother tongues in the classroom. Most people speak more than one language, with the top 'fluent in' count being 7, followed by a couple of 6's and many many people who are fluent in 3 or 4 languages.

Dorothy realises she isn't in Kansas ... yet again.

And already I've heard some of the stories ... the Iranian political refugee who seems like the type of guy you'd be happy to take home to your parents. The beautiful Bulgarian blonde who was lured in by her Belgian, and after giving up her glamorous traveling life she was asked if she 'ironed' by a well-intentioned woman who was thinking about giving her work. We both roared with laughter over the story, dark laughter ... like me, she prefers not to iron.

My muscles don't ache, and my ankle is only a little fragile today ... I guess my running coach knows what he's doing. And did I mention that, like so many Belgians he finds it simple to slip into fluent English. My accent ... well it might be complicated by me trying to breathe while we run but on the few occasions we spoke I had to repeat myself, just-to-be-clear ... he'll get used to it, as long as his name isn't something like Ben. Ben did go on about the way that I said his name however, as there are probably less than 4 million people who can say 'Bin' in that sweet Kiwi way ... i think his complaints were merely mean-spirited.

Today has been the day I explored the theory of milk expiration dates... do they mean what they say? I've been too busy to organise fresh milk and as a result I had to make a cup of tea with the bottle date stamped 14 January ... it was okay. It didn't smell or curdle ... what more can a disorganised chick ask for on a grey, cold, rainy winter day in Belgie.

Tot ziens ...


Dobermann said...

I don't know about Belgian milk, but finnish one is still good after a week from exp date if it's unopened and has been in fridge.. ;)

When I graduated in last spiring, there were total of 21 different nationalities presented in the graduation party at the school.. Cool.

I'm not going to let ANYONE iron my shirts. I do it myself.. I don't trust even my mom or the chinese guy in the hotel next door..

Glad to hear you've had fun running! :)

woman wandering said...

Finnish milk lasts week unopened... but this Belgian version had been opened. In a way the fact that it lasted is quite frightening, but so very useful. Anyway, I managed to replace it today, in the extreme heat of a higher than 5 oC day ... warm in comparison to your world. ;)

Oh, and I like your attitude about ironing, it should be everyone's attitude ...well, except for the person who does mine ... anyone can do it, no problems for me.