House Hunter's International - Part 1

A couple of weeks ago, Chris and I finally made our way back to Serbia! After a year abroad, Subotica, Serbia had become our first European "home," and the sleepy city had found a way into the repertoire of our story. Our time in Serbia changed us so much that it is hard to put the lessons into meaningful words and sentences. I know that we will always remember our time in Serbia with fondness and deep gratitude. Over one too many cups of coffee, our group of friends said goodbye to us by focusing on the memories we had created in Subotica. The year had been full of picnics on Lake Palic, themed dinner parties, football and Frisbee games, sunny bike rides, family Slavas, and cultural home-cooked dinners. When Chris and I moved to Belgium in September of 2012, we promised our Serbian family that we would come back to visit as often as work and money allowed.

The truth is, the first six months in Belgium passed quickly. Transitioning into life in Belgium took longer than I had initially expected, and Chris' job proved very busy. I still feel like I am in a state of transition here, but I'm slowly finding my place and purpose in this new world. Getting back to Serbia was like a breath of fresh air - it felt like I was going home and waiting anxiously at familiar coffee shops for friendly arms to wrap me in a warm embrace. I remembered first stepping foot on the Korzo (main walking street) in Subotica, every face was the face of a stranger and every coffee shop was unfamiliar and new. What a difference one year in a new world can make, and how easily we can adapt if we allow ourselves to live openly and transparently. 


Remembrance Day in Roeselare, Belgium

As May 4th approached, the city of Roeselare started preparing for an event. The center of the city (de Grote Markt - or Large Market) was emptied of cars, and food carts, bistro tables and stadium seating filled the vacated spots. I asked the owner of Cafe Mustache (our favorite little bar here) about the upcoming event, and he mentioned that May 4 was a day of remembrance. He also casually stated that bands from all over this region would play during the event. 

Silly me! I had such a blond moment! I heard "bands" and instantly thought drums, guitars, and catchy beats. Naturally, I passed the misunderstanding onto my dear Hubby. Chris and I walked into the Grote Markt with absolutely no idea what day was being "remembered" and expecting to hear local rock "bands" from around the region. The "bands" were not there for entertainment, but rather they were marching bands playing tributes to the memory of fallen soldiers. 

We were a bit confused about May 4th considering Remembrance Day or Memorial Day is celebrated in November in several countries including Belgium and America. I decided to ask a man wearing paratropper fatigues and standing next to a large US army vehicle. Turns out he wasn't American but rather a Belgian army-vehicle-enthusiast/mechanic who had purchased the American war truck and restored it. He informed us that May 4th is a day to remember the soldiers who were lost in World War II, and that similar events were taking place all over the Netherlands and Belgium.


Back at It!

Well, hello there friends and family!
I almost forgot how to post on my own blog! I've been away a little too long! Oops-y-daisy! My mother phoned up the other day and said, "Honey, is everything okay? I have been checking your blog every single morning, and you've been slacking. Are you certain that everything's peachy-keen over there?" 

{Mom's are just the best aren't they?!}

Mom's comment got me thinking - is everything indeed "fine" in our expat-adventure? Contrary to what our mothers may think, we have not been away on an exotic month-long holiday, we're not pulling our hair out because of another sudden move, and fortunately we aren't rotting away in a foreign prison. We're still living in the quaint Belgian city of Roeselare, and we're enjoying the sweet (and slow) transition of winter turning into spring. Life is starting to feel a little more normal these days, and maybe that's partly why I haven't posted a whole lot recently. While there are still a million things to explore in our new world, I have been doing my very best to soak up the moments and enjoy BEING where I am. 

I am also being forced to learn a bit more about patience. Hard, but perhaps necessary, lessons.