Back to School

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And…. they’re off!  School has begun for both kids.  So far, everyone, except Mommy, seems to be happy.

Wait, Mommy isn’t unhappy, just annoyed.  I mean, for a country that would cease to exist if the government stopped telling everyone what to do and when and how to do it every second of every day, the schools have a hard time giving anyone direction of any kind.  Organization and direction.  It shouldn’t be hard for you.  You are a school.  You’re entire job is teaching young children how to do things.  Confusing them right off the bat seems counterproductive, no?  And since you’re a school where only about half the parents speak the same language, clear direction with arrows and pictures and neon colors and flashing lights to guide them to where they need to be wouldn’t be overkill.  And still, you provide none of these.  In fact, you provide nothing.  No guidance at all.  So I’ll just follow the Italian Mamas and barge right in to where I think I need to be and stand in the way until someone finally points me in the right direction.  Works for them.

Moving on.

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Monkey rubbin’

Actually, let’s back up to last weekend.  We had visitors.  Another branch of Martin’s came for the day.  Fred and Veerle and their boys came to see us in Mons.  Originally, their visit was supposed to coincide with a Mons-Standard soccer game, but, evidently, soccer game times and dates can be moved around, willy-nilly.  So no soccer for us.  Which is too bad for Fred, as he is Standard’s number one fan. He lives for Standard.  I don’t think he owns any clothes that aren’t red.  No joke.

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The boys had a great time together.  The last time we saw them, the kids couldn’t communicate at all.  Now, the boys speak French together and it’s all blah-blah-blah-ooh-la-la.  Love it.

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Mons tour, soccer and badminton in the backyard, cookout, bonfire.  Not a bad Saturday that was supposed to be completely washed out by rain.

Sunday is usually brocante day, but this Sunday was SUPER brocante day.  The biggest brocante of the season in Belgium, a yearly event in Temploux .  Six kilometers long.  That’s a lot of stuff.

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I was in heaven.  This is what a brocante should look like.  Your grandmother’s attic kind of stuff.  Not a single booth selling old baby clothes or piles of used electronics.  No tube socks.

It took us the entire afternoon to walk it and we didn’t even see it all.

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Note to anyone who wants to do it next year… bring cash.  One thing they did not have was an ATM that worked with normal ATM cards.  Seriously bad news for us as I would have packed every available inch of car space with stuff had a usable ATM been available.  Still, we didn’t leave empty handed.  E bought some Legos from a kid who had taken a corner of his parent’s table to make a little extra cash, L decided on vintage playmobil, Ben found some engravings from an old book of the Belgian Congo and then discovered the best free box and picked up some old tin kitchen canisters (sucre and café) and a neat old cowbell that sounds just like the fields in Switzerland we passed this summer.  I quickly grabbed an awesome old “vin” pitcher and a small folding mirror like the one I got several years ago at the Marché aux Puces in Paris.  It was a lot of walking but I will definitely be going again next year, with more cash and fewer kids.

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Until next time….

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