Saturday, October 12, 2019
Living in Belgium :: Personal Narrative Essays
Living in Belgium Question Answered: Recall a multicultural experience that has positively impacted your educational career. Discuss your experience and describe the ways in which you have benefited from this experience. My friend Owen and I used to play a game to take up time when we walked down the chaussee in downtown Waterloo, Belgium. We would try to identify the origins of people who walked by us. If someone bustled past us, practically knocking us down, while smoking a cigarette and wearing tight pants, they were Belgian. If they sported a windsuit and brand-new white sneakers we'd mutter "American", as they passed by toting their map. We had more trouble telling Swedish and Finnish people apart, but we were pretty good at that too. I recalled this a few days ago and it amazed me how much I have changed in the last year. In the summer before tenth grade, I moved to Belgium for eighteen months. During the time I stayed there, I adapted to the 'Belgian' way of life - speaking (rudimentary) French, sampling escargot and endives, and learning my way around the complicated maze that they call streets. However, I am such a typical 'American' now that sometimes I feel like I never even left the States. Instead of spending my Friday nights playing snooker in a smoky cafŽ in Waterloo, I might go to Applebee's and a football game with my friends. It seems so strange that my life could change so much in such a short time. I find myself missing little things that I took for granted while living overseas - fresh bread, dogs sitting with their owners in restaurants, and passing international landmarks on the way to school. It's not to say that I don't like my new way of life, but just recently I have realized how much I have changed. When I lived in Belgium, I would dread another trip with visitors of the family to the Grand Place. Now, I would love to see the Mannequin de Pis in downtown Brussels. I don't know when this transformation took place because I didn't even realize that it was happening. The funny thing was that while I lived in Belgium, my friends and I would always lament on how much we craved Reese's, Butterfingers, marshmallows and real peanut butter. We would talk about how much we missed our friends, malls, and movies without subtitles.