Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Belgian notes 1

I just had a little piece of dark chocolate today. Yesterday I had a couple of milk chocolate mignonettes (about the size of a credit card, though thicker). Yum.

I'm in Belgium, having a day off. Yesterday I did four performances at the European School of Brussels I, two for the English as a second language children, two for the native English speakers, in the Primary School. It was quite fun all around. I even remembered to switch a few words from American English to British English, since most of the native English speakers are from the UK. "Nappy" instead of diaper, "rubber" instead of eraser, etc. Despite the change of vocabulary, the stories are universal.

Here's a difference, though, between American public schools and Belgian private schools: the teacher's cafeteria. No, not a cafeteria, more of a restaurant. I paid for my meal (around 5 dollars) and was shown the soup and starter bar--salads, artichoke hearts, sliced ham, hard-boiled eggs, bread, yoghurt, fruit. When I finished my soup and salad, a server came to take my plate and my order for the main dish. I chose turkey, couscous and green peppers in a tomato sauce. It was a huge serving, but I applied myself diligently. Then I helped myself to a chocolate mousse from the bar and waited for a cup of coffee, which came with a cookie (speculoos with chocolate). All around me the teachers were relaxed, taking their time, enjoying the meal together. I saw the server bring wine to one table. It was all very civilized, like the good coffee and croissants served in the teacher's lounge.

ESB I is not exactly typical. It's a good school that I would guess charges a hefty tuition. Next week I'll be at an inner-city Belgian school at the opposite end of the social scale. Never mind. Wherever I am, the children have a good time listening to stories.

Maybe I'll have another piece of chocolate now.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Even time to blog internationally! Have a great couple of weeks... Jo and Dave in Yuma.