Tuesday, April 11, 2006

My World Is Flat - But I Don't Have Easter Grass

I'm a Texan, in Belgium, by way of California, because I met a man from Ohio, on an island off the coast of Mexico, who works for a Swedish company. Our Canadian neighbor, who works for a Brazilian company, moved here from Croatia. We live in a building owned by a French guy, but maintained by Polish workers, in a predominantly Muslim and Afrikaans section of town. Our favorite neighborhood Italian restaurant, owned and operated by a Persian couple, is located around the corner from the Galician Cultural Center, where I have been Scottish dancing.

A Pakistani man manages the supermarket that we live above. I shop at the Chinese grocery store for American food products and buy wines from Turkey, Israel and South America from a Belgian store that is across the street from a Lebanese restaurant. Our clothes are dry-cleaned by an Arabic family in a shop not far from our favorite Irish pub. At the end of our street is a restaurant owned by a man from Tunisia who employs a Moroccan cook. Our kitchen curtains were made by a lady from Kosovo and we have an English GPS system in our German car.

By all accounts, my world is pretty flat. Which is why I'm completely blown away that in such a diverse and ethnic city, I couldn't find Easter grass OR Easter dye!! (The closest I got is pictured above -- three little vials of food coloring. That turquoise felt thing was the only semblance of a basket to be found in the greater Brussels area.) Since Easter is not Easter without colored eggs, a special thank you to Karen Camp for bringing a Paas Easter Egg dye set all the way from the USA so that we could have colored eggs in our grassless Easter bags!

(Yes, I ripped off the title of this post from award-winning author and NY Times columnist, Thomas Freidman. I seriously doubt that he reads my blog, which I guess is fair since I haven't read his new book, so I think I'm in the clear!)

© 2006 by Cindy Lane. All rights reserved.


Anonymous RD said...

Cindy, I just came across your website and have enjoyed reliving our year in Belgium. Unfortunately, I didn't know about blogs while I was there in 2002-2003, but mine might have sounded a bit like yours. It was a wonderful year and I'd go back in a heartbeat. I can feel once again the bone-chilling cold you describe--wet cold is REALLY cold! You sound like you're having a great time, Easter grass or no Easter grass! And look at the world at your doorstep! For me that was the best part. BTW, it's Thomas Friedman. He's great!

12:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cindy, you have to treat Dan just like we treat our kids (who are 1 and 3), if we don't tell them it is Easter, we don't have to buy grass and color eggs. If you wouldn't have told Dan it was Easter, he would have just stayed in the Pub and you wouldn't have had to go shopping for Easter stuff!

4:36 PM  
Anonymous V-Grrrl said...

This is great. So true! In Brussels you have the world at your doorstep.

I had Paas Easter Egg dye that I'd brought with me from the U.S. What we didn't have on Easter Day was white eggs. E had bought brown ones. Oops. Kids dyed them anyway. They were, um, very EARTHY Easter eggs.

4:39 PM  
Anonymous V-Grrrl said...

P.S. Hey Lawyer-Grrrl, just so you know, titles can't be copyrighted so you're SAFE. (Or I'm wrong, which is possible.)

4:40 PM  
Blogger Colin said...

Hi, I recently discovered your blog and have been enjoying reading about your adventures here in Brussels. You certainly see a more exciting side of the city than I do :)

Anyway, in case no one pointed you there, AVA near the canal usually stock all kinds of arts & crafts supplies, including seasonal items like easter grass.

See http://www.ava.be/

6:47 PM  
Blogger Cindy Lane said...

Hi RD!

I'm glad to hear that there are those that have gone before, survived, and are willing to do it again! (Thanks for the correction on Thomas. He is a great read. Have you read From Beirut to Jerusalem?)

9:05 AM  
Blogger Cindy Lane said...

Hey Colin,

Thanks for the heads-up about AVA. It is literally in my backyard (speaks volumes about my neighborhood, huh?).


9:06 AM  
Blogger Colin said...

Well, either you live in a nasty area or you live in the city center.

I hope it's the latter :)

3:43 PM  

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