Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Body Language

“You go de andere zeit,” the bus driver tells me in halting English, his hand cutting a karate chop motion through the air, “and wait for andere bus.”

“And what time is it coming?” I ask pointing to the invisible watch on my wrist. The Russian couple is standing off to the side, a puzzled expression on their features.

As an answer his head juts forward and he squints at me.

“Uur for andere bus?” I ask, pointing to my wrist again. I think the bus driver is German so I am hoping he understand the Dutch words for hour and other.

A shrug is his answer.

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Typical Belgian BBQ

Typical Belgian BBQ

I’m sitting outside at the table at my brother-in-laws house with my husband and his family, enjoying the long summer days. We’ve just had a delicious barbecue with all sorts of different meat and sauce options; there was even Sweet Baby Ray’s Barbecue sauce.  It’s been a lovely afternoon filled with good conversation, jokes, jumping on the trampoline, and even a little bit of swimming in the long-rather-than-wide-backyard of a typical Belgian home.

The faint aroma of charcoal lingers in the air as we wind down the evening by sipping coffee and tea with bowls of ice cream. My husband carries on a conversation with his parents and his brother, but my attention is focused on my wonderful niece and nephew. Because of my limited language ability, I often find myself relegating myself to the kids table. Continue reading