“Jullie zijn de derrrrrrrrde passagiers,” our museum guide Inez says enthusiastically rolling her “r’s” for emphasis. Today for our last day of our social orientation class we are taking a field trip to Antwerp’s newest museum The Red Star Line museum.
To say that this two-story museum is about the company that over two million people used to sail from Europe to America isn’t quite accurate. You do learn about what the ships were like and the different travel booking stations owned by the company all around Europe. But what this museum really focuses on are the people who passed through these halls and their experiences with the Red Star Line. Continue reading →
I am never more aware of being American than when I am abroad. I don’t quite know how to explain this particular feeling of American awareness. It’s not pride or arrogance, or even shame, but finding the words to accurately describe this feeling is proving elusive. At home there is a truly bizarre fascination with your heritage, but I almost guarantee that every time the 1/8 Polish, 1/8 Korean, 1/4 Brazilian and 1/4 Kenyan American is abroad, they only indicate their American heritage when asked “Where do you come from?”
Lindy Hop lesson before the live music starts
Last friday I was transported back in time to September 4, 1944 – the day that British troops liberated Antwerp from German forces. To commemorate the event, the city of Antwerp put on a small festival in Groenplaats called Brevrijd! where people could come out and listen to live big band music and practice their Lindy Hop steps. And it was here that I was at once hit by the strangeness of being an American abroad. Continue reading →
I might have to accept the fact that for the rest of our lives, my husband and I cannot go on trips together. Unpleasant things start to happen when we go on trips, and typically I am the cause of these things.
The first time we went on a vacation together I nearly killed us both of heat stroke on a 16 mile hike in Northern Michigan. For some embarrassingly silly reason, Continue reading →