The boy and I found ourselves browsing airbnb.com for villas in Bali one night when we decided, why not spend a day in Bruges? It was a much more feasible plan, being that this Flemish city is only a 1 and a 1/2 hour drive from our house, and we wouldn’t need to spend $10,000 to stay there for a night. So the next Sunday, we set off on the road along with his mom, dad, brother, sister, and sister’s boyfriend to spend a nice little afternoon in Bruges.
Exactly one year ago, I started my first day of work as an English teaching assistant in Douai, France. If things would’ve worked out as I was hoping for, I would be doing the same thing today! Unfortunately, that’s not the case – but when I look back at this year and everything that has happened, I am like whoa.
I spent 8 months in France, teaching 12 hours a week to French high school students. I definitely had my ups (like my great class of senior students who always greeted me with a smile) and downs (like that one time that I ended up yelling in French at my sophomores who didn’t want to listen to a word I was saying), but I definitely learned a lot. If I ever have the opportunity to do the assistantship again, I would take it.
I lived in a small city but made great friends from all over, including my roommates from Spain, Italy, and Germany and my other assistant friends living nearby.
“After I killed them, I dropped the gun in the Thames, washed the residue off me hands in the bathroom of a Burger King, and walked home to await instructions. Shortly thereafter, the instructions came through: ‘Get the f*** out of London, youse dumb f***s. Get to Bruges.’ I didn’t even know where Bruges f***ing was.”
“It’s in Belgium.”
“Bruges is a s***hole.”
“Bruges is not a s***hole.”
“Bruges is a s***hole.”
“Ray, we’ve only just got off the f***ing train. Could we reserve judgment on Bruges until we’ve seen the f***ing place?”
“I know it’s gonna be a s***hole.”
I’m sorry Colin Farrell, but you are WRONG! If you have ever seen the film “In Bruges,” you’ll understand the ridiculous dialogue above. If you have never seen the film “In Bruges,” I suggest that you watch it, but only if you can bear hearing a four-letter-word every five seconds and have a strong stomach.
Unlike the film, my second experience in Bruges fortunately did not involve unlimited swearing, nor hitmen, nor displeasure. I was very happy to get back to one of my favorite European cities! (You can read about my first visit to Bruges here.) I stayed at the same hostel – Snuffel Backpacker Hostel – yet still got lost trying to find it. After stopping to ask a few times, I saw the beloved sign hanging from the door and checked in. The guy who was working the desk explained everything to me, and after he had finished I said, “Okay great! I stayed here last year so I’m glad to be back.” He responded, “Why did you just let me talk for 2 minutes about everything if you’ve already stayed here?!” Muahaha. Just wanted to refresh my memory!