I Am Going Straight to Hell
The Brabo Fountain in Market Square
Legend is that Brabo cut the hand off of the Giant that was charging large fees to ships
coming into port and if they did not have the $ he would cut off the hands of the sailors.
It gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "hand job".
No turning back now, we are moving to Antwerp, Belgium. I am sure I will master Flemish in no time. My new favorite thing to say is the informal goodbye. Dag-dag, Dag-dag. Now say it fast like you might say badonkadonk, Trace Adkins style. Dank-u very much (another new one).
After arriving at a very reputable hotel, Marty goes to check in and leaves our 2 bags and his backpack that carried among other important things, his laptop. My job....watch the bags. How long has he known me? I am checking out the people milling around. I mosey over to the counter behind me to check out the diamonds (Antwerp is one of the diamond capitals of the world). I watch more people...glance at the two bags. Not a problem. Did I say two bags? Marty comes back and says where's my backpack. Woops! Gone. WTH? On my watch. F-K. Of course, I say, are you sure you didn't take it with you? I swear I only turned away for 5 seconds. The security guy tells us that they have the whole lobby on surveillance tape....I had to say at that point, well maybe it was more than 5 seconds....this tape is going to make or break a nice cocktail and dinner or damning silence. Saved again! What I will call a F---king Moroccan Terrorist or FMT came in from the street, took the bag and was gone in a total of 5 seconds. For the record, I was turned around for a total of 9 seconds. WELCOME TO BELGIUM.
Let's start anew. I will be meeting a relocation specialist to show me options for living in Antwerp. Two things that bother me are people being late and people touching me...including Marty...I don't even like breathing the same air as he does when we go to bed. (I know I am a whack job). I am 5 minutes early to meet my new bff for the week, Viv. Viv set the tone for me by being 55 minutes late. AHHGG. My anxiety level was headed through the roof. Viv, with just the right amount of excuses of a realtor type....traffic, wrong hotel, husband died, ran out of gas and my dog has cancer kind of stories, we were on our way.
That uncomfortable chit chat is work, man....work. I tried hard to engage as we worked our way around Antwerp. Somewhere along the line I stopped listening to the words bff Viv was saying and started counting how many times she was saying "you know". But her you know had a little "sa" at the end...run it all together ....youknowsa. I can tell you how many times she said it between apartment one and apartment two....she said it 27 times.
I have never found it hard to talk to strangers, as long as it is a conversation. Viv is all about telling her story - not so much a conversation. Her story was a string of all the ailments she has had in her lifetime. Her most current is that she is recovering from a virus caught in Egypt that caused her to be paralyzed from the lungs down. This lead to taking steroids which explains, she tells me, the 35 pounds extra she is carrying. Which also explains why she has had her lymph nodes squeezed. I know how many bladder infections she has had in her lifetime. She broke her leg. She has to keep gloves on in the winter or her "hands will bleed out" (what does that even mean?) and she said her face was going to crack off if it got any colder. I really felt like I was on a Saturday Night Live skit. And all the while, I had nowhere to put my own words....I had lots of clever things to say.
I thought I would give Viv a break on the ailments but good Lord....she was a toucher. Hang on your arm touch you toucher. Maybe this is when I noticed the solid gold butterfly nail jewelry that was drilled through her fake fingernail.
And now my friends, this is why I am going straight to hell. My new friend, who turned out to be quite helpful and landed us a great flat (what I am told we must call our new apartment) had polio as a child and has a paralyzed right leg. This in itself has never set her back...BUT....she drives with her left leg and drives almost as bad as me. No wonder all my friends are afraid to be a passenger in my car!
Here is what we will see when we look at our window in Antwerp.
Looking forward to many guests. 55 min to Amsterdam, 2 hours to Paris and 2 1/2 to London, all by train.
Here is a the top of a pizza box that was served to my friend's family ..who by the way, has four boys...really?
Two book reccomendations:
White Girl Problems Babe Walker.....funny funny.
The Art of Fielding