Almost four months that I have been here now...
I cannot believe so much time is already gone since I first arrived.
This wonderful adventure started on August 7th at Jacksonville Airport.
The first steps in the US were amazing. I was so excited.
I was just a kid who wanted to discover a part of the world and live
You cannot imagine how good it is to see that people are waiting for you
at the airport without even knowing you and that they are going to host you
like if they knew you since you are born. At the same time it was so strange
and so great to be there! It was not fiction anymore. It was really
I'm so grateful to live with this family. They are breaking all the
stereotypes about Americans and so I can tell to my friends and family that
I was right. Americans are normal people! Well, almost. Just kidding...
Here are some evidences.
They eat vegetables and fruits, they practice sports, they can eat on a
table with forks and knifes, they can cook, the fridge is not always full
and you donít especially find Coke in it, they are not eating hamburgers
twice a week and finally everyone is not fat and wearing guns.
But YES, they never walk, they love to have too many cars, stores are
open till 10pm and sometimes even more, they love to go to Walmart everyday
and drink sweet tea. They donít speak other language, they must have good
credits to go to college, they use lockers, the schools really have football
teams, mascots and cheerleaders and you really can sleep or read a book in
most of the classes. (Maybe because Iím an exchange studentÖ) People really
drive at 16 years old and they really hug you to say ďHiĒ (but not enough).
At restaurants, you can fill in your drink again and again and again. When
you go shopping people you donít even know are so nice and always ask ďhow
are you doing?Ē or ďHow was your day?Ē or ďwhat are you doing for
Thanksgiving?Ē Also you can go to the Bank like you go to Mc Donald: You
just stay in your car.
In contrast with everything I just said Iíd like to add that we shouldnít
judge because of stereotypes. I just gave you with humor strange and good
things about SOME Americans. So please donít think that everyone is like
that because we are all different and just learn to know someone before
judging him or her.
Iím at school for a pretty long time now. My impressions were pretty
confused at the beginning but now I can put words on my feelings and
emotions and tell you more about it. To begin with Iím used to another way
to teach and to study in Belgium but itís interesting to discover how
another educational system is working. I have notice some interesting
differences between here and where I come from. For example school is easier
here. Taking into account that Iím an exchange student with easy classes and
that teacherís pity me for speaking another language... Yes, being an
exchange student has its advantages!
People are sometimes dress weird too. Things that in Belgium seem ugly and
totally tacky are totally in the mood here. But no I wonít change my mind.
Wearing high socks with flip-flops are just awful.
As opposed to what I said in my biography earlier, I donít miss my family
so much. Not anymore. (Sorry if you are reading this my dear family). Of
course at the beginning I did, it was very hard. But I found a way to escape
to this homesickness: the cross country. I ran everyday under the sun for
miles and miles and it gave me so much endorphins that I didnít think of my
But today I have a family here so running is not something I need
anymore; itís just a bad and suffering nightmare.
Also there is a time, when you discover something different when you have
to adapt. You just assimilate what is around you and you become a part of
the place where you are. A part of the landscape. I first felt this feeling
during a Jaguars football game. The National Hymn and the union between
Americans just amazed me and touched me so much... When you are a lost
exchange student in a foreign country you just realize how itís amazing to
feel one with millions of other people... It was very hot, I got burn and
thirsty. But whatever! It was craziness on the field and I just went home
with stars in my eyes!
At the beginning of this adventure I was interested by the USA of course
but I didnít actually love it. Today it has changed because when you begin
to love people where you live. You start enjoying what you see. So yes,
today I like America!
And finally being here this year, without anyone that I knew before makes
me growing up so fast. It's like 5 years of maturity in only a few months.
Maybe you cannot see it outside but I can feel it. I just think about things
I thought I would never think about. I feel, I discover, I grow up and it's
just a pure delightÖ
So as a result here are several things that I discovered, learned,
wondered or realized:
- -Most of the English songs I listen have stupid lyrics.
- -The alligator meat has a chicken taste.
- -Apparently we speak Belgian in Belgium, we donít have black people
or TV, and we are part of Germany. Oh really?
- -I can now run several miles under the Floridian sun without
sweating. Well, almost.
- -I have wonderful friends back in my country.
- -I can now hear the differences between English spoken in the US or
- -If I subtract 30 to a temperature in Fahrenheit and divide it by 2
I can approximately have the temperature in Celsius.
- -Are the cheerleaders in pain after smiling so much?
- -Why can't I get rid of this stupid French accent?
- -How much weight have I already gain? (I must stop escaping every
time I see a weighing machine to know the answer)
- -When people tell me they know my language they always and only say
" Je m'appelle..."
- -The French speaking people are the only one who can pronounce the
sound "on" and so my name has changed today.
- -I'm in Florida but I'm always cold. Stupid air conditioning!
- -Cookies are so good here!
- -Now I'm addicted to coffee. Not sure it's a good thing.
- -My country is really really small.
- -As opposed to my country, here religion is very important.
- -You only have one life and you could die tomorrow, so enjoy. Be
happy, life is good! ! !