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Tiffany Byers

Two Months Later

by Tiffany Byers | Feb 28, 2019

As I write this blog, I have officially been in the United States for two months and ten days.

I have mixed feelings about being back. I feel like my time abroad was almost surreal. The five months that I was in Brussels went by in a flash, they almost don’t feel real! I think that coming back to Manchester shortly after I got back from Europe helped me re adjust easier. Luckily, I did not experience the "reverse culture shock," effect that BCA and Professor Rorer warned me about.

There are a few things that I do now based on my time abroad- little things to help me remember of the place I got to call home for a short period of time and some habits that I have picked up on.  

Habits

I call lines, “queues”. It's something that everyone in Europe does. It was odd when I first got to Belgium and my friends asked me why I would call 'queues,' lines. Now, my friends in the states give me funny looks for saying, "queue."

I also have forgotten to tip. In most places I visited in Europe, you don’t tip. Luckily, there was only one time I forgot to tip (Sorry to the waiter at El Mez, my sister lectured me for forgetting). Now, I'm to the point where I’m back in the habit of leaving a tip and no longer getting lectures. 

Things That Remind Me of Belgium

One special thing about a place is its food. Belgium is famous for its frites (fries). I may have snuck back a bit of my favorite Belgian frite sauce- Andalouse. It is made of mayo, tomato paste and peppers! I put it on everything that remotely resembles a potato.

Another thing that I enjoy is milkrise, a German dish that my host mom would make when we wanted, "something sweet that is justifiable as a dinner dish." Milkrise is exactly what it sounds like −milk and rice with cinnamon sugar and some type of fruit on top. So far, I've been successful while attempting to make this. I only messed up the first time! After I burned the rice, I told my host mom and she laughed at me and gave me more direction.

Though each dish may sound simple, they hold a big space in indulgent heart. Andalouse sauce reminds me of all the times I would go out with my friends in Belgium. We would always go get frite from the best place in Brussels, Maison Antoine, and talk for hours on end. While milkrise reminds me of sitting around the table with my host mom and roommate Emily, while talking about the deepest topics and indulging in the best desserts.