Rural life and Folk Dancing? I totally didn’t plan that.

Sunday September 25, 2011 I went to the House of Rural Life and then that evening went to Louvain-la-Neuve to see some folk dancing. It wasn’t until Saturday that I even considered doing anything ‘touristy’. It wasn’t until Adeline asked me if I was doing anything that I realized I could, should, and had the time to. First I managed to drag my butt out of bed at a decent enough hour to shower and get ready for the day before making a trip to the market in Eghezée. Lisa and I both got a pair of these light, comfy pants this summer and there were also short versions that we didn’t get, but Lisa left me some money to grab her a pair later. I kept forgetting/sleeping in/not knowing what colour she wanted until by the time I went Sunday they didn’t have them anymore. It makes sense…it’s not summer anymore. Although right now we’re enjoying Indian Summer – we actually got a little background on that yesterday in class…

After the market – which wasn’t a total waste…I got two nice scarves for the price of one! – I drove to Han-sur-Lesse to visit the House of Rural Life. It was just under an hour away. It’s a really pretty place and I’m glad I went. The town is pretty. The museum was cool, but at the same time creepy. I was (again) the only one there. At the beginning there are a few rooms with manikins – a kitchen, a bakery, something else I’m forgetting – and after that it’s just sort of big open space with sectioned off areas with different manikins representing different jobs; cobbler, cooper, plumber, barber, etc. They were all really detailed and it was interesting. Except that sometimes I would catch something out of the corner of my eye and whip around all startled like, only to discover it was just in fact a manikin. Creepy I tell you, creepy. There was a second floor I went up to and they had a lot of paintings depicting rural life, and displays of knives (that you could buy) and other tools and trinkets (that you could also buy). Oh, and more manikins. Many times I wanted to put Freddy on one of said manikins for pictures, but at the last second I remembered I was being watched….security cams and the like. There was an outside section with old wagons and farm equipment. Some of which reminded me of antique items my Mom has collected over the years. All in all it was an interesting visit, but not something I would highly recommend (unless you’re really into that sort of thing). Coming from a rural area myself, not everything was completely foreign to me. I mainly chose it because a) it was close and b) it was something different that I hadn’t done yet.

Then it was back home and a little while later on to LLN to see some traditional Belgian folk dancing. I wasn’t sure what I was expecting. I think I thought it would be something like at Oktoberfest in Kitchener when groups from the Transylvania Club (um, that’s what it’s called right? :P) will showcase traditional German dances in traditional German dress. It wasn’t like that. They had a stage for the band and a dance leader who gathered regular citizens mulling around (or there specifically to dance) and led them through the steps before turning up the music and hopping to it! I got clips of, I think, 4 different dances. One of them being a gig, but the others I have no idea. I’m planning on trying to make a video montage of these and put them on YouTube. I don’t know how well that will work or when that will happen. Adeline went to dance the gig with Greg, but Bastien was in a bit of a mood that night and wanted to be with Adeline. Now, it’s really hard to dance this gig with a child at your feet or in your arms. Apart from this both boys danced to the music every once in a while. When Sylvain dances usually he’s sitting down and he just sort of bounces up and down and from side to side. It’s adorable. Bastien got really into it as well, just dancing around wherever the music took him.

We finished off the night at an Italian restaurant. Bastien likes pasta. He’ll eat pasta and cheese. Italian is a safe bet. Sylvain wanted to pull everything off the table. By the end of dinner he had almost managed to pull a wine glass off the table beside us. That would have been two broken glasses in a week. Oh boy. I saved it just in time. He had his hand on it and had managed to knock it over so it was on its side. We were all distracted by the fact that Bastien had just ripped a page in a book that wasn’t his. Oh kids.

Today was the first day since Sept.1 that both kids were out of the house for the day. It was a school holiday so both were at the babysitter’s. I had the entire day to do whatever I wanted! I sat down on my bed – my couch is covered with clean laundry – to input my walk on the Nike+ website (yeah, I walked this morning!) and felt my eyelids droop. I kind of leaned over and rested on my pillow. Then I shifted to get more comfortable and the next thing I know it’s after 12. After that I spent some time online, doing what I usually do (blog stuff, Facebook, email), and I also watched Sweet Home Alabama (Reese Witherspoon). Then I picked Sylvain up at 5 (Adeline picked Bastien up at 4 to go to the doctor). After that it was bath time, supper, then bed for the boys.

For those who don’t know (I forgot!) right now in New Zealand it’s the Rugby World Cup. I played rugby in grade 9, woot! I was totally lazy, but somehow managed to lose 20 pounds after gaining a lot of muscle. My calves were awesome! Actually, I’ll admit they’re awesome again because of all my walking. Any who, I prefer rugby over America football. Maybe this is because I actually – used to – understand it. It’s sort of a thing of pride at my high school, or it was anyway, the girls rugby team. Waterloo-Oxford D. S. S. had a girls rugby team before there were girls rugby teams in the area. Heck, they used to play boys rugby teams and the city boys were afraid to play the country girls. Wussies. I was definitely nervous when I started because for the first month everyone practices together – girls, boys, seniors, freshmen, everybody. We’re taught how to tackle and the main coach likes to tell the girls that even a skinny little girl can tackle a wall of a young man if she does it right. Case in point; my coach was a tiny women. Compact. Lean. Fit. Everything I think a women’s rugby coach should be. I wasn’t much taller than her, but I was ‘thicker’. Anyway, one day we were practising tackles and she wanted to correct me or show me something or something. So she tackles me. She literally lifted me off the ground before slamming me down. Ouch! But it was effective. I also once got caught at the bottom of a dog pile in a practice match against the junior boys. I got stepped on (the back of my leg just above the knee….) and had a cleat mark for a year or two after that. I wore it with pride. When I broke my nose at a softball practice all I could think of was how I wish I was wearing my rugby jersey – if you bleed on the field you have to come off, but having a blood stain on your jersey is a mark of honour. I didn’t actually play much, lol. Maybe I also like it better because there are no pads or helmets and I feel sometimes things get crazier and more dangerous, but you’re tougher for it.

Wow. I’ve really gone off on a tangent here. I just meant to say that Canada has had 1 loss (France 46-19),  1 win (Tonga 25-20), and 1 tie (Japan 23-23). They play New Zealand on October 2nd. Against the All Blacks they are going to lose. I mean, that’s my prediction. I don’t know much about the Canucks (tee hee hee), or rugby outside of high school for that matter, I just know that it’s an awesome game! And the New Zealand All Blacks are an awesome, fierce team. Now I’m going to go watch Forever Strong. You guessed it, it’s a rugby movie. We really need more of those. One more thing; when I went to Chicago in grade 9 on our music tour we went to this pretty well-funded high school. They had carpeted halls (I have no idea why one would want carpeted halls in a high school…) and among other things, their own brand of water. When a couple of us asked our tour guide (a music student) if they had a rugby team – he was talking football at the time – he looked at us like we were, I don’t know, aliens or something and basically said that they didn’t like rugby/have a team. Or something like that. I can’t remember what he said, I just know it was said forcefully and made rugby seem like the game of the devil or something. Pfsh. Shows what he knows.

Now that I’m traversing memory lane, I feel the need to mention something else that, while it does not pertain to rugby, it does pertain to…well, language, sort of. I was standing in line in the cafeteria (and what a cafeteria it was) with a few of my music mates in our choir/band uniform of black dress pants/skirt, white collard blouse/shirt, and amazing, lovely, so-wish-I-still-had-mine green W-O Music vest. Being a shy, self-conscious, 15-year-old girl, when a couple of older (or at least taller) boys (ahh! boys!) butted in front of us I didn’t say anything. The woman serving out the food did though! She saw it and stated quite loudly that ‘those girls are here from Canada, don’t butt!’ (something like that….it was 10 years ago). ‘You’re from Canada?’ ‘Yes…’. I don’t remember anything else that was said, just that they looked upon us as if we were another species, like they had never seen someone from another country before. Or that they thought the distance from the Great White North was much to far to travel for them to ever come across one of ‘us’. Later, as we were eating, on of the grade 11 girls asked if I would take a picture of her with a friend and a table of boys. I was merely an observer in this next exchange, but I wish I would have had the guts to say something:

[All dialogue is paraphrased because of lack of memory] ‘You’re from Canada?’

‘Yes.’

‘Do you speak English?’

‘…um, yes.’

I’m not sure what was going on in the head of those boys, but what kind of question is that? Yes, yes I know that our 2nd official language is French so it’s an understandable question if they hadn’t just been having a conversation with us. I’m pretty sure that when the girls asked if they could take a picture they were speaking in English. How else would the boys have been able to understand? *shakes head* I was astonished, and actually still am. It was funnier then. I’m sorry I stick so bad at telling stories!

                                                                                                                      

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  1. Best Art Blog » Rural life and Folk Dancing? I totally didn't plan that. « hollyjb

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