Thursday, September 6, 2012

Thrilling tales of the Belgian countryside

Here I am, living in Germany, though the move here started off with a week-long trip to Belgium.

It was silly of me not to stop on the bike and take pictures of the farms in Belgium, because not only do they have the cutest fuzzy dairy cows with little horns, but there are also TONS of sheep. We were mostly pretty focused on the beer, though.

The other thing I was excited about was lace! Brugge (Bruges in French) is the quaintest little city you'll ever see--it's that first photo up there, and it has been a center for lacemaking going on 400 years. We visited the Lace Centre there, where there was a room full of women working on their stunning lace projects. Their totally insane stunning lace projects. It's pretty rare for a fiber art to scare me off, but seriously, bobbin lace is out of control scary.

Now, speaking of scary, something really dramatic happened during this trip. On our longest day of biking, we biked about 50km (30 miles) with all of our stuff, to get from Brugge to Ieper (Ypres), with a couple of stops for beer and WWI history. (I'm not sure if that sounds like a lot to you or not, but I barely know how to ride a bike, so it was a lot to me.) We stopped for a minute so Noah could look at the map, and in a sickening moment, I realized the pannier had fallen off the side of his bike. It was holding my bag, the one with my wallet, my phone, my passport, my knitting, my eyeglasses, etc. You get the picture.

In a flash Noah said, "I'm going to go back and find it," and sped away on his bike. There I was, alone on a tiny country road, between a farmhouse and a corn field, completely dazed. I sat on a stone post and though about what I'd just lost. It was just stuff, right? But how easy would it be to replace? I didn't know how long Noah would be gone, I had no way of contacting him or anyone else, and I had to do something before I went crazy with thoughts of how idiotic I'd look wearing my prescription sunglasses full time until I could get new glasses, and where the closest consulate was. Luckily I still had my backpack, and in there was my little spinning project.

So I sat, and I spun, and before too long, Noah returned with my bag miraculously intact. During our joyful reunion he said to me, "You're so zen about this. This is totally a situation in which I'd be crying." I pointed to my little spinning project on the ground and he laughed knowingly.

Thank you, little spinning project, for keeping me company in that harrowing time.

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