Hi, faithful readers!Perhaps you’ve been thinking, “Where’s Ann? This isn’t her usual pattern to let things sit for days on end. Why isn’t she posting?”Or maybe you’re summer-busy with swimming pools and sprinklers, and haven’t really wondered or cared.Well, whether you care to know or not, I’ll explain.I’ve been busy getting ready to go here.Every few years, a big event of some kind is planned among The Belgian Wonder’s relatives, all of whom live in Europe–we’ve attended a few family weddings and one Christmas celebration together. Family reunions are a rare and wonderful treat. When we all gather, it includes 17 cousins (including my kids), six siblings (including The Belgian Wonder) and their spouses (including me) along with Grandma and Grandpa (who started it all)–a big jumble of people related by blood or by law.This time, we’ve saved up to attend the 50th wedding anniversary of The Belgian Wonder’s parents!In just a short time, Lord willing, we should be sitting among the rellies eating Belgian waffles, Belgian chocolate, Belgian fries (frites), dipping freely from jars of Nutella and spreading it on fresh Belgian bread, drinking Belgian coffee…and adjusting to the Belgian greeting (generally a kiss on one cheek), the French language (bonjour!), and the fairly robust euro (in exchange for my puny American dollars).I was telling someone yesterday that the experience is wonderful, but not in a touristy way.It’s about family, not sightseeing. After the 50th celebration, we’ll be spending a lot of time just hanging out and talking while the kids run through a back yard sprinkler…except the yards are tiny and the conversation will be in French.And I’m not fluent.So it gets mentally fatiguing to follow the flow of conversation.But in spite of my linguist limitations, it’s fun to reconnect with everyone and see all those cousins finding common ground with Playmobil and swimming pool antics.My to-do list leading up to this trip, however, has been all-consuming.While there, someone is staying in our house. So we’re cleaning more than we normally would.And we put in a garden, so we’re preparing it to resist major weed explosions while we’re gone.Oh, and it’s VBS week.And a friend unexpectedly flew in from out of town, so I squeezed in a short visit with her.And I’ve been errand-running to pick up wish-list items to distribute to family members.So I’ve been on the go.No computer time available.But I’m dropping in for a few seconds to reconnect with you and thought it would be fun to toss out a cross-cultural quiz:What food items do you think our relatives who have had cross-cultural experiences to America would ask us to bring?To help you out, most of these people placing their requests grew up in Belgium, came to the United States for college, returned to Belgium and married a European. Over the years, most of them have traveled several times to the States with their children to visit.Post your best guess in the comments, and I’ll let you know their requests tomorrow.
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What about Almond Roca? That’s if chocolate will travel. Or Jelly Belly jelly beans. I also like a cheaper equivalent, Gymbals (sp?). I buy it at Walmart. My ideas so far. Have a safe and wonderful trip!
Mary in Shelton, WA
My guess is jello and koolaid. Am I close?
I learned about Nutella from a French exchange student we had in our home for a week my junior year. It was tres difficile to have Cecile in our home, because she refused to speak English. But she taught me how to eat Nutella!
Llama Momma says
How fun! (The trip, I mean. Not the crazy busy…)
We have family in England, but they’re Americans. They always ask for cake mix and shampoo. 🙂
Colleen Wolowski says
My guess is peanut butter. Love your blog!!
Bring them Nutty Bars (little debbie) and Moon Pies, and bring us all back some of the Belgian Coffee and Belgian chocolate! Mmmm, that sounds like an unfair trade to me! 🙂
L.L. Barkat says
I have no idea. Pop tarts came to mind. 🙂 Or peanut butter.
What fun to go there! My spouse is in a French-speaking country as we speak. (As we blog? 🙂
Being from New England, I always take maple syrup — not carry on though 🙂
Daniel Putkowski says
I like the maple syrup suggestion. Enjoy the trip. For Spain and Aruba photos, check out http://www.bentpage.wordpress.com.
Mary: Almond Roca! Jelly Bellies! What great ideas you have…and easy to pack. I have to swing by Wal-mart today; perhaps I’ll check out the generic Jellies. Thanks for the ideas and tips.
Pattie: Bingo on the Kool-Aid! They’re not so keen on Jell-O, from what I hear. It must be a uniquely American taste that we’ve acquired.
Llama Momma: Since I posted this one and the answers-post, I’ve had a request for four boxes of cake mixes!
Colleen: Peanut Butter–bing-bing-bing! You guessed one of the big ones. We’re taking four containers of PB.
Greenchickadee: Those are great ideas–I never would have thought of those on my own.
LL: Nobody asked for Pop-tarts, but I’ll bet they would like them if I did…hm….maybe I’ll swing by and get some.
Brooksanne & Daniel: Yes. Syrup, as you may have seen, was on the list…at least normally. They had just taken some back not long ago, so they had some on hand.