The journey of a thousand miles begins with...the perfect pair of shoes.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Food, driving fast and turf wars

If you read my previous post about the Battle of the Bulge (and if not, go read it and look at the awesome pics-you can come back to this), you know we went to Belgium over the weekend. We only did a day trip because I didn't want to kennel the dogs (the neighbor's kids took them out for us during the day) and because M didn't want to spend the money on a hotel. Here's something I love about living in Europe. We left Germany, had breakfast in Luxembourg, lunch in Belgium and were back in Germany in time for dinner. Now I ask you, is that not cool? We ate in 3 countries in one day. Amazing.
The drive to Bastogne is 210 miles from our door. Well, actually from our parking space, since our door in on the 3rd floor, but you know what I mean. We made it in just under 2.5 hours (including the stop for breakfast). Go ahead, do the math, uh huh, that's right, mama was driving fast. Really fast. Plenty of times were were well over 100mph and other cars were passing us! I was doing 100 in the slow lane people. I have to say, I think I was some sort of early racer in a former life because I love to drive fast. I don't like it when M drives fast (he's a scary driver), but when I'm in control of the gas pedal, hold on. Somewhere in the back of my mind I think I briefly became Lightening McQueen. "I am speed." Of course that could have been because we were listening to the Cars soundtrack on the ipod, but I'm not sure. BTW, the Sheryl Crow song, "Real Gone" is awesome to drive to. Try it sometime. But don't speed in he US because you'll get a ticket (believe me, I know of what I speak).
Before we started our 6k walk I had to go to the bathroom. Of course. There was one indoor bathroom (the rest were portables-ewwwwww) and it had 3 stalls in it. The line for the ladies room was about 25 women long. There was no line for the mens room. Of course. I had been in line for about 20 minutes and was finally getting close to the door (not the stalls, but the door to the bathroom). The 3 women directly behind me were also American and we were chitchatting. Just as I got to the door, a group of 4 Belgian women (all looked to be in their early 20's and perfectly healthy in case you're wondering) tried to push past us and into the bathroom. The woman behind me rolled her eyes and muttered "typical." She has been living at SHAPE (Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe in case you were wondering) Belgium for 10 years and said that Belgians had no respect for lines. I don't know if this is generally true or not, but these 4 certainly women didn't. The woman behind me (and the 2 behind her) pushed closer and blocked them from the entrance (I was actually standing in the doorway and they formed some sort of shield with me as one of the ends). The Belgian women could not make it in front of us, though they pushed and shoved mightily. My butt was even grabbed once, but I did not budge. At this point I really had to go (it had just been a precautionary pee before, but now it was getting serious). I was also irritated because there were now at least 30 women behind me (still 6 in front of me) and we had all been standing in line for some time. No way was I going to let these 4 late comers push past all of us. I held my ground. When the women in front of me moved up I had to leave the door frame, as did the 3 other women, and the 4 Belgian women pushed their way in. They stood to the side of the actual line waiting for someone to come out. At this point there was much grumbling coming from the other women in line. Many different languages were being spoken, but you could tell what they were all saying. They were pissed (no pun intended). The woman in front of me blocked one of the Belgians as she attempted to go to a stall when it became empty. They all said a few things in rapid French and stared daggers at the woman. She didn't care. The woman behind me said "don't let them bully you." I was next in the actual line (not the faux Belgian line) and the stall directly in front of me opened. The first Belgian woman moved to step towards it, but I grabbed the door (blocking her with my arm, but not touching her) and made my way in. Someone shouted "yeah" from the back of the line. I could here the 3 Americans still talking. One of them was very pregnant and determined that these line jumpers were not going to get in front of her. She was very vocal about it. Seriously, when a pregnant woman has to pee, you'd better not try to line jump her. All those hormones. When I exited my stall, the Belgian woman were still waiting as apparently the rest of the line behind us decided that they too were not going to be jumped. You need to respect the line for the bathroom. It's just plain rude not to. I wonder how long it was before the Belgian women actually made it to the bathroom. I saw the 3 American women a little later on during the walk and they appauded my blocking skills. I then had to explain the whole story to M who thought it was highly amusing. Bathroom turf wars. A concept men will never really understand.


Rue said...

Good for you!! I didn't realize that Belgian women could be so rude, but then again, I don't think I know of one LOL

Great post about the Battle of the Bulge! I didn't know that much about it, so That was a great lesson :)


Ells said...

Good bathroom story! Italians don't adhere to the 'queue' concept either - what a great example of how mere cultural differences can produce lots of animosity!

Gina @ Six in the Country said...

Rude is just rude, in any language or any country. Good for you!

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