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09 August 2011

Hello Belgium

So here I am, in Mons, Belgium, where the sky outside the window is overcast. The temperature is OK but it turns out that it rains quite a lot here. Just like in Ireland it can go from sunshine to pouring rain in just seconds, as it did on me yesterday when I was out without a jacket. I had to leave Galway at 2am yesterday so I was terribly out of it all day, after only about 2 hours sleep. I arrived and had to register at the university, something I did not have to do for either of my previous work trips. I found my accommodation and found a supermarket and then slept for about 14 hours straight. So after that I am much better today. Yet I have not actually seen Mons at all yet so have not much to say about it. My impressions so far is that it is very small and quite old. The streets are cobbled and there is a lot that seems dingy and falling down. But maybe that is a false impression.

My student accommodation is an old hotel and is very obviously so. It is OK though, just very empty because all the students are away for summer. I heard noises this morning so there must be at least one other person in the building. I have my own bathroom luckily and the shower is the usual type where you have a shower-head on a hose, only in this case there is no bracket on the wall for the shower to attach to. You have to hold it the whole time! And I checked out some of the other rooms because they were just sitting open and they are the same! I already miss my lovely new apartment with its beautiful kitchen and my big comfortable bed. The university seems good except of course everybody speaks French and their english isn't so good as that of the Germans. They don't really want to speak it and they struggle to understand me (because I struggle to speak slowly!). Of course I am only here for two weeks so even if the conversation is lacking I will get by. If I get bored I think I will just take out the good old credit card and go shopping. I found the street with all the shops on it you see and even for a tiny little city it has far more than Galway. Also I must take out my camera and take many pictures so that everybody can see Belgium. The weekend is a long one so I will have 3 days. I will find a travel guide to tell me what to do. See some other cities and places, that sort of thing. Try to make the most of it!

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