I've got to have Space, Space, Space...

Things around the Dotson house are trucking along as usual. I'm sorry I haven't posted in a while, although I guess no news is good news, right? I know, some of you look forward to randomness from me, so I hope I deliver. We spent the weekend shopping in areas of Brussels we hadn't conquered. It is such a large city that we feel like we're never going to see all of it. But we did see inside quite a few shops this trip, so my craving has subsided (for now!). (The pic is of Gracie and the toothpick-looking sculpture in the heart of the shopping district!)

One thing we have learned over our stay here is that personal space in public is something you covet, a lot! We've had some recent experiences that you just laugh at, they are so awkward. First, we found a chicken shack on the street in Brussels and decided to try it out (they had chicken tenders, need I say more?). Not only were there two women talking EXTREMELY loud directly behind us, but another couple rediculously annoying behind them, practically pushing them forward so they could get food quicker. Now, this pushed the two women talking into Stephen, who I'm sure is already worried about what to order and how to order in French, etc. It was awkward, but we just had to laugh it off. Until we sit to eat and another lady comes and drops her stroller off by Stephen, child in tact. Later she decides she wants the stroller by her, so she pulls it alongside our table and parks it resting on my chair! Space people!!

The second experience was the other night at the Parking Ticket pay tower thingy. Not even sure what you would call it, so go with it. Stephen puts our parking ticket in, and begins to put money in to pay for it. About this time two elderly women get off the elevator and go to stand behind him, to insure they are next (there weren't any other people within 20 feet). The problem is they are both jockeying for position, and they are both touching Stephen. One is angled a little to see when he will be finished, the other is looking directly into his armpit (both were about 5' tall). It was hysterical. Not only to watch it happen, but moreso to see how awkward Stephen was with the whole thing. It was great!

Another thing I have learned is that bathroom attendants are usually old women, and they are ALWAYS cranky. I have seen some throw downs in our stint here: man walks in movie theater bathroom with a 20, lady yells in Dutch he owes .30, he doesn't have change, she can't make change, he leaves and she SCREAMS obscenities at him as he walks out laughing. It's terribly funny and wrong at the same time. You pay for the movie, why do you have to pay to use the facilities. Are you with me? You HAVE to use the restroom...why do you have to pay? I digress. We learned very quickly to always have change handy. These ladies are ruthless. I was at the Chicken restaurant (it was an adventure) and we noticed the lady left. I hate to say it, but gut reaction was GO, GO, GOOOO! So, I got up and went to the restroom. I was so cautious and aware of the time I was taking, hurrying so to miss her. I thought I had made it, but after opening the door, Satan grabbed my arm and yelled something in French followed by .40!!!! So, tail between my legs I retrieved the change. Don't worry, though, she was smiling big and offered a big "MERCI" as I hadn't her the change. Satan 1-Katie 0. Better luck next time, eh?

In other news, to quelch my boredom I have now turned to more activities/hobbies/past times of geriactrics. Not only am I knitting, but I'm making jewelry and painting. I perused the shelves yesterday at my "Hobby Lobby" and found some cool things, so I tried my hand at being crafty! What do you think? And for those out of the loop, the "D" is for Dotson :) As I was painting, I heard a boom outside. Instinct is to grab your head and say, not again. But I knew Stephen had the car, so were out of the woods. Unfortunately, there was an accident on the other side of the street. It was a three car pile-up, involving a Smart car in the middle. Aimee, these things hold up nicely! I thought for sure it would have been a goner...but alas, it's hardcore! The first car checked his goods and left...assuming no damage. The smart car driver, however, gets out and slams his door in frustration. It's at this moment that the culprit, driving the Mercedes, gets out and starts rocking on his feet. YES!! Drama Street! It's so great! I'm not saying "yes" to a drunk driver, we all know my stance on that. But I do love drama! I'm my mother's daughter!! For about twenty minutes I'm shamelessly leaning out my window taking pictures of the drunkard heckling the Smart car occupants. It was amazing! Then, finally, the cops show up. In true fashion, they dispatch for no less than 5 more cops to show up. In the end, a paddywagon much like we are used to (see here and here) picked up the drunk guy and carried him off to neverland! It was an amusing afternoon!