They Speak Slowly to Her in BELGIUM, Bearing Beh-Beh-Coo on a Silver Platter

12 07 2009

While Young Son, his dad and I all were at the first matinee of “Titanic: the Musical” this afternoon (more later, it was amazing) we missed this great weekend update. Enjoy!

en route

“Beh-Beh-Coo à la Belge”
Posted by Favorite Daughter (penguindust) under Fayt-le-Franc

One of the interesting things about going somewhere other than America is that you get to experience first-hand the perspectives the rest of the world has about America, or, as we’re calling it this week, Les Etas-Unis.

Surprisingly, not everyone wants to spit in our drinks or light us on fire!

But you can understand why people in the “heartland” of the US don’t really understand what’s going on over here, because the thing is, every time Europeans try to express admiration for some part of our culture by duplicating it, it comes out…still European.

Arguably, this is the most charming thing about this whole continent of people – their firm desire to make us feel as comfortable as possible, inexorably tied to their strength of character.

Kiki’s extended family, who may well be the most charming people on the face of planet Earth, determined that there should be a grand barbeque to welcome us to their country, an event which they pronounced not as I am used to hearing it (”Bee-Bee-Cue”), but in the French way (”Beh-Beh-Coo”).

This was to be a true American “Beh-Beh-Coo,” complete with pool, hot dogs “and stuff.”

I suspected from the beginning that this was not to be a barbeque in the way I usually experience barbeques – but not because Kiki’s family are Europeans, but because they live further north than Georgia. I never expect barbeques to be my sort of barbeques when I’m away from home.

But the “Beh-Beh-Coo” produced by Kiki’s family was – how shall I put this – not unlike a mirror universe barbeque, a universe in which there is a guidebook which defines a barbeque as: “an occasion held near or in a pool.”

And yet, in its distinct, undeniably European way, it was probably the nicest “Beh-Beh-Coo” I’ve ever attended.

No effort was spared in the preparation of the Almost American dishes – black beans and rice became couscous, cole slaw became salad and penne pasta, and the sainted hot dog became grilled sausages, sans bun, literally served on a silver platter and eaten with a knife and fork.

Today was but another example of the hospitality of Kiki’s family, and their uncanny ability to make us feel at home while still allowing us to experience the authentic Europe we left home for.

Also, they speak French very slowly to me, as though I am an idiot child, and they clap their hands when I understand words properly, and for that I will love them forever.

PS: First of the Edinburgh pictures are up. As you’ll see upon going to the companion photo site page, we’ve had some excitement and switched where we upload the pictures. DON’T PANIC, just click where it says “Scotland”. Enjoy.

UNSCHOOLING EUROPE

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3 responses

12 07 2009
Mrs. C

Oh, Kiki’s family are wonderful folks to do this. And I was reading the part about Georgia and thinking… but they’re not near Russia, are they???….

13 07 2009
JJ

Mrs C, you’re just too cosmopolitan. 😉

13 07 2009
Mrs. C

Yeah, I wasn’t thinking properly for a second there. :p

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