What I love about Europe is that it’s a very big place but in such small distances there is a big change in culture, language, diet – it’s so exciting and I love that!
It had been about 20 years since I saw my Belgian cousins. They are obviously cousins from Greece whose parents migrated to Belgium many years ago. Twenty years is such a long time especially when some of my cousins were 15, or even under 5 years old at the time. However over the last few years I have felt that I have enjoyed connecting with their lives and their paths through Facebook – there are many negatives and drawbacks to Facebook though I love the beauty of connecting with my family and friends overseas.
Anyway – when we were camping in Holland I couldn’t pass up the chance to see my cousins and aunt and uncle again – and it took us less than an hour and a half to get there – yes! Another country. Back in Australia it takes us that long to go shopping in Albury!
Anyway it was quite interesting when we got to Verviers I stupidly pressed a wrong button on my iPad and lost our directions on the map app that sometimes follows us on our drive even when we are offline. So then we had no idea where to go – we stopped in the central area and I walked past a cafe and stood outside Mcdonalds to get onto wifi (at least they’re good for something!) and reboot our directions. Well I wish I had gone into that cafe because as I found out later on in the day – it was my cousin George’s cafe – we went there for lunch. Very freaky serendipitous moment that I didn’t take cause I knew I could get free quick wifi a few doors down. Small world!
Anyway – our cousin Chris had just been to Australia a couple of months ago to visit his gorgeous sister Alexandra who is on a working holiday – at the time most of my family was out of Australia which was shame. First time I met him he was a few years old. So good to see him – he was very jovial despite Belgium losing in the World Cup the night before!
We all met at my other cousin Anna’s house who was 15 last time I saw her and it really warmed my heart to see her so happily married to Morad and with a beautiful young son Adam – and just moved into a great new house. I love being able to visualize them all in their Belgian lives now that I’ve seen it and felt it. My other cousins George and wife Fani and aunt and uncle were working in their cafe so we went there for lunch and boy was it a feast. I thought I wouldn’t be able to eat for days after. Very yummy. My cousin George who is my age and who I spent some great ‘young time’ with now has kids and his youngest son is Theo who is similar age to our older kids – great for them to connect and who knows maybe they will connect again independently and have their own relationship and memories. I hope so!
At the end of our day it was lovely to all go together to the point where Germany, Holland and Belgium meet. The kids got a real kick out of being in three countries at once.
By Baba MiliKing