Everywhere you see the letters A.U.B posted around here.  At the airport.  On the credit card machine at the grocery store.  In signs.  For the longest time, I didn’t think much of it.  Nor did I really care.  Until I figured out what it meant – I think we were at least a year or more into our time here.  It was yet another light dawns on marble head kind of moment.

It stands for alstublieft.  So what does that mean?  It means “please” or “here you are/go”. And it makes so much sense that I would see this abbreviated version at the ATM or in stores where there might not be space to write the entire word (the Dutch like really long words).  So now I know (and as we all know, “knowing is half the battle”) and hence, now you know that when you see AUB, it means please!

Knuffels en kussen,


One is the Loneliest Number

As I sit here on a bench at Aidan’s baseball practice, I can’t help but think how one is the loneliest number.  The bench seats four of us, all mothers of players.  I sit in the middle. Around me, everyone chats, but I can’t participate.  Because they are speaking in Dutch. I just stare straight ahead at the practice and try to pretend it doesn’t bother me.  But the reality is… it does.   Continue reading

Dutch 101

The time has come for me to start to learn Dutch – actually, this post is a bit overdue as I started classes almost 4 months ago.  I was a bit nervous in the beginning as it’s a little intimidating.  When we moved to Spain, I at least had a little base from high school to start with.  Here, I’m starting from square one, the alphabet. But at the same time, living abroad has taught me to kind of look at things as a puzzle – I’m able to Continue reading

Spanish 101

I always thought I’d enjoy going back to school when it was on my own volition rather than as a mandatory thing.  Maybe it’s just because the subject matter is one that I need to cover rather than want to learn.  Actually I can’t 100% say that because I do want to learn Spanish.  I guess I’d just like it to happen through osmosis or something.  Anyways, I took Spanish classes for about a year here.  Yes, I learned from them but not nearly at the pace that I think I could have learned had I done one on one classes. Continue reading

Back to Spanish Class… Again

March was a busy month for me and I’m in no way complaining…I feel like I’ve hardly had time to just sit back and relax much less get any work or studying done.  I went away in mid March for a few days with my girlfriends and upon my return the following morning my cousin Meghan arrived for a week.  Just a week later, we were off and running for Italy for Semana Santa having returned on Friday night.  Continue reading

Naked Rosa

As an American, I recognize that we are a little more reserved when it comes to nudity.  It’s taboo in a sense though I’m not 100% sure why that is.  After having lived in Europe for just over 2 years now, and more specifically Spain which I think is less reserved than most European countries, I’ve learned that by taking away the taboo, takes away a bit of the mystery in a sense and makes nudity less of a big deal. Continue reading

The Gym Saga Continues

So this morning I went to the gym as I normally do, right after dropping off the kids at the bus stop.  I was still fuming a bit about yesterday and feeling like I had been taken advantage of, even if it was unintentionally, or maybe it’s because my Spanish still has further to go than I realized that made me angry??  Who knows… all I know is I went in this AM with a little less energy than I’d hoped for.  Continue reading