Representing the U.S.A. in Belgium

Hasselt Belgium
Journal Entry:

As an American living here in Belgium, I have become appreciative of two things: that I am from California, and that I am able to dispell some of the stereotypes the people here may have about Americans. My first piece of gratitude comes from the fact that California is one of the few states in the U.S.A. Belgians know of (the other ones being Texas and sometimes New York). My second reason for thankfulness is that I have the opportunity while living here confirm or dispell some of the negative and positive ideas foreigners have about what it means to be an American. 

In conversations I have had here in Belgium, it is common for the topic of American politics to come up. I have always been surprised to see how much the people in Belgium follow American politics, especially since few Americans follow Belgian politics as closely! Recently, when the U.S. midterm elections were happening, several people asked me what I thought about the results. There were even election-watching parties going on here until 4 a.m. (which would be around the time voting ended in the U.S.A)!

Other questions come up surrounding American T.V. shows, movies and music. A lot of Belgians follow American artists and have been heavily influenced by Hollywood growing up, just as we have.