Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Belly of the Beast. In a world, where...

This photo would be:
A) A bunch of brewery workers on break.
B) The cast of Glee.
C) A bunch of exchange students from North Dakota State University touring the AB Inbev brewery in Leuven.

Correct answer, "C."

As it turns out, the most interesting thing today about touring the home of Stella Artois was the people on the tour (who knew?).  These lucky future leaders of America are beginning a five-week exchange program in Antwerp.  I asked them (hypothetically, of course) what their favorite beer was in North Dakota and they all said, "Bud Light."  After five weeks in beer paradise (legal drinking age is 16), their re-entry into the Bud Light world of Fargo will be a difficult one.  Damn you Belgium, you ruined them for the rest!
Bob, Carole, Simon & Suzanna

I also met a fun group of international exchange students studying in Leuven.  This was an organized event for them to all get to know each other better.  Afterwards, a group of them invited me to have dinner with them, which was  a great time to meet people from around the globe, get to know them and hear their world views. I met students from Iceland, Netherlands, Serbia, Macedonia and Iran.  What great reminder that we are all one planet and one world.  And, at the end of the day (or brewery tour), we are all more similar than different.  I  thank them for their hospitality, window into their lives and  wish them much luck in their studies, careers and lives.  So what did I learn?  Well, just to mention two things, Iceland's currency has devalued by 80% and McDonald's closed all its restaurants there.  "Ladies and gentlemen, McDonald's has left the country!"

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