I’m actually stealing the idea from blogs of expats in Portugal. I enjoyed so much reading their own personal A to Z of my country that decided to gradually list the tiny relevant stuff I enjoy (or not) in my host country. Every week or so I’ll try to go through two or three letters!
A – Amai!
(In english: “a-ma-ee!”. In portuguese: “á-mái!”)
It’s a flemish exclamation of surprise or disappointment. I often find myself using it in the middle of a conversation in english or portuguese. No wonder: I hear it all the time! Add it to “allez jonge!” and “maar allez!” for protest, indigation or surprise, “maar ja” for hesitation, resignation or starting a disagreeing argument and “he!!” finishing every two sentences. And you are fit to face any discussion among the flemish!
B – Beer
of course! It´s the Belgian masterpiece. It goes with everything, it’s there in every occasion and even in the lack of one. There are the blond ones, the red ones and the dark ones, the bitter ones and the sweet perfumed ones, the light ones and the 14º alcohol ones, the special editions, the trappisten, the pils, the funny glass ones, the classy glass ones, the “my friend brew a few bottles himself and it’s so good” ones and even the “let´s brew some crap out of cookies or coconut and sell it to tourists on a supposedly alternative bar in Brussels” ones…
It comes in too many varieties and it´s such a wide and specific field that I consider myself completely beeringorant. But I like the fact that beers are a typical product of different towns, a bit like different cheeses and pastries are flagships of places in Portugal. Besides, I really like some of the ones I’ve tried! Before I came here, I detested beer (no offense to the portuguese brands). Now I always keep some cans of Stella in the fridge and how nice it is to crack some snacks with a Leffe on a hot summer evening…