Sometimes life abroad can make you feel sluggish. No friends, no job, you’re basically nobody to the new society. This is why I decided to revive my old rubric, Good Things of the month. The main idea is to teach your brain to focus more on the good and positive things in life. They might be as small as a pizza+Netflix kinda evening or as big as getting a raise. The more you notice the great, the happier you will be and the more pleasant surprises you will get from Life. Or the Universe. Or the Higher Power. However you prefer to call “it”. In this List I will write about 5-10 things that made me happy each and every month. So that before the next one comes, I will re-read everything, realise how cool the previous one was and on this wave of happy thoughts and feeling of achievement slide into the next 30 days.

Here is my list for November 2018:

🍂I got an internship at a Brussels based marketing agency, Efluenz. We first met at the Brussels Beer Festival where I was invited as a blogger. This is where I found out they were looking for interns, so I just went for it. I kind of like it here. I mean, I still have to research a lot for my own blog and social media so why not share my knowledge and experience with the others. I find that Belgium is a little slow in terms of understanding and following major trends in social media, so it is a win-win. Besides, I get to attend a lot of events and take part in promo campaigns as a blogger (or part of a team). It’s fun! A-a-and it’s also the reason why I’m kind of neglecting my blog and Instagram. Two websites and two insta pages are, apparently, too much for me, but I’ll manage;

zengmarie brussels beer project beer festival bxl belgian beer

Me being Da Queen at Bxl Beer Project

Check out the full post on my IG

🍂We have started our apartment hunting game! We have to leave our current place by the end of February, so we decided to start early. I like our current place but it is so guest-unfriendly, it’s unbelievable. Not that we host parties all the time but it’d be lovely to be able to have friends or family overnight. The rent is a bit too high, too. What I like about the process is that I get to see how locals live and get decor inspiration for our own place. We’re searching at a website called Immoweb and in a Facebook group, Woningen te huur Antwerpen.


🍂I’ve found an English bookstore in the very heart of Brussels, Sterling Books. The prices are no different from any other local bookstore but the coolest thing is that you can order books if they don’t have them. They just need a title or ISBN, your contact information and 2-3 working days time. I got me a copy of Jane Hawking’s “Travelling to Infinity”. Yeah, we watched “The Theory of Everything” (Eddie <3), and I wanted to know the real story behind it. Here’s the book on Goodreads.

🍂I saw Daddy!!! No, seriously. He was on his way from Taipei back to Moscow and had a 12-hour layover at Amsterdam Airport. Amsterdam is only 1.5 hours drive from our house. So on an early Saturday morning, we hopped into the car and drove all the way to Schiphol to pick him up. At first, we were not sure what to do. Like, should we waste time and go back and forth between Belgium and Holland? Go to Amsterdam and tourist the soul out of it? Finally, we decided to go back to Antwerp. We showed him around, he saw the apartment, played with Nicky (Dad I know you miss her too). He also got to experience THE Belgian weather. Windy and rainy that is. Do I need to mention that we were blessed by quite a few days of sunshine and zero rain after that? Ha-ha!

🍂I started progressing as a translator. My internship is unpaid and well, ya girl needs some pocket money. I first asked my ex-boss if I could do medical translations for them and she said yes. I know how everything is done and formatted, I know the patients and the company and they all know me, so there’s no need to sign an NDA, we’re still using the one I signed before I took this job 3.5 years ago. I’ve also been receiving orders from my husband’s side project. ASO (App Store Optimization) translation is a very new thing for me, but they guys are very satisfied with my work and I’m pretty happy with the $$s. Or should I say €€?

🍂Walks at the beach! Wait, what? It’s November, girl. The thing is, Rabin’s mom and cousins live in Belgium too, in two little towns by the North sea: Blankenberge and Knokke. Never thought I’d say this, but I enjoy a nice long walk at the beach once it a while. Just need to make sure I’m dressed properly and my 3.5 kgs dog is too heavy for the seagulls to carry😂 It was also pretty fun to watch my dog see the sea and play in the sand for the first time in her life.

How did your November go?