I’ve been in Brussels for almost two weeks now. There’s stuff I’ve had to adjust to — absolutely no one sells normal sized coffee — but for the most part, I’m really enjoying the city. Yesterday, I realized I’m confident using the Metro. I can get through choppy French conversations with shopkeepers. I have something of a routine.
Before I started working at Reuters, there was a week and a half of tours and free time. Being in a new place, I needed some kind of consistency. I’m not ungrateful for the time to explore and settle in, but I realized that I need patterns to my day, especially when I’m dealing with that W culture shock curve that I figured was bullshit but actually isn’t. But! I started at Reuters on Monday and this whole don’t-see-your-friends-or-family-for-four-months thing is starting to feel worth it.
(On Sunday, I bought a superchouette leather bag at a street market, by the way. And I accidentally heckled it down 5 euro wooop. And I’ve been wearing these black boots that too cool for American Me)
So now I’m at Reuters (actually now, as I type). And I love it. I’m still not sure how I got here. A few years ago, if you asked me what my dream life was, I would have told you it was working abroad at a place like Reuters. I’m doing it right now. I’m 20. In my very first journalism class in high school, we read Reuters stories almost exclusively as examples of great reporting. And now I’m in their office.
Yesterday was my first day out with a cameraman. We covered a Turkish protest outside of the EU Parliament; the Turkish prime minister was in town and people weren’t exactly thrilled. I mostly followed Clément around and helped with sound. He had people respond to questions to me, so they wouldn’t be staring into the lens, so I did a lot of smiling and nodding at people speaking in fluent French. For the English interviews I asked questions though! Very basic questions, but it counts. Just watching Clément work was fun — he has no fear going up to people to film or ask questions. I’m hoping to pick up some of that fearlessness from him.