Brugge is kleine

Brugge is kleine is Nederlands for, “Bruges is a small town.” Yes it is!  The photo of me making lace at the annual Kant Dagen/Lace Days did make the local newspaper but the story surrounding it is almost as entertaining. I have bought all my postcards in a small souvenir shop in the street just outside the Beguinnage walls where the carriages wait for tourists and the swans swim and preen in the canal. The man who owns and runs the shop has known me now for 5 years and we are friends. He speaks English and was a welcoming port in a sea of Nederlands language my first year in Brugge. Now I know both his wife and daughter and he has followed my Nederlands progress with interest and of course offered me chances to practice.  So…he sees the small lace write up and my photo in the local paper. When the lace ladies staying at the Beguinnage guest house go in for postcards or a souvenir, he tells them you must tell the American sister her picture is in the paper. He will save one for me…send me in. When the Flanders lace ladies locate me, they babble about the photo in the paper which I understood, but how they found out about it was a mystery beyond my language skills. Finally, I got it…they had talked with the man at the souvenir shop and I must go. I did, and now have the picture. That was not all though…the man in the corner tabac/post office (I have to mail my postcards!) also sees the picture and he too knows me and clips out the picture. Now I have photo number #2. After church on Sunday, three faithful elderly gentlemen stop me: “Your picture was in the paper… Have you seen it? Do you want us to cut one out for you?” I graciously declined. The head of the Kantcentrum/Lace School in Brugge which was the focus of the article is saving photo #3 for me. A lace making sister from America seems to be big news in my small corner of Brugge. The photo is not the most flattering, but yes it is me and I am making lace! Brugge is kleine, friendly and welcoming. It feels like home!

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