D and I have invited his parents over for Christmas Eve dinner. And with only two more days to go, we decided that it would be best to do our grocery shopping today. The Christmas crowd is still tolerable and the shelves are fully stocked. Strategies, gotta have ’em in order to torpedo our way through life.
Today, I reschedule my daily computer time. From now on I will only turn on my computer in the mid afternoon. This new adaptation means freeing up about two hours of daylight after lunch. Time for me to read, and to do non-computer related activities. I will adapt to this new schedule swiftly and perform my trio-continental tasks efficiently and effectively.
This is the 4th time D and I attended the e-commerce conference at Kortrijk Xpo. Not much has changed in this year’s event when compared to the ones in past years. We saw the same businesses manning the 20 or so conference stands. Similar freebies – consisting mainly of stationery items – were given out to the conference goers. The talks regarding technology, trends, and the future of e-commerce within the Benelux sounded the same to me.
The only exception was the keynote speech which took place in the beginning of the conference. The speaker is from London, spoke in English, and told of things beyond the Belgian borders.
Other than that, everything has remained the same, including the free sandwiches and drinks.
I will be selling a few things on the second-hand market – 2dehands. These include gadgets (new and old) which I never plan to use anymore, books read ages ago and no longer be re-read, a few pair of shoes maybe and miscellaneous unloved items which someone else can cherish and make use of.
The extra cash will be a nice motivational nudge towards my objective of simplification and de-cluttering.
I have been working on closing a no longer necessary bank account since June this year. Today, I received the confirmation of closure. Why so long, you ask? You see, I was dealing with this matter remotely and had to adhere to Sabahan time and mode. Phew… at least it is over now. Financial simplification is the way to go.
D and I went to the first edition of Foreplay in Ghent. The theme of the conference is “Technology in the city of people”. My main reason of going to this all day conference was to listen to Aral Balkan, someone whom D follows on Twitter. The conference was interesting and I did learn a few new things here and there. I cannot help but think that it would have been even more inspiring if I still live in Ghent.
The event was free. And so was breakfast, lunch, and the after conference network reception. And because this is Ghent, we were served insect appetizers (along with your typical boring non-insect kind). All this food and we can wash them down with a choice of red wine, white wine or the infamous beer “From Sewer to Brewer“. Yep, I ate insects and drank the piss beer! Ha!
This afternoon, we went to a furniture store to look at stuff. And then we all sat down to order and be served free drinks. Mom and dad were so surprised that a business can actually survive years of providing free drinks to the people, who are not necessarily buying anything! Ah, the beauty and craftiness of Belgian businesses remains a mystery to us Asians.
Before our flight back to Belgium, we were faced with some transportation dilemmas. After weighing my three options of family pick-up, train and airport shuttle; I quickly opted for the last. Admittedly, an airport shuttle costs more than four train tickets. But I am pleased with my decision because we do not have to trouble anyone, there is no need to wait, no need to drag our luggages about, and get driven straight to our front door. I am always willing to pay more for convenience and time.
This afternoon, my parents returned from their three-day stay at Lahad Datu. A trip to the old house in our hometown has both energised and exhausted my mom and dad. They have accomplished much during the short stay. Most importantly, they have reconnected with several of their old acquaintances. This will be useful in our future trips back.
Coming from a third world country, I have always accepted taxi services as an important part of the Malaysian society. It is the occasional unethical and unruly drivers which I cannot stand.
Thus, we tried an app known as Grab for the first time today. D and I were torned between our hate for the uber-ishness of this system, but can’t help loving the ease of use, the low cost and the friendly drivers we have met so far.