Creative Business, Events

Haunting Reminder

Yesterday, D and I went to the fifth edition of E-Commerce Xpo in Kortrijk. Even though most of the talks will be unsurprising and maybe downright boring, I do enjoy the free sandwiches and drinks they have at the event. I can be such a glutton.

I was my happy carefree self till I heard my ex-employer mentioned by the keynote speaker in one of her afternoon sessions. For goodness sake, it has been eleven years since I left Zappos. I am still hearing its name and greatness, and of all places here in Belgium. Is this going to haunt me till the end of days? After that, happy self turned into confused self. Nevertheless, I was still able to gobble down several sandwiches and a few drinks before leaving the venue.

Today, I cannot bring myself to attend. The mention of Zappos reminded me of how I was shaped during my early 30s. Reminded of the rough plans and vague destinations I had before Belgium. It is a sign and a knock on the head. I need to sort things out.

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Belgium, Events

11.11.2018

Today we commemorate the end of the First World War a hundred years ago. D is experiencing the commemoration by having a drink at the city hall with his fellow city dwellers. Meanwhile, I chose to remain home to think of the lost of lives during this horrible phase of our world history, in peaceful stillness.

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Belgium, Creative Business, Events, Food & Drinks

Just Beer 2018

At around 4pm yesterday afternoon, D and I went to the second edition of Just Beer at Kortrijk Xpo. We brought along our old glasses from last year’s event, earning us an extra token each.

My four tokens for the day lasted less than a hour because D and I used them up to attend a work shop. We were served fresh oysters, three glasses of beers, and another two Thai dishes prepared by Michelin star chefs. Boy was that a good deal!

After the workshop, we roamed about, tasting different beers, and only got home after 8pm.

More today…

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Belgium, Events, Travels

Glitter & Glamour

A few weeks ago, D won two tickets to a show called The Art Of The Teese. Yesterday, we drove to Antwerp after lunch so that we may spent some time enjoying the sights and sound of the largest city in Flanders before the evening show.

After a few hours of wandering about, D and I stopped by a café for drinks and a bit of a rest. I happily discovered a wonderful apple ginger concoction which I am sure I can recreate at home. Yeah to that!

Later, we moved on to a restaurant next to the café to have a bit of a snack and to drink beers we never had before. What a unique venue it turned out to be. The dark interior is decorated with religious statues of the Catholic church. The menus are leather-bound. The wooden furniture dark, stained and heavy. One just cannot stop looking around discovering little visual surprises at every nook and cranny. D and I laughed when we noticed an out-of-place statue of a Roman centurion. We should have asked why that one was placed there.

After finishing our drinks at Elfde Gebod, we walked leisurely to the performance hall. I noticed that many amongst the audience were dressed up, obviously also fans of Dita Von Teese. The two-hour show was a beautiful celebration of glamour, glitter, sensuality, and sexiness. D and I had fun and were truly entertained. For a moment there, it also made me miss glittery Las Vegas…

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Belgium, Events

Local Election

Yesterday morning, D and I cycled to the library and voted. As a permanent resident, I may only vote for the city government whereas D had to cast vote for the provincial government as well. At 10am in the morning, there were plenty of people fulfilling their voting responsibility. Here in Belgium, voting is compulsory! The time-tested system of moving people along made the entire process smooth and efficient. There were no drama and we were cycling to the baker and then home in no time at all.

In the afternoon, D and I went to visit several participants of Present@Zwevegem. We dropped by 9 locations and encountered more than 15 businesses. And as usual here in Flanders, there were no shortage of free food and drinks. In just a few hours time, D and I had fries, frikandel, sparkling wine, beers, appetizers, chocolate and even ice cream…

How can one not love this country?!

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Belgium, Events, Travels

Pipes & Ostriches

The first Sunday of October is Open Bedrijvendag. D and I started early this year by visiting three companies which are close to home. A glass construction company, a pipe cleaning company (their system is ingenious), and a big construction company. Starting in the morning somehow meant that one gets to drink beer before noon.

After a short break at home, we proceeded to a new library which is situated in the middle of a park. Then, we went to a small brewery. The visit did not take long, so we decided to end the day by visiting an ostrich farm. 

To me, the highlights of this year’s Open bedrijvendag were the pipe-cleaning company, the crane-powered ride which gave us a bird’s-eye-view of several cities, and the ostriches.

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Belgium, Events

City Fair

Yesterday evening, D and I went to witness the fireworks which was part of this year’s city fair.

This Sunday afternoon, we biked there again to join the festivities. Thanks to the good weather, the turn out was incredible. Crowds of people were gathered around the multiple locations or stands providing food, drinks and entertainment such as music, fun fair games and rides.

D and I walked around enjoying the sight and sounds. Drank a few beers, bought some dried sausages, ate a local pastry, and then biked back home to a simple grilled steak dinner. 

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Belgium, Events

Monuments 2018

For this year’s Open Monumentendag, D and I decided to go a little bit farther than Kortrijk. In doing so, we discovered that Heuvelland is a popular destination for the weekend tourists. While staring at the crowds, we even crossed the French border unknowingly – yep, it was that close to France.

Our first monument of the day was a vineyard. We took photos, walked a bit, climbed a bit of a hill and ended up doing half a cable ride for free?! Don’t ask how…

Our next monument was German trenches from the first world war. The guide was very thorough in his explanation and interjected his facts with some interesting stories. Again, we walked about the site, took photos and then moved on.

Monument number three and number four on our list were no longer accessible due to administrative and time limitations. So, D and I went back to Harelbeke to check out a local product market event. We drank a beer each, said hi to the mayor and enjoyed the sunset before heading back home. 

Despite the two sites we were not able to visit, it has been yet another lovely Sunday.

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Belgium, Events, Travels

Hanging Between The Trees

It was Open Gaversdag yesterday afternoon. Because I was unable to pre-register for any of the activities this year, we just roamed about happily among the crowds after parking our bikes. First, D and I went to the beehives, then the petting zoo, and ended up at the café drinking a beer each. We met a couple we knew, chatted a bit, drank some more and then continued with our walk.

We saw our favourite ice cream lady, waved and walked on to the swimming zone, then proceeded to the forest area. Before I realised it, D and I both had on climbing gears and were swinging about the trees. Boy did we had fun!

D parents, whom we met up later at the café terrace, were already informed of our monkeying antics. News travelled faster than D’s photos if you know people. Ha!

Not feeling like cooking dinner, we biked to a nearby brewery brasserie. I ordered the steak tartar which I have been craving for a while now. D had the stew. The simple dishes, served with fries, were washed down with beers that were brewed at location. After the enjoyable dinner, we biked home leisurely.

What a wondrous Sunday afternoon …

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Belgium, Events, Food & Drinks

Bicycles, Beers & Wontons

Yesterday was the first day of the International Beer Festival at Zwevegem. Despite the fact that I was having a dizzy spell, D had managed to convince me that we should cycle there. Having done it once before, and not wanting anyone of us to drink and drive, I agreed. Now that I am better at cycling, the 6-kilometre bike ride was not as daunting and was quite enjoyable. And holy crap, a glass of well-chilled beer can be so ridiculously good when one had to huff and puff to get to the location of the festival.

This afternoon, most of the neighbours will get together for the last speelstraat. I made some wontons in the early afternoon, to be fried up and served when D and I join the drinking later in the day. It is a small gesture on our part. We are not kids haters and definitely can be friendly and generous in our own ways.

Summer is almost over and I suspect that my tenting nights are rather numbered…

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