Belgium, Events

Gent Smaakt 2019

The last time D and I went to Gent Smaakt was in 2016! So, today we made the effort and planned a trip to Gent for this specific event. We also get to visit Barrio Cantina which was a block away.

I still think Gent is one of the loveliest cities in Belgium.

Events, Flashbacks


My home in Malaysia is only a street away from a football field. So, almost every day you will see people playing football, hockey or some other field sports.

When I was a university student in Michigan, some school friends and I went to a home game of American football (rugby). I remember having a fun time eating hot dogs and drinking Mello Yello (school events are almost always kids-friendly, thus alcohol-free) while watching the game. I can not recall much of the match since I did not understand it and never really bother to.

I have also been a spectator to an ice hockey game at the university’s ice rink. Because it was more than 20 years ago, all I remembered was players crashing violently onto each other and on hard surfaces of ice, cement barriers and some transparent non-glass dividers. It was brutal!

In 2011, when visiting my sister and her husband in Seattle, D and I were invited to a baseball game. That was also a fun and unique experience.

The uniqueness of my spectator sports experience peaked today. D and I biked to the football stadium here in Harelbeke to watch the European Quidditch Cup!

Football, field hockey, cricket, American football, ice hockey, and baseball… none of these prepared me for the strangeness of quidditch. Turning an imaginary sports from the Harry Potter universe into this real life four games combo must have involved a lot of tweaking. The part of my brain which savours fantasy and magic refused to bend to reality. Real life quidditch was weird, confusing and maybe a bit too real for me. To the fans, it proves to be a highly energetic and very exciting event. To each his own.

Events, Food & Drinks

Easter Barbecue

Yesterday on Easter Sunday, the family gathered at D’s parents, just like we did on new year’s day.

After the two boys did their egg hunting, we all sat down on the terrace to have our meal. The weather was perfect. Lunch was barbecued côte à l’os, a variety of grilled sausages, hand-cut fries and salad of home-grown vegetables. The red wine I drank during the wonderful meal was a Bordeaux from 1996!

For dessert, we had an option of fruit salad, tiramisu, or a jam tart I made.

A lovely Easter Sunday spent with the family…

Creative Business, Events

FACTS Spring 2019

Three out of the seven guests showing up at this year’s FACTS are well known villains in films and tv series.

Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy in Harry Potter) was a charismatic person. He spoke his mind and was quite funny. Dolph Lundgren (The Expendables) whom story D and I were most eager to hear has alas seemed too tired or too jet-lagged to share his very interesting life. He has lived a life that can easily top any standard Hollywood film. Mads Mikkelsen (Hannibal Lecter in the tv series Hannibal) turned out to be very charming and interesting. No wonder he is very popular amongst the female fans who called themselves Fannibals; female fans of Hannibal.

Thumbs up to the three screen villains born this side of the Atlantic!

Belgium, Events

E3 2019

It is the E3 cycling event in Harelbeke again. At around 11am this morning, D and I walked to the buses to see if we may spot a few well known cyclists. Then, we went to the podium to see the introductions of the cycling groups. The start of the race was at 12.15pm, and as usual short-little-me only caught a glimpse here and there through the gaps amongst the crowd. I made up for it by holding the camera up high and clicking randomly.

Before heading home, D and I lined up to get a free serving of fries each. There were quite a lot of shuffling and pushing – ah yeah, free food.

Once a year in March, we may walk in the middle of the street. Last evening, we even got to bike in the middle of the street like the cyclists did today. But that’s a story for another time…

Belgium, Events

Space Smart

Yesterday evening, D and I attended a bi-annual event known as Ronde van Harelbeke. First, the mayor gave a short speech, then there was an introduction to the concept of Sustainable Development Goals, followed by an interesting main talk on how we can Be Smart With Space. The talk focused on space optimization and mentioned the challenges currently faced by Flanders. Halfway through, there was a break where we were treated to two free drinks each (what else?). The attendants were also encouraged to take part in some interactive activities and surveys. Then the event continued on with a panel discussion, which was then followed up by a Q&A session. There were some more drinking in the end before everyone went home.

It is very important that we, as a community, are made aware of the challenges and issues of our current environment. That we are also made aware of what we can still do in terms of the usage and optimization of space.

On the negative side, D and I have already built our house in the suburbs. Nonetheless, our home (space) has all the positive points of being close to the city center, a wonderful nature reserve, and many important public infrastructures.

Attending Ronde van Harelbeke was a worthwhile activity which provided me with much food for thoughts. As we biked back home, I came to the conclusion that I just have to make the best of what I have. In short, being frugal, environmental friendly and having low impact lifestyles would be the answers to our specific situations.

Belgium, Events

Putteke Winter 2018

Yesterday evening after dinner, D and I biked slowly to Putteke Winter 2018. We spent the first hour watching a Snow Globe Circus performance, which I find quite entertaining. Then we took the 3.5km stroll into the forest and by the lake. Along the trial were several light installations, mini performances, and art displays. One of these art, I find rather disturbing. I don’t know, I find a display featuring hundreds of soft toys hung or tied to a tree super creepy…

D and I did not stay to drink or eat this time. Instead we cycled home to enjoy warm cups of chocolate milk in the comfort of our living room.

Belgium, Events

Science, Shopping, Beers & Sushi

I found out about Dag van de Wetenschappen (Day of the Sciences) from tv and from reading the free weekly regional newspapers. So this Sunday afternoon, D and I went to visit a college called VIVES in Kortrijk. Frankly, I am curious about the higher education infrastructures here. The visit to the campus brought back some memories of my university days in Michigan. Ah those cold dark days where one scurried from one building to the next to attend the day’s lectures.

After an hour at the college, we went to Kortrijk to check out the koopzondag. Can you believe that the parking at the mall was full at 4pm?! D and I only did some window shopping. Neither of us need anything. And hey, we got a free glass of sparkling wine each, courtesy of the mall.

Later, we walked to the city centre and saw part of a car rally event. We then proceeded to one of our favourite beer places and had a couple of beers each. Since we were sitting comfortable and I really do not feel like cooking a rushed dinner, we decided that we shall order sushi to take away and to eat at leisure back home.

This Sunday is about sciences, shopping, beers and sushi.