D and I spent this Sunday afternoon at the Sinksen in Kortrijk with both our parents. I do not know if it was my parents presence which somehow affected my outlook of things, but it seems that this year’s celebration is a bit less lively than before. There seemed to be less people as well.
After dinner this Sunday evening, D and I went to the HAP Food Truck Festival in Kortrijk. I had to laugh when I saw the sign shown in the photo above. It says ‘Asian Street Food, Made by Belgians’. Now, don’t you just love them for being that honest?!
After sharing a dessert and a beer while listening to live music, we enjoyed a brisk walk in the city before heading home.
Today, my parents arrived in Switzerland. After their river cruise, they will come visit me. Two more weeks and they will be here!
After lunch, D and I went to our favourite Asian grocery store to stock up on some necessary items. The newly located store is definitely bigger and brighter. It will take us some time before we get familiar to the new venue. New or old, I still walked out of that store with a lighter wallet.
After putting away my purchases at home, we headed off to a recently popular Friday event known as ‘Lokaal’. This is a weekly market event which takes place inside an old but spacious venue that used to be a frame-making factory. The market consists of about ten stalls selling local produces ranging from diary products, fruits, vegetables, fishes, breads and meats. Oh, and this won’t be a Flemish thing if there wasn’t a bar and cafe. In the few hours D and I spent at the market, we ended up buying and drinking a bit too much.
In the evening after dinner, we were off to a birthday gathering, meeting people whom I haven’t seen in years.
Yep, this was one of those days filled with many happenings – big and small.
Yesterday was Open Wervendag. D and I spent most of the afternoon visiting building sites. Two of the sites we went to had guided tours and free drinks at the end of the tour. How wonderfully Flemish.
We summed up the afternoon by going to an annual garden market in Marke. It was fun roaming the vicinity of a small castle, browsing at various plants, artwork, food, drinks and trinkets.
Behold the Easter lunch at my in-laws!
Needless to say, the exaggerated quantity of food plus a family full of picky eaters, meant an abundance of leftovers. My well known reluctance to throw food and my ability of eating the same things over and over again has resulted in a fridge full of ‘Easter lunch takeaway’. I think I have at least eight boxes of food consisting of pasta salad, potato salad, cold meats, deviled eggs, and all sorts of greens. Well, I definitely know what I will be eating in the next two to three days.
Amanda Tapping (Samantha Carter of SG1) is the only excuse I need to attend this year’s FACTS in April. The actress is just as quirky and clever as the TV characters she acted in. I was not disappointed. The admiration is still intact.
That being said, all other things that D and I experienced during our 7-hour attendance were extra bonuses. Nathan Fillion was very entertaining. The Beast came close to claiming a few victims, but evoked the competitive monkey out of me. Celebrities, cosplay costumes, comics books – a fun and eventful afternoon!
Yesterday was the 60th edition of E3 Harelbeke. This is probably the most important event of the year for Harelbeke. Schools were closed, some shops as well, and the streets were filled with people. Like all Flemish events, this one was not short on its food, drinks and music.
D and I walked out of our home before eleven in the morning. By the time we were satisfied gawking at the bus row of different cycling teams, it was time to witness the start of the race. After the cyclists were off, the public was offered free fries and small dishes from Michelin star restaurants! Before we left the house, I told D that I will not stand in lines getting push around by idiots clamouring for a sorry portion of fries. Well, luck was on our side and getting these free food turned out to be not difficult at all. I ended up having a pretty decent lunch. I had an entire portion of fries to myself, a lamb and peas dish, two egg dishes and a chicken dish. I also drank two local beers paid by D’s mom.
The best things in life are for free?!
Yesterday evening, D and I went to the 2017 Bruges Beer Festival. This was our third time attending the annual event. The venue is changed this year, making our walk a bit longer than the previous two times. But that was not a problem. Parking was free and a bit of walking will not hurt.
Another thing worth mentioning here is that I have unofficially participated in Tournée Minérale. It is a campaign supporting the cancer society by making February an alcohol free month. So, D was left attending a beer tasting (drinking) event without his drinking buddy. Despite the fact that I was not drinking along, we did have fun. We even found two extra tokens laying about. Yikes uh-oh, two extra drinks for D!
Eight beers, an active bladder and a long walk in the rain later, it was decided that I should DRIVE home. Yes, this one whom the optician advised to wear glasses when driving at night. Yes, it was raining. Yes, I could not see shit at the beginning due to fogged up wind-shields and wet roads. Yes, my 46 year old brain had to deal with manual transmission and a car that had stayed in the garage for a month in 2015. But the cold hard facts were compelling enough that the Vulcan logic kicked in. I have a driver’s license. I did not have a drop of alcohol in my system. And I do have years of driving experience in all sorts of conditions – rain, snow, sleet, sand, dust, water and wind gusts.
Well long story short, I am sitting at home writing this. I (We) have survived my overnight appointment of a Sunday Chauffeur and a BOB “Bewust Onbeschonken Bestuurder” (deliberately sober driver). Yeah to me!
As I age, I find myself getting increasingly sentimental over festivals and rituals which I grew up knowing in Malaysia.
Yesterday, I cleaned the house so that I do not have to perform my Saturday chores on the first day of Chinese New Year. I even cleaned the windows, and tidied up the front and back yards. That’s not the end of my festive craziness. I prepared a Chinese New Year’s Eve dinner consisting of five different dishes plus steamed rice. The names of these dishes have good meanings. And the number ‘six’ is considered lucky.
Today, the celebration continues. Cheers to a happy and prosperous year of the rooster. Gong Xi Fa Cai! Gung Hei Fat Choi!
Yesterday evening, we attended the ‘Winter BBQ’ organized by our neighbours. This time was not exactly a barbecue, but a hired food truck serving fries and deep fried meat. Food was okay and drinks were plentiful. But the most important thing is that we met up with our neighbours and reinforced our neighbourly ties. Having skipped the last two gatherings in winter of 2015 and summer of 2016, I was quite taken aback on how much some of the little ones have grown. Kids, we do not call them spuds for no reason!
Today, we rest…