Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmastime.
~Laura Ingalls Wilder
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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?!
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.
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.