Belgium, Jibber Jabber, Movies, Books & TV Shows

Reading Habits

On the news this past two days, there is an ongoing discussion regarding the reading capability of today’s youngsters in Flanders. These young people, specifically secondary school students, are not reading as much, nor as well as their predecessors. The individuals that were interviewed on television simply said that they do not enjoy reading, thus never develop an appetite nor habit for this activity.

Laziness? Technology? Short attention spans? Different priorities? What is to be blamed here?

I think the main culprit is CGI. When you have TV series or films with superior computer generated visuals like in Game of Thrones, who still have the brain power nor imagination to bring oneself into a self-thought-out universe?

I grew up in an environment where there was hardly any screen time. In such, I learned to develop an ability of turning simple words into an adventure or a fantastic world which my mind may wander. There is hardly any effort in visualizing stories and strange new universes in my mind-eye. It must be rather difficult for people growing up with 24-hour television, realistic computer games, and high quality visuals to develop this ability.

Belgium, Events

Winter Walk

Despite my hand injury, I was willing to bike slowly to Putteke Winter 2019 yesterday evening. But then, D discovered that my back lights were kaput. Unable to fix this in time, we reluctantly drove and arrived at the event a tad later than intended. Fortunately for this two already disappointment people, we found a parking space immediately.

After the rather long walk from the parking to the event center, we started the winter walk to observe and enjoy the lights, arts and performances. The highlight of this walk was definitely the fire performance; what an impressive show that was!

After the walk, we met up with D’s mom and had a drink each. Then it was a walk back to the parking and home we went.

Belgium, Health

Dental Checkup

This afternoon, I went to my no-bullshit dentist to have an annual check and scaling. As with my previous visit, the dentist once again suggested that I should consider having my two upper wisdom teeth removed. It is not urgent, but for the best. I should really ponder on this matter. Get rid of them or leave them be?

Belgium, Food & Drinks, Jibber Jabber

No Variety

This afternoon’s food rescue from the local bakery was a tad disappointing. Even though we got our money’s worth and a lot of food was saved, all we got were pistolets. How many of that can you eat at each meal for days on end? And I could only store away one bag for there is limited space in my freezer.

I do prefer the supermarket food rescue because of the variety I get. The surprise prepared meals aside, I do have full control of reusing or recycling the plastic packaging. Not only do I consume the food, I am also re-purposing and preventing some of the plastic waste from ending up directly in the garbage pile meant for the incinerator.

Belgium, Events, Jibber Jabber

A Chilly Halloween

Temperature had dropped to the single digit since yesterday. It will be quite a chilly trick-or-treating for the kids this evening. Fortunately for the children of our neighbourhood, one smart couple had organized a Halloween get-together last Saturday. Max temperature then was at a comfortable 20°C!

D and I have candies ready… I wonder if anyone is going to show up at our front door this evening?

Belgium, Flashbacks, Jibber Jabber

Fall Back, Spring Forward

Today in Belgium, we switched to winter time. Since my days living in Michigan and learning the words “Fall back, spring forward”, I have had no issues with daylight saving.

The media kept mentioning one good thing which is the extra hour sleep everyone is getting today. Not in my case though… I woke up when my body refused to sleep anymore, and that is usually when daylight starts seeping through these very thin eyelids of mine!

Belgium, Travels

Euro 3

I do not know what triggered it, but a while ago I went rummaging through some documents to look for the car registration. My heart skipped a beat when I read the words Euro 3, which is the European emission standard of D’s car. This joyful discovery meant that we will not get an unpleasant and expensive fine in the mail for driving through the city of Brussels two weeks ago.

Why did I not embark on this search earlier?! It would have prevented quite some grey hairs!

Belgium, Jibber Jabber

Autumn Rain

It has been raining since yesterday evening. It did not bother me at all that I was getting rained on while D and I were running our errands this afternoon. Autumn rain, especially after such a dry spell, is absolutely necessary and wonderful!

Belgium, Numbers

A Bigger Audience

Belgians are well-informed people. There are awareness campaigns with topics ranging from A to Z. In the years I have lived in this country, I have been convinced and participated in multiple programs such as alcohol free month, soft plastic recycling, zero waste lifestyle, low-impact lifestyle, bike instead of drive option, save a meal from your local business and so on and so forth!

What if these kind of awareness campaigns also play out in the bigger nations? Would the impact be more significant? Let’s assume 50% of Belgians recycle one plastic bottle a week. That is 5.5 million plastic bottles recycled in that period. If the same conditions are true in Malaysia, the nation of 28 million citizens (2010 census), now estimated at almost 33 million citizens, will be able to achieve the same quota in less than three days! The numbers will be staggering in China, or the United States. Imagine the improvements in cities like Kota Kinabalu or Kuala Lumpur if only ten percent of the residents choose a low-impact lifestyle.

One may wish…