Today in Gent, the four of us met up with my cousin who has lived in Belgium for a year. Family meet up aside, I took this opportunity to buy a jar of mustard and some coffee at local businesses that I have known for years. Going to Gent still feels like going home. I am pretty sure that I will feel the same if I ever visit Las Vegas and Lahad Datu.
Before our flight back to Belgium, we were faced with some transportation dilemmas. After weighing my three options of family pick-up, train and airport shuttle; I quickly opted for the last. Admittedly, an airport shuttle costs more than four train tickets. But I am pleased with my decision because we do not have to trouble anyone, there is no need to wait, no need to drag our luggages about, and get driven straight to our front door. I am always willing to pay more for convenience and time.
This evening, we will be flying back to Belgium after three weeks of Sabah, Malaysia. Our trip consists of only one stop over at Bangkok. Wonderful short route.
This afternoon, my parents returned from their three-day stay at Lahad Datu. A trip to the old house in our hometown has both energised and exhausted my mom and dad. They have accomplished much during the short stay. Most importantly, they have reconnected with several of their old acquaintances. This will be useful in our future trips back.
In the morning, D spent some time in the pool while I soaked my feet and took photos. Later we went for a walk along the waterfront all the way till the city’s wet market. Our senses were pleasantly bombarded by the many fresh produce that were displayed in old wooden stalls. We bought fruit and vegetables, and decided to come back again.
In the evening, we walked to a Korean restaurant we know from previous visits. The Korean owners recognized my parents and we were greeted with many friendly smiles and warm handshakes. The food was wonderful and we had a lovely meal despite the reduced portion and inflated prices.
The airport shuttle arrived at our front door at 9.45am this morning. That marks the beginning of our trip to Sabah. Now, there will be two flights, one long transit, and one taxi ride to reach our destination.
Let the journey begins!
Today I paid the bills, tidied up the house, organised some things and started packing for my trip back to Sabah two days from now.
This afternoon, D and I plus both our parents went to Westvleteren to drink some great beers. After that, we proceeded to Ieper to witness the Last Post. Despite the fact that this was not my first time experiencing the daily tribute, and that World War One is not really history closely linked to me… a deep sadness did sink in when the trumpets sounded.
Today, I need to pick up my parents from Brussels to come stay with me. D and I decided not to stress it, so we took the train like we did yesterday. The only thing we did differently was to drive and park our car at the train station. Off to Brussels we went in this bizarre tropical heat in May!
D and I took the train to Brussels this morning to meet up with my visiting family. We were planning to buy a rail pass which will give us 10 rides for €77. The man at the ticketing counter offered us a better option by giving us weekend fares on our two return tickets. I love trains, and I love Belgium. D said it is easy for me to proclaim that because I do not need to commute heavily by train…