Human Nature, Jibber Jabber, Travels

17 Years Ago…

Today, 17 years ago, was the horrible day that devastated and changed many lives. Let us never forget.

A few months earlier, 17 years ago, I met a friendly New Yorker on the plane to Sabah. J was touring Malaysia and I was going home after acquiring my student visa to the US. We remained friends all these years.

July, 17 years ago, I left my home town for the fourth time in my life. I went back to college in Kalamazoo to acquire a diploma in graphic design. In doing so, I have readjusted and redirected my life path once again.

To me, 2001 will never be only that one terrible day which poison has scattered fear and discord into our hearts. We just have to realize and admit that there were many good days when positive and wondrous things have simply occurred. Such is life…

Jibber Jabber

Eight Euro Short

This Friday afternoon, D and I went to Kortrijk to check out a 3-day side-walk sales. As usual, I am the least interested half when it comes to buying non-food items. My head started to spin after half an hour of clothing stores.

Fortunately, we proceeded to the next thing on our afternoon agenda without much delay. D and I dropped by our go-to Asian market so that I may purchase a few items I need. On our way home, we stopped by the local grocery store to take advantage of certain coupons and promotions. My shopping cart balance was €8 short of getting a discount. Damn, sometimes you just cannot have it all.

After I have put away the grocery, D and I biked to the Lokaal. We bought a loaf of bread for tomorrow and some meat for next week. Even though we were tempted to order snacks, D and I managed to convince each other to just have one drink each. We then biked back home to prepare a late dinner. Money saved.

Belgium, Jibber Jabber

Coffee Time

This Sunday afternoon, we had a family of five over for coffee time. D has known H since the early 90s, and I have known and met H and his family on several occasions for years now. There is no better time than the present to re-connect and to get to know each other a bit better.

Quirky H and his lovely wife have very well-mannered children. We had two medium sized cakes, many cups of coffee, countless glasses of fruit juice and some shiitake chips. After a while, someone jokingly made a remark that the gathering felt a bit like a visit to some West Flemish grandparents. We chatted, laughed and ate some more when I fried up some of my home-made dumplings and spring rolls.

At the end of the day, D was laughingly accusing me of gorging our visitors with food. How I adore people, particularly children, who have healthy appetites and appreciation for unfamiliar food.

I think I can easily be that nutty grandmother who feeds the grandchildren like pigs and spoils them rotten…

Jibber Jabber, Simplify

New Pyjamas

Since there will be no more unbearable warm nights, D and I dismantled, cleaned, and folded up the tent. It is now stored away in our attic ready for the next heat waves.

After that, I went on to clean the windows which I have purposely neglected for two whole months! While I was busy with my chores, D proceeded to replace the hand grips on my bike. The old grips have been melting away during the extremely warm summer days and staining my hands black every time I go for a bike ride.

In the afternoon, D and I rode our bikes to a nearby clothing store to check out the twice yearly inventory sales. When we biked back home, D was carrying our stuff in a huge shopping bag. In it were his three sets of pyjamas!

What a productive Thursday this has turned out to be.

Jibber Jabber

Sleeping In The Tent

Knowing that the temperature will fall drastically this coming weekend, I have decided to sleep one more time in the tent last night. After a bit of reading, I had no issues falling asleep and waking up all refreshed at 7.30am this morning.

Now that I am looking at the weather forecast, specifically night time temperatures, I am seeing an opportunity of squeezing in one last time of sleeping in the tent. After that, I shall be fine having it taken down, all the beddings stored away nicely till next summer. We shall see…

Jibber Jabber, Simplify

Grass Comeback

After two nights of heavy rain within a week’s period, the grass are making an unbelievable comeback. Our lawn is recovering slowly but surely. So are our neighbours’ lawns as well. We can see more green than beige now.

Later, D and I will bike to the Lokaal farmer’s market in this lovely weather. We will meet up with D’s mom, drink, chat and purchase a few fresh ingredients for tonight’s dinner. After having just been to a beer festival two days ago, I will be drinking a juice and shall take advantage of the free tap water at the bar.

Belgium, Jibber Jabber

Storm Or Slumber?

The tent which D set up for me has stayed up in the backyard for two weeks now. Providing me with an option of sleeping outdoors if the bedroom becomes unbearably warm during the two heat waves. I slept in it again last night. In exchange to the hard ground and the outside noises, I get to enjoy a mosquito-less and comfortably cooling slumber.

As today’s temperature is predicted to reach a record 37°C, I am seriously considering another night in the tent. That is, if I dare to brave an early morning storm. Stormy tent or stuffy bedroom? Damn dilemma…

Belgium, Food & Drinks, Jibber Jabber

Adapt Or Die

This morning, I ate a self-made tomato shallot chutney for breakfast. The jammy tomato concoction which I spread generously on pieces of bread is utterly yummy. I had to stop myself from finishing the whole jar at one sitting. Fortunately, I do not have any cheese at home!

As a result of yesterday’s cooling wind, today’s temperature hovered around the comfortable mid-20s. Enjoy it while it last, people. Tomorrow we are going to hit the 30s again.

My latest batch of sun-dried tomatoes are stored in jars marked as ‘heat-wave tomatoes’. Since I only have one fresh tomato in the fruit basket, I shall think of another menu-experiment-project for the following days.

Adapt or die, baby…

Belgium, Human Nature, Jibber Jabber

A Warm Wednesday

Today started out as a typical Wednesday. In the morning, I checked my weight with the Wii board. When D got up from bed, I did some quick dusting and wiping around the house.

At lunch time, we cycled to D’s parents to enjoy a barbecued fish together. The few hours of eating, chatting and making the best of the warm dry weather went past swiftly. We even helped removed a well-rooted garden plant before our departure! From the parents’ home, D and I proceeded to De Gavers to see if we can buy a pot of local honey. Unfortunately, we were told that the bee-keeper has been sickly, thus this year’s honey production will be rather doubtful. Not wanting to drink at the café, we continued on biking about the cool green surroundings of the lake before heading home.

In the late afternoon, we joined some neighbours at the speelstraat (play street) pop-up bar. The time flew by, dinner time came and went and I almost forgot to call mom for our Wednesday chat. I left the gathering hastily, ate some sandwiches and then called to provide mom a listening ear. What a day this has turned out to be…

Jibber Jabber

Backyard Camping

The nights are going to be hot hot hot this week. So, D set up an old tent in the backyard for me. First reason in wanting to do this is because I have never ever camped in my life. Camping is simply not in my culture, my lifestyle up till now, nor was there ever a need or opportunity. Secondly, the backyard might be more refreshing than the warm and stuffy bedroom, thus allowing for better sleep. I will know as soon as I try it, this evening…