Wednesday, February 28, 2007

One night to be confused, one night to speed up truth

Just when I decide to write about the weekend - I realise that it is already half way through the week... why does time just continue to fall into a continuüm where I feel like I'm constantly behind? Don't worry - it isn't one of those complaining type messages... just a touch on philosophy while I get on with it...

We started out the weekend with cooking a dinner for Annemie and Hans (since we have eaten enough of their food in the past...) - thanks once again Kelly for your recipe for squidgy chocolate cake - we can never keep it more than 24 hours! Soooo absolutely delicious! So, I had a good cooking effort, followed by a shocking clean-up - but all was worth it. Am getting into the board-game atmosphere too...(instead of the good ol' days of going for a good boogie)!

Saturday took us to Michael and Annelies' - my Australian comrad here (one of the only countries we haven't taken over in droves...) who is now returning with his fiancée to Melbourne. So we went to see them before they head off - I really hope to see you both again once we finally head back! Then Tom will have a Belgian comrad (something I think he missed a little in oz).

Then, Sunday took us on 'baby-bezoek' (baby visit) to Stef and Koen (and Willemtje of course!) - so while Tom nursed Willem for most of the morning, I was able to inform Stef on all gossip, and everything went harmoniusly (for once...). Poor Gust was suffering though... on those fast roads, with a split in the muffler, everyone in Belgium could hear us coming! Nevertheless, we reached our destination, without too much smoke.

Yesterday, I visited another colleague who had just given birth (baby named Mette - quite nice and unique...) - so counting Annemie, that is 3 colleagues with babies (even if one is still incubating). If I count Kelly Chan, that is 4... Something is definitely in this european water - good thing I drink wine instead eh?!

PS Gust has officially left our lives - we expect to hold a ceremony for him once the insurance money comes through. So - goodbye lovely old man. Pretty soon though, Gust twee comes into our lives... stay tuned!

PPS - just a link below for what has happened on this side of the world today...
  • Belgian News of the Day (English)

  • Belgisch Nieuws van the Dag (Nederlands)
  • Sunday, February 25, 2007

    Het lijkt op een huis met een dak erop...

    Just a sweet line from the the latest cutey song of the week here... I will try to write it - if you are interested, I will translate it below...

    Mama kijk eens hier in de W Ceeeeee,
    Kijk, ik heb gepoeped er zijn er twee,
    Het lijkt op een huis met een dak erop
    Ja, dat is mooi, trek je broek maar op.

  • Link to the Cute Song

  • If you click on the link, then in the right window, click on the link "trek je broek maar...) the song will start... Now for the translation:

    Mummy come and look here in the toilet,
    Look I have done a poo, and there are two,
    It looks like a house with a roof on top,
    Yes, that is nice, now pull your pants up.

    Perhaps I am a little bit of a kiddy, but I just think the style of music is quite schlager-esque, and quite Belgian/Hollandish/German!

    Sunday, February 18, 2007

    Happy Carnival, Birthday, Chinese New Year, and Brazililan Street Parade

    Firstly for my beautiful little sister,
    Happy birthday to you
    You live in a zoo,
    you look like a monkey
    and you smell like one too.

    Love you Emme - hope you had a beautiful 24th birthday, and that you find a place to live soon. For those of you who don't know, Em has just arrived home after a 6 week trek through south east asia (with her dux uni colleage, Lisa - the incredibly tall girl in the photo) and is back just in time to start full time work (after many a long year at uni) in west-end. But, they have nowhere to live (at this moment), and the prices to rent are apparently disgustingly high. But - em, glad you wrote yourself off - nice to see you haven't lost your touch!

    But the 18th of February seemed to have a special meaning in all continents today: Most importantly, in Belgium - Carnival (a bit like the Rocky show, with the same sort of crowd...). Because carnival is held in the home town of Tom's mother, I always feel obliged to go, but ended up going for a walk in the big park of Antwerp instead. So.... next year, maybe I will take a visit to Aalst to see everyone with, and without teeth, and men dressed as women (de vuile janetten - literally translated as the dirty poofs). We also noticed that huge festivals in Rio De Janiero, Naples, and Germany. But, I think the biggest of all, was of course the Chinese New Year. So, now that you are 24, Emme, you also share your Chinese horoscope with this year: The Pig - I just felt that it was necessary to share that you have the symbol of the pig, while I have the symbol of the cute monkey! Nice sister that I am!

    I hope this 18th of February was a nice one for all out there. We have just finished the most wonderful, relaxing weekend - no stress from uni now that we have both flown through with shining colours. Dunno when the next weekend like this one will occur!

    Tuesday, February 13, 2007

    Show me that smile again

    Firstly, any of you who enjoy a good, intelligent read, click on my link to 'Wake-up man' in my side-bar. Nick, if you are reading this - I think you write superbly, and I do enjoy a good little debate now and then! I just wish I had the knowledge and spirit to allow myself to see both sides of any good argument clearly.

    Here I am on a Tuesday evening (whilst Tom is at uni) awaiting my university results, and I thought I should mention the topics we covered in Nederlands Niveau 4: AIDS campagnes (without focussing on the sick, rather on the healthy individuals who struggle to remain integrated in society), Jails being overfull (globally), the passing rate of allochtone students (people a language other than Netherlands as their primary language) and last but definitely not least: 'Geluk' (or happiness for the english speakers).

    Perhaps I am in denial, but lately I thoroughly enjoy reading about happiness. As corny as it sounds, not to mention idealistic I do believe happiness is truly the most wonderful way to feel. This doesn't mean that one doesn't see the 'bad' in the world, or that one has everything one desires, but it does mean that one is able to enjoy why they are here, and see the good in what is around them. You probably notice that I am not writing in the first person - this is clearly due to me not having achieved this yet... nor will I probably ever achieve it. I still see the ugliness in the women in the area I live in who drive monsterous 4x4s (yes, they exist everywhere) while their husbands drive the largest Lexus's while they all drive their children the 1,5km to their fancy tennis clubs and burn every light possible in their colossal mansions. While these people are definitely in the minority, I still wish I could see the good in them rather than the rage I feel for their blatant disregard to what goes on around them.

    Now, onto another subject we covered at uni: the environment (an ongoing issue...). Since I have recently read Nick's blog, I have no need to reiterate what he has already covered, but I did find it ironic that my entire Nederlands exam consistered of articles (from both Dutch and Belgian newspapers and journals) eerilly similar to his 'debate'. I really did enjoy the aricle on my dutch exam which concluded that 'Global Warming is not Unique' (for those of you who can understand dutch: I am actually glad to have finally read something along these liness (despite being in an exam room, and reading in another language...) because since it has come out, it is amazing to see how people react to this claim. It's almost as though they don't need to feel guilty for not doing as much as they can! Personally, I don't care if many more articles come out with the same subject content... why don't we do our best for the environment, regardless? This brings me back to happiness - I certainally feel a great deal happier with myself for helping something - whether it be the earth, a beggar, or even letting in that crazy bitch-mum in her 4x4 when she is trying to turn into a busy street. But I still have a hell of a long way to go.

    Sunday, February 11, 2007

    Yes, more snow

    I know there have already been some photos of snow on the blog, but this is the most I have seen here in Belgium since I arrived 2,5 years ago. We had enough beautiful white powder to even allow the local children to drag their parents' old sleighs out of the their attics and drag eachother down the street! I was just happy to be home on 'study-leave' so I could lay in my bed and marvel at a form of weather which I am afraid will no longer exist when my children are my age (well at least in this part of the world).

    News this week... a very dear friend of mine (Kelly Chan) gave birth to a healthy little boy - Kaemon - on Monday. So I look forward to taking the trip back up to Nijmegen in the very near future and visiting their new little bundle! I have seen so many photos already, and believe that if only this feeling of pure elation and ecstasy could be extended and felt by everyone, then there really would be less reason for anger, jealousy, bitterness and pure hatred. How I read this from baby photos, I don't know...

    And, I have finally finshished my advanced Netherlands course at university... still awaiting results though. But overall am pretty chuffed that I have a second language - almost fluently (there is ALWAYS room for a great deal of improvement!).

    No particularly entertaining stories this week! Until next time, my loyal readers xxx

    Saturday, February 03, 2007


    Yay - one semester down, 9 to go! So, we all decided to go for dinner and a drinky in Brussels on Wednesday night! What a lovely evening!

    Tom, Louis, Stephanie, Tom and Mieke all go to uni together, and us girlfriends came along to celebrate with them... so after a few beers, we were all great mates. I ended up spending a lot of time chatting to Louis' girlfriend, Daphne with only one slight problem - no language in common! She is a native French speaker, so we struck up a deal that she would speak french to me and I would speak englsh to her (to help eachother learn) - problem was that her english was far better than my french, and we ended up speaking a mix of both language (wih a touch of Dutch)! There is ALWAYS a way to communicate with someone!

    Thanks heaps to Louis (pronounced in that saucey French way - also the same way as Donald Ducks' Nephew...) for the great photos. I think Tom has met someone at uni who will definitely keep him on his toes!