Flu Shots

D and I had our flu shots this morning.

There has been predictions from health authorities around the world that this upcoming seasonal flu can be devastating. The reason being that people were unable to build up immunity and protection against the flu because of all the Covid-19 health measures. We shall not be taking the risk of getting terribly sick from seasonal flu 2021-2022.

Health, Numbers

Ten Thousand Steps

Ten thousand steps is approximately eight kilometres.

My go-to grocery store is nine hundred metres from home. The ATM is one kilometre away, and my favourite bakery is just a bit further than the grocery store.

I have been walking to these places on a weekly basis, trying to rake in the steps, for health sake. What I am doing is actually peanuts, because a round trip to perform one of my tasks is only two kilometres worth! Nevertheless, it is better than nothing… Sitting all day and getting fat has been done, and I definitely do not want that in my life again.

If I want to work in more steps to my walks, I will need to expand my walking perimeters. Will I have the time or motivation to do so?

Belgium, Flashbacks, Health, Numbers

In One Week

The following are what happened in the past seven days:

  • Plumber came to clean the boiler. A once every 2-year maintenance.
  • My Dolce Gusto machine broke down when I tried to make a cup of coffee for the plumber. So, I turned to the internet to troubleshoot the problem, removed faulty part, and ordered the replacement online.
  • Did my weekly bread and grocery walk.
  • Cooked up a small pot of seafood bisque, using up all the grey shrimp shells I have in the freezer.
  • Trench composting in the vegetable patch.
  • Tidied up some of the fence-side sunflowers, sprinkled the seeds on the ground. The birds went bonkers over these when I was back indoors.
  • Armistice Day, D came back from the farmer’s market with too many surprises…
  • Ate vette darmen like I am a pure-bred West Flemish dude. Damn, the smell alone can kill brain cells!
  • Made pizza.
  • The coffee machine diffuser arrived in the postbox. This went into the Dolce Gusto in a jiffy and the machine is working fine again. Yeah, I can fix things!
  • Hot dog lunch.
  • Transferred and converted MYR to USD.
  • Did more research regarding online brokers, and got a bit wiser.
  • Europe’s Covid-19 numbers are worsening. I feel sorry for the elderly and the healthcare personnel. And hope to God that this will not result in the enforcement of a lockdown.

On this drizzly Tuesday, I walked to the baker for fresh bread. Baker’s wife said that they will be closed the next two days because her grandmother had just passed away. I wish that I do not have to say innige deelneming too many times in my days here in Belgium, but I guess that is impossible and unavoidable.

After the bread, I walked to the bank and withdrew and converted some dollars to euros. I can always get larger withdrawals from this bank.

My last stop was the grocery store where I got extra points for six bottles of milk and a bag of keropok. Because of my rather heavy grocery bag, the walk back home turned into some sort of strength exercise. And it started to drizzle more along the way, but I do not mind, I am breathing…

Health, Jibber Jabber, Simplify

Do Grow Old

The sister of an ex co-worker passed away after suffering a brain haemorrhage. She was 49. No one saw it coming, because the father is hanging on a thinner thread all this time. Death of a child, a sibling, a sunshine of a person is always devastating. I cannot even begin to imagine the pain. I am truly saddened by this, as did I when my neighbour’s mother died of the same thing earlier this year. This news causes the grief that I have for the death of grandma, Catherine, Tony, my ex-classmates to resurface and darken my day.

Life is short. Declutter and simplify. Put things (and relationships) in order before it is too late. The dead can no longer do anything, but there are endless possibilities for those who are still breathing. So be brave for them, live life, cross those damn oceans, and grow old!

Health, Human Nature

Civilized Conversations

Maintaining ongoing conversations and relationships requires time and energy – from both ends. Not everyone has the ability to keep up with a civilized conversation all the time. If you have years of practice and experience in sustaining decent long term relationships, you may count your blessings.


Fifth Wave

When one looks at the grafts depicting global Covid-19 infections and daily deaths, one can clearly see an upward curve of a fifth wave. It is really unnerving to think that at this moment, there are several deadly variants brewing in some highly populated places filled with low vaccinated and very misinformed people.

A year and half into this, and we are none the wiser… 🙁

Flashbacks, Health

Over Medicated

When I was a child, I suffered from fevers, skin rashes, hives, colds, sunburns, nose bleeds and so on and so forth. Nothing really serious, but it did not stop my parents from making me take all sorts of medication and supplements. Back then, I just thought it was the normal thing to do. But if memory serves me correctly, I do not recall any of my siblings having the same childhood ailments.

I think I might have just solved a personal health mystery…

Since last Friday, I stopped taking my nightly allergy pill. Reason being that it will be rainy and grass pollen will be in low concentration during the weekend. But instead of feeling great, the days that followed had been hellish for me. I was having sneezing fits (even during sleep!), non-stop runny nose, occasional coughing, and feeling drowsy like I was still on medication. This morning, I woke up sneezing and expect to suffer the whole day, like I did the passed six days. Thankfully, the runny nose and abrupt sneezing just stopped happening after lunch.

I was having allergy reactions when there were nothing to react to! It was a sign of dependency on the antihistamine that I was ingesting. It took my body almost a week to remove this ‘attachment’ to the allergy pills.

Good grief, my entire life, I have been getting sicker from ingesting chemicals which were supposed to make me feel better?!

Belgium, Health, Numbers


I was vaccinated exactly two weeks ago. By now, my body should have built up the necessary amount of Covid-19 antibodies. The vaccine side effects had been mild and tolerable. I cannot say the same about my seasonal grass pollen allergy…

Aside from the sense of relief, I am also glad that I have taken the needed steps to not get infected. I would have been extremely unhappy if I have to deal with losing my sense of smell and taste. And I definitely cannot afford to have brain fogs or any neurological issues.

Vaccinated or not, we still have to be cautious and not let our guards down completely. The virus is still circulating among us, and there is the very real threat of the Delta variant. Masks, hygiene and social distancing will still be the norms we all have to adhere to for a while.


Side Effects

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) listed the following as possible side effects of Covid-19 vaccination:

In the arm where you got the shot:

  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Swelling

Throughout the rest of your body:

  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Nausea

I only suffered pain in the arm where I got my shot. No redness nor swelling. 48 hours later, I only feel a bit of tenderness at the injection area.

The night after the injection, I had chills and felt feverish in my sleep. General tiredness and muscle pain in the first 24 hours. I am thankful I do not have any headaches nor nausea. I do experience some sort of dizziness and tend to be rather thirsty these past two days.

I would classify my side effects as very mild. Getting them is actually a good thing because it means that my body is fighting and building up the necessary antibodies.

Belgium, Events, Health


D and I left the house at eleven twenty this morning. And I was out of the vaccination centre at ten past noon. The whole process was quick, detailed, systematic and efficient.

When being ushered from one segment to the next, I do feel like I was going for the slaughter. However, that thought dissipated immediately when I think of the protection and freedom I am going to get in exchange for a single jab. 🙂

Now that is done, my objective for the next two weeks is to build up enough antibody against Covid-19. Yeah to that!