Belgium, Health

Geen Gaatjes

Yesterday, I managed to schedule a dental appointment for this afternoon. There must have been a last minute cancellation, because this particular dentist is usually fully booked for months!

My last dental appointment was in the pre-Covid-19 days of November 2019. Damn, that seems like ages ago.

Despite the wait, the rather rough plaque removal procedure, and all the bothersome Covid-19 prevention measures, I was told by my dentist that I do not have any cavities and may walk out the office without paying a single cent.

Thank you social health care.


Arginine & Lysine

Grapes contain high level of arginine and lysine. These are amino acids which can trigger cold sores flare-ups. Therefore, consuming large quantity of grapes or grape juice is not a good thing for people who are prone to this ailment. Just as with most things in life; moderation is key.


Waning Off

After almost 48 hours, the side effects of my booster shot has been gradually waning off. My side effects were tenderness at the injection spot, mild overall muscle aches, and a light head ache.

Belgium, Health, Simplify, Travels

Train & Booster

My booster shot was scheduled at 12.10pm on 21/12/2021. Notice the zeros, ones and twos?! 😉

To get to my designated vaccination centre in Kortrijk, I took the train! How can I refuse and ignore the offer of a free train ticket? An offer made by NMBS to those who need to travel by train to their vaccination centres. I love train rides, I do not love it less because mine was only five minutes. The one kilometre walk from station to Budafabriek was pleasant and effortless.

Vaccination went smoothly and I was out of there in a jiffy. After a nice long stroll in the city of Kortrijk, and a short wait at the station, I was heading back home on my free 5-minute train ride. My mini adventure did not cost me a single cent and it was wonderful.


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… 🙁