Events, Flashbacks

Garage Sales

Today, our neighbourhood is having our first ever garage sales. Because D and I do not have much to sell, we have asked his mother if she is interested. Currently, our side-walk is filled with the stuff from D’s sister and her family.

My first ever garage sales experience was in 1994. How fun it was visiting neighbourhoods which were having their annual spring cleaning garage sales, going through the mountain of stuff, and chatting to people who were just as interested in us international students as we were over them. Back in those days, almost every Asian you meet in Kalamazoo have something to do with the university. 🙂

In our first outing, my cousin bought a $50 television which we could hardly fit into the car. I do think that the joy and laughter we derived from that old thing made up for the monetary cost and transportation.

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Events, Jibber Jabber

Play Street

It is that time of the year again. Summer holidays. Schools out. Parents have to think of ways to occupied their little ones.

This afternoon, our street is blocked for the speelstraat. Right now, several of the neighbourhood children are actively running about, cycling, playing with each other, and screaming their cute little heads off!

D and I do not mind the racket that much, we slept through Gentse Feesten for goodness sake. Happy children who play well together make for a lively and healthy neighbourhood. Maybe we will join the parents for a drink later in the day. No kids of our own, no responsibilities, no pressure…

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Belgium, Events, Flashbacks, Jibber Jabber

Burgers & Beers

D, his mother and I went to a nocturnal shopping event at a garden centre yesterday evening. The parking was packed. There was a line going in. And a line coming back out.

At the check out counter, the cashier gave us coupons for a burger and beer each. As we sat there enjoying our free burgers and beers, and listening to live accordion music, we realised that it was more than a year ago that we attended such an activity. My record shows that our last normal activity was the lunch we three had at the hospital cafeteria on the 10th of March, 2020! Talk about pre-corona era…

Nonetheless, I do believe that we have adjusted our lives effectively to the crisis all this time. Shortly after the first lockdown, D and I have enjoyed drinks, amongst other people, at the Lokaal. We have also participated in simple careful activities with the neighbours last summer. Despite the restrictions and health measures imposed upon us in the past year and a half, D and I did adapt and still get to do our usual activities in reduced mode. We carried on with grocery shopping and errand runs as normal as possible. We even enjoyed the occasional city trips and train rides. Most importantly, we have survived this without getting sick. Amen to that. 🙂

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Belgium, Events, Health

Vaccinated

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!

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Belgium, Events

Golden Anniversary

This afternoon, D and I plus the sister-in-law attended an official ceremony recognizing the parents’ 50 years marriage. Even though the event was held outdoors (one of the health measures), the mayor (yep, the man himself) managed to talk and chat with us for an entire hour.

Aside from the official ceremony, my parents-in-law also got several gifts from the city. What a lovely gesture, to reward and recognise couples who have gone through life together for decades. To appreciate these long standing relationships that serve as the foundation of a stable society.

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Events, Simplify

Earth Day 2021

I have no recollection of last year’s Earth Day because of the damn pandemic. It was the 50th anniversary and big celebrations were planned, but cancelled.

There were no celebrations, big marches, nor bold declarations because most of us were too busy scrambling about dealing with Covid-19. On the other hand, people have travelled less by car or by air in the past year. We were made more aware of the preciousness of what little forests and greeneries that we still have. Maybe that is some sort of consolation…

I have sowed sunflower seeds along our wooden fence. That shall be my contribution to this year’s Earth Day.

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Belgium, Events, Flashbacks

Easter 2021

Last year, I did not make any mention of Easter because there were no celebrations. Belgium, as were most European nations, were in our first lockdowns. Covid-19 was at its most dangerous and deadly stage because of the many unknowns.

This year, we have learned more about the virus and most people know how to protect themselves better.

So, Happy Easter to those who are observing this day. Let us hope this is a turning point for the better, and not for the worse.

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Belgium, Events, Flashbacks

Lockdown Anniversary

Today, a year ago, Belgium went into its first lockdown.

Today, I ponder on what I have done and is still doing in order to overcome this crisis.

Today, I say a quick prayer for the 2.6 million souls we have lost to Covid-19 so far.

And it is not over yet…

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Events, Food & Drinks

Valentine’s

D and I never give much thought about Valentine’s Day. In fact, I for one think it is quite silly, and probably a marketing scam thought out by businesses which sell roses, chocolate or whatever mumbo jumbo items that are supposedly romantic… 😛

That said. We are currently living in an unusual period. And because special times call for special measures, our meal this evening will be a little bit special.

As starters, D shall have grey shrimp croquette and I shall have cheese croquette. Main course will be grilled beef steaks from New Zealand, served with thick fries and a side of fresh greens (tuinkers). Dessert shall be chocolate mousse which I made this morning. D will drink beer and I might think of a fun little mock-tail.

Nothing wrong in self-pampering and celebrating love. It also serves as a reminder that we are still doing alright. Things are still good. Chocolate mousse good.

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