Business & Creativity, Flashbacks, Numbers, Travels

Fifty Two

My bank in Malaysia has a product called Golden Savers Savings Account. The advertisement goes: Embrace your later years with confidence. Created for senior citizens, retirees and early retirement. For individuals aged 50 and above only.

In Malaysia, I am in the same category as senior citizens. Well, I guess when retirement age is 55 and most of the population do not get to see their 60s, people in their 50s are considered old.

Then there is the US, where the gap between rich and poor is so drastic it is beyond words. The current taxation system tends to sabotage the economy rather than helping it. If things do not change, most working Americans today will probably not get to enjoy their social security when they retire. In this case, they are in the same boat as I. I have a build up of thousands of dollars which I probably do not have the right to receive when I reach the US retirement age of 65. Knowing this however, does not make me regret leaving and crossing the ocean…

My experiences and encounters of living in three countries in the past five decades, allow me to have very different opinions regarding education, work, life, identity, retirement, health, death and what really counts as a good life.

What makes us happy is answered by an article I read not too long ago. But that is another story. Another blog post for another time. 😉

Time to try out the moelleux.

Belgium, Events, Jibber Jabber, Simplify, Travels

Specks Of Stardust

Yesterday evening, D and I cycled to the culture centre to attend a ticketed talk by Frank Deboosere. Flanders’ favourite weatherman presented ‘De grootsheid van het heelal’ (The vastness of the universe) with enthusiasm and mind blowing numbers. Even though I am not a stranger to the topic of planets, stars, space and have watched some big budget programs presented by scientists and professors; it was something else to listen to someone standing on a podium just metres away from me. It was worth every Euro…

We are all but specks of stardust. Miniscule specks, yes. But stardust!

Belgium, Events, Food & Drinks, Travels

Oogstfeest Bokkeslot

It is oogstfeest (harvest festival) at the kids farm Bokkeslot today. At around three in the afternoon, D and I cycled there at a relaxed tempo. We took the scenic route.

The entrance was full of parked bicycles! Cars were parked several streets away. Inside the farm, there were more people than animals. Thankfully, the animals did not seem stressed and were used to noisy ‘grabby’ kids. The donkeys even came close to the fence, so that the people may pet them. Ah donkeys…

D and I visited the animals, drank beers, ate oliebollen, bought something from the store, took photos, and were laughing at how noisy the little ones can be! At golden hour, I ate a hamburger (photo below) before we cycled home.

What lovely weather on an October day. What a lovely Sunday afternoon!

Food & Drinks, Travels

October Day At De Gavers

This afternoon, D and I cycled to De Gavers to have our lunch at the lakeside. But first, we stopped by the nearby lunch place to buy our broodjes. Curiosity got the best of me and I had to try out the worstenbrood. 😛

It was lovely weather for cycling, taking photos, enjoying nature, and eating a simple lunch at the lake. And to think that two days ago, it was all gloomy and chilly…

Belgium, Travels

Scenic Route & Fair Trade

This afternoon, D decided to take the scenic route to the butcher shop Puur Vlees. The journey was longer, but it was indeed scenic. 😉

Before heading home with our meat purchase, we stopped by our city’s train station for the opening of an Oxfam store. Free drinks and munchies aside, I am glad that the fair trade store has moved closer. I do need to find out when the store’s opening hours are…

Simplify, Travels

Lunch At De Gavers

It is lovely weather to have a bike ride today. And I said that aloud while D and I were cycling away from home. 😉

We first stopped by a lunch place along the way, to buy broodjes. Then, we cycled slowly to our special bench to enjoy our lunch, while looking out towards the bird sanctuary part of De Gavers.

Belgium, Events, Travels

Campo Solar

D won tickets to Campo Solar! 🙂

So yesterday we went to Damme to experience a unique music festival set in the middle of corn fields, sunflowers, wheat fields, and wildflowers. I was thoroughly impressed by the set up and organization of this festival. And cannot be thankful enough that D picked the perfect day to go.

The following are day and night photos of the site:

Belgium, Events, Travels

Ateliers, Building Sites & Petting Zoo

Behold! A shadow photo of D and I at the building site of Flanders Make.

So many things happening this weekend… Open Wervendag as seen above. Then, Aterlier In Beeld, where artists show case their ateliers to the general public. It was also Dag van de Zorg, but D and I did not have time nor great interest for that.

D and I spent this Sunday afternoon roaming South West Flanders, visiting three building sites, three ateliers, and a petting zoo. We had guided tours, free drinks, and feeling like the world does not know of the damn virus.

Admittedly, things have started to feel normal since E3. Like many others, I needed a little bit more time adjusting and easing back into a world that is still battling a pandemic. At some point in time, we need to have a bit of faith in the effectiveness of the vaccines, get ourselves back into the normal rhythm of life, and enjoy what our days have to offer.

Belgium, Events, Food & Drinks, Travels

Mothers & Gardens

Mother’s Day 2022 felt like a pre-pandemic day.

In the afternoon, D and I went to a garden fair at Marke. We strolled about at leisure, drank beers, took some photos, and bought some local produce. Before leaving the park, D bought a potted dahlia for the mama.

We then proceeded to the parents house bearing the newly purchased gift. Since it was a weekend visit, there were drinking, chatting, ice-cream eating, and catching part of Giro d’Italia on tv.

D and I left at quarter to eight. Because D wanted to eat out and I did not feel like rush cooking a home-cook meal, we decided to try out a brasserie in town. Our neighbours love this place, and have been regulars for more than a year now. To D and I, the brasserie was just a typical place where food and service were decent. Nonetheless, it is nice to be able to add to our list, one more local eating place which is within biking distance. 😉

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.