Belgium, Food & Drinks, Travels

Second Round Geutelingen

This afternoon, D and I went to the grocery store in Deinze to buy some geutelingen (in Dutch). We walked out with a few bottles of beers, because the store ran out of them. D, not wanting to give up, look up another place which sells them. After driving there, we came out of the second grocery store empty handed. Nope, no luck there as well.

They say third time’s the charm.

Not wanting to be running around like idiots, D decided to call the third place on his list. The butcher shop has them and will get two bags of 10 pieces stakes ready for us. Yeah!

The extra time driving about in search of these delicious East Flanders regional products was worth it.

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Jibber Jabber, Travels

February Bike Ride

The last time I rode a bike was in November. So today, when D suggested that we go out for a ride to enjoy the spring weather, I did not say no.

So there, I got the first bike ride of the year done. And most importantly, I have enjoyed it, did not break anything, and not hit anyone (there were lots of people strolling and biking) at the Gavers.

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Belgium, Health, Travels

Next In The Vaccination Line

Yesterday, there was a brief discussion as regards to the vaccination process here in Belgium. Several people (in their 40s) were suggesting that those age 18 to 24 should be given priority, before the people in their 30s to 50s.

Really?!

Students vaccinated before their teachers? Grown up children before their parents? The interns before their employers?

And to do what afterwards? Vaccination does not stop you from passing the virus to others. So, vaccinated people would still have to adhere to health measures till the damn pandemic is over. And that is still a long way off…

When we travel by plane, we are always instructed that when the oxygen masks fall down from overhead, we are to put the mask on ourselves before tending to people we have in our care. That way we do not pass out, while trying to save a beloved.

I care about the young. But I also know that the majority will not want anything bad happening to the older people that they are still relying on.

Vaccinate as quickly as humanly possible. Stop wasting time discussing and arguing about who should be next in line.

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Jibber Jabber, Malaysia, Travels

Birthplace

Covid-19 has caused severe travel restrictions, and these restrictions are even more unbearable when it comes to international travels. Crossing oceans and continents are now dreadful experiences left for the very brave, the very foolish, or desperate people who have no other options.

As things are right now, the chance is miniscule that I will be able to visit Lahad Datu, my birthplace, anytime soon in the next 12 months.

What happen to migratory animals which are unable to reach their birthplaces? What happen when a living being cannot answer that call to go home?

To those who whine and complain about the cancellations of their cross-border vacations… just suck it!

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Belgium, Travels

Light Art At Knokke-Heist

Yesterday, D and I used our December train rides to Knokke and back. There is a light art exhibition going on at Knokke-Heist. Since the exhibition is till the 3rd of January, it is now or never…

We can still take train rides, enjoy art, eat fries, and appreciate beautiful things. What a luxury!

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Flashbacks, Numbers, Travels

China Trips

I have been to China three times. All of these were business trips, where I flew off from Las Vegas to arrive at buzzling Hong Kong. The dates of these trips were 25/04/2006, 17/08/2006, and 12/04/2007 (my last year at Zappos).

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Belgium, Travels

Train To Antwerp

Today, D and I used our free train passes to go to the city of Antwerp for a brief day trip. We walked from the central station to the River Scheldt to have our packed lunch of sandwiches. The walk brought us through the shopping street where we enjoyed and photographed some interesting architectures. We also walked by the main square, the city hall, the cathedral, and some quiet (mostly closed) cafés and restaurants.

By the river, we saw people getting on the water bus and got squawked at by a very loud seagull while having lunch! After lunch, we slowly walked back to the station area, to China Town (China Street, according to D). Antwerp’s China Town has never been the lively market places I have known all my life, and now even more so because of the virus. After buying a few items from the largest Asian store there, we hopped on the 4 o’clock train to start our trip home. The return journey was a bit more busy, because schools were out and students were going home.

It was a day well spent out of the vicinity of West Flanders. I do pray that the talkative youngsters, whom we shared a train carriage with, were not carriers of anything harmful.

Now is not the time to get sick. Not when the vaccine will be available in a few months time. That would be terribly stupid and embarrassing. 😛

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Flashbacks, Numbers, Travels

Cities & Towns

The following are cities and towns I have lived in:

  • Lahad Datu, Sabah
  • Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
  • Petaling Jaya, Selangor
  • Kalamazoo, Michigan
  • San Francisco, California
  • Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Ghent, East Flanders
  • Harelbeke, West Flanders

The list above only takes into account places that I have lived in for more than half a year. The longest being Lahad Datu, which is my home town. The shortest was the one memorable year in colourful San Francisco. To have lived in a place also meant being able to communicate with the locals, do groceries, visit libraries, make medical appointments, and take care of important matters with little or no assistance.

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Belgium, Business & Creativity, Jibber Jabber, Travels

Second Home Speculation

Covid-19 has made travelling and holidaying in other countries quite an annoying and inconvenient matter. This in turn has led to a significant demand for real estates at the coastal region of Belgium. Well-to-do Belgians who face hindrances of enjoying their overseas homes, are now spending their surplus wealth in their own country.

From the perspective of local economies, this sort of purchasing trend is a good thing. It is probably an exciting and joyful time for some real estate agents, especially those dealing with coastal properties and holiday homes.

Yet, I cannot help but wonder whether this is a wise way to spend ones wealth. As an economist once said, you cannot turn bricks into bread when you are hungry. One has to remember that we are dealing with many uncertainties at the moment. Second homes, especially those near large bodies of water, are not ideal investments in the long run. We also have no idea what kind of influences and functions money will have a decade from now. Making large scale purchases, locking up ones wealth in costly assets seem like a game of pure speculation and gamble.

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Health, Travels

Not So Short Bike Ride

This afternoon, D suggested that we do a short bike ride along the river. With the spring-like weather we are currently experiencing, it would be really lovely said D. I really wanted to go to my familiar routes, which is the Gavers, but I gave in. One, I have no excuse not to. Two, I need to stop the persistent nagging.

As it turned out, our short bike ride was not that short. But heck, I got some thigh exercises out of it and saw things at places I have never been to before. We also came across our neighbours, and had a short chat with them, which was nice.

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