Antwerp

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Cool Man

Return To Africa

It's been almost a year since I've last been to Africa, so high time to get back before I get detox symptoms. And I desperately need some sun and heat, this grey winter weather and the cold and the rain is really getting on my nerves.

Although we did enjoy the first few pre-spring days this week. Last week we took the boys to the Zoo (just for a visit, we took them back home) and although the sun was out, it was still a winter sun. But it was very nice, although I almost managed to leave my backpack behind, WITH the video camera, when Wolf slipped and hurt his mouth.

Today we had a really nice sunny day, at times it got really warm. Not Africa warm of course, but spring is definitely coming. We made a nice walk through Antwerp, just strolling without the need to run from one store to the other. People enjoyed the first warm weather in a typical Belgian way: they 'did a terrace' and had a drink outside in the sun. Wolf gobbled down a giant ice-cream; it took me half an hour to get most of the chocolate from his face and then he still looked like he'd put his face into a bucket of mud. We went to look at the ships sailing on the river Scheldt, but we only saw one. And then it was time to head back home.

Tomorrow Mrs.B and the kids will bring me to the airport, Wolf is looking forward to see all the aircraft. Mrs.B on the other hand is looking forward to a breakfast with American pancakes at the restaurant at the very beginning of the check-in lines. And I am not looking forward to saying goodbye to my little guys, because I know I will miss them terribly in the next two weeks.

Damn Muggles

Seen on a garage door in Antwerp today:

Witches' parking only

All others will be toad

 

Damn you, J.K. Rowling

Belgium's Biggest New Year's Reception

Every year in January, the city of Antwerp invites its citizens – and any tourists that happen to pass by – to a giant, public New Year's celebration on the main market square. When we still lived in our apartment in the city centre, literally a stone's throw away, we never missed it. There are free drinks for everyone – hot chocolate, soup or glühwein (hot wine) – and everyone gets a small present. And there were even free fries for everyone (with ketchup or mayonnaise)! At least if you were willing to stand in line for half an hour. We queued up twice.

Belgicum

I joined a group of bloggers/photo-enthusiasts yesterday to visit a photo exhibition by Stephan Vanfleteren. 'Yes', you say, 'isn't that the famous photographer with his pictures of the dark, grimy, smelly, impoverished underside of Belgium?' And you're totally correct, dear readers. It's such a pleasure to know that my readership is entirely composed of the upper strata of intellectuals all around the globe.

Shopping window

Shopping window

City lights

City lights

Graffiti

Graffiti
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