On Wednesday it happened. The last straw was placed on the delicate little camel’s back and my toes crept right up to the very end of the ledge of sanity. I was washing my hands in one of the women’s restrooms in my faculty building and as I rinsed away the soap bubbles a girl exited a bathroom stall and came up to the sink.Read More
I regularly take the tram to and from the city center of Ghent and I’ve found that there is a pattern involving the occurrence of unusual events and my presence on the tram. The other day I was just on my way home after a long day of classes at Ghent University and I was allowing my brain a few moments of relaxation while I enjoyed the warmth of the tram car, watching people going about their day on the other side of the glass. We went slowly past the Kouter and that was when I saw something unusual.Read More
There are many things about Belgium that I don’t always get, but I really do not get the obsession that Belgians seem to have with The Simpsons. In fact, I don’t understand why anyone would be obsessed with that show, but I can understand it even less when it seems to be a whole nation that is captivated by it. So many times during my lectures this semester a professor has made a reference to The Simpsons. Just yesterday, in one of my literature courses, a professor shared a clip of one of the episodes to elaborate on Edgar Allan Poe’s, The Raven. The lecture hall was filled with hundreds of students erupting in laughter, seemingly delighting in their common knowledge of every episode of The Simpsons that was ever produced.Read More
One of the things I reveled in when I first moved to Ghent was the often-underrated ability to blend in. I had just spent a year living and studying in Spain and often found myself an anomaly in that culture; it was always obvious to Spanish people that I was from somewhere else. It was such a relief to venture out in Ghent and mix in seamlessly with the rest of the crowd. In fact, I seem to have perfected the art of blending in so well that I’m quite often stopped on the street and asked for directions.
My idea for this post came to me a couple of weeks ago, when I was trudging around Ghent, impeded by construction on the tram route, trying to reach a rather out-of-the-way copy shop in which I could purchase a course manual. I had just come from an English literature lecture in which the Belgian girl sitting next to me asked me a question in Dutch about the lecture.Read More
Last night something came across TV that sparked a 30 minute lesson in classic Belgian music. It led to my first introduction to the Belgian artist, Jacques Brel and his music; which seems more like poetry than anything else. Perhaps some of you know him and his music, perhaps some of you don’t, but I think on a Monday we can all enjoy a little music.Read More