On a recent Friday, after my only class, I headed over to the campus community garden, where I got the bottom of my shoes muddy as well as one of my hands, while mostly just conversing with the dozen or so other gardeners. After a break for lunch, I attended a gathering at the First Peoples House, which was full of dancing, singing and feasting. Later on I had plans to meet some friends at the campus movie theatre to see La grande bellezza (The Great Beauty), but as they arrived early, and there was left over food being offered to all people, my friends joined me for some salmon and rice. As we walked across campus to the movie theatre, my one friend and I vowed not to waste any food at all, so we stuffed our mouths one handful at a time with fish and rice. I am hoping we did not make too much of a mess; it was ridiculous! Continue Reading
Back at the end of May 2013, I was driving up the hill to go and visit my grandma. As I approached her place, I made eye contact with a pretty girl who was walking a dog on the side of the road. After I drove past her, I looked back and she was looking at me! It was a sunny day, the kind of day one might find love, and I thought to myself, “I love this stuff!” I parked my car and got out, wishing that I could go and talk to her, but by now she was too far away and I was expected by my grandma. Still, it was worth a shot! I ran over to the road, but she was too far down to catch up to or call out to, so I did what any caveman would do on impulse to attract a mate; I picked up a large chunk of asphalt and threw it down the road. It did not go nearly far enough to attract her attention, but it did land near a lady working in the garden of the Jehovah’s Witnesses Kingdom Hall, who looked up and scowled at me! I took one fleeting look down the road and scurried back towards my grandma’s, never to see my “asphalt girl” again! Continue Reading
While in Belgium, my goal of reaching 200 different Belgian beers tasted was becoming a reality. After a fast start though, my new intake slowed down, as I was caught up in the predictable pattern of reunions with friends and host families, often at their own place, on their own time, or on their own coin. This severely reduced my opportunities to try new beer, and though it is not something I begrudge them of in the slightest, it just meant that in the land of close to a thousand beer, I was running into a surprising challenge to try at least 16 new to me in about a week. I did however drink lots of old favourites when the opportunity presented itself, and that in itself was of course enjoyable.
On the day I was to leave, I headed to the train station, bound for Amsterdam, sitting on 197 career different Belgian beers. As I rode the train through Ghent, I decided that whatever the time delay, I would accomplish the milestone in Belgium, right now, at 12:30pm! Getting off at the last station in Ghent, Dampoort, I raced into town to begin my final adventure in Belgium of the trip.