An Australian-Belgian Gentleman in Belgium (but really in Australia)

The last post I submitted to this website is now a good year and four months old.

In that time some pretty big things have happened:

  1. I became Belgian. I’ve been meaning to blog about that process since the day it happened (January 27th, 2014) but for the following two points never did.
  2. I went on a working holiday back to Australia. I’d been thinking about doing this since about the time I started the Ghentleman blog, but always put it off for work reasons. I’d been coming back to Australia every eighteen months or so, but only ever for a fortnight at a time. 2014 has been more or less entirely spent in Australia, visiting deserts, oceans, mountains – and many many libraries from where I’ve been working.
  3. Running a business from abroad. One of the biggest concerns about the trip to Australia was just how well (or at all) I’d be able to perform my consulting duties for my clients back in Europe. Turns out it wasn’t nearly as hard as I suspected. With little more than email and the occasional Skype phone call, I’ve been working nearly as much as I used to back in Belgium and really enjoyed the ‘night shift’ that comes about by working through an Australian day whilst Belgium is sleeping.Further, there’s something really special about plugging into some work in the middle of a public library in the middle of Australia that gets you motivated to pump out some quality work.

As a result of the above three points I’ve all but neglected this blog. However at the same time this blog was dedicated to my “Ghent times” – not so much my “Australian times” – so perhaps it’s for the best.

My Australian times are now on their last weeks, and I should be back in the land of chocolate and beer within a few months.

I’m really looking forward to my first (of hopefully many) pintje at Het Spijker, and fundamentally miss my weekly shops at Colruyt. Such a good shop.

Waterloo

Waterloo (win the war of the playground)

I went to Waterloo (I was defeated, you won the war) yesterday, and played on a swing. It was without doubt the highlight of my week.

Other waterloo highlights were the fun times at the local supermarket, delicious Waterloo Tripel in distinguished ceramic glass, and finally ending the minutes of tension between the Flemish and Neapolitan armies.

Waterloo Tripel - really tasty!

Parents, Kenny Rogers and the last post

The past week I’ve had my parents visiting all the way from their comfortably warm home, traversing the impossibly cold wintery landscape of Belgium. We’ve been all around this fine land, from Antwerp to Galmaarden and back to Gent, though I swear my mothers highlight was watching the crappy videos I made at the Kenny Rogers concert in London last June.

What made it all the more exciting was the fact that Sir Kenny is playing in Brisbane in no less than 12 weeks. What an amazing discovery.

Today I’m taking the folks to the other other side of Belgium to see the November 11th ceremony at Ieper, the town that basically owns the Last Post. On any other day you can head down to Ieper and pay respect to the terrible days of World War 1 at 8pm, listening to the Last Post played on a bunch of buggles, but today they not only have a buggler brigade by also a bunch of important looking chaps and a million other folk looking very solemn holding wreaths.

In any case, my mother will likely sing the Gambler throughout the procession.

Recap

I haven’t posted in nearly a month, so here’s the recap of a month of Work and/or Play.:

  • 2 x trip to Genova
    Work: Teaching chumps how to not-chump
  • 1 x Kenny Rogers Concert
    Play: So so sooo good. He taught us how to not-chump!
  • 1 x half week chillin with Chritch in NYC
    Play: Three days of drinking, eating, and drop jaw stares as simple school buses. They’re just like the movies!
  • 1 x half week of LA
    Work: Presented some shiz to Nestle USA, they seemed delighted. They also have televisions on every floor showing the world cup! Thoroughly recommend a job with Nestle USA. Coffee wasn’t even bad.
  • 1 x Bon Jovi @ O2 Arena
    Play: TERRIBLE SHIT. So bad I even nearly deleted the Ironic Bon Jovi from my collection. Nearly.

Sum of Total: AWESOME, give or take Bon Jovi. What a chump.

€2,04 Buys you this much Ghent crap

This afternoon I went to the local Kringloopwinkel (second hand store) on a mission to buy some Ghent flavoured crap to give a mate in in Berlin, and came back with an amazing swag that cost no more than €2,04.

I couldn’t believe my luck when I discovered that €0,50 can buy a picture of a gypsie stamping a train track. Not entirely Ghentish, but definitely worth the export to Deutschland!

The Ghent Swag
Official Ghent City Hall trophy! Hot crap! Money can't normally buy these! Or can it!
Framed Indiana Jones! 50 cents!
Gympsie stomps on train tracks! Incredible!
Official 1988 Gent Boating Thing! Yes! Official!