22 October, 2007

Autumn starts

7,76km. It was sunny and perfect. I made a walk through the fields and small roads. I think that the autumn starts... There were galopping horses passing me by with teenegaers on top, dressed in elegant white trousers and green blouses, their parents in a long carriage behind; there were few men hunting at the egde of the forest, with faithfull dogs bringing the "poultry" that was shot; and there were beautiful golden leaves falling down and sparkling in the sunshine... Just wonderfull.

I enjoyed my walk and didn't even notice that it was so long. I took unexpectedly the unkown roads and paths, some of them very romantic with willow trees growing along the side as a natural border between the dusty field roads and the green juicy meadows behind. Living here so long doesn't give me much choice of liking or disliking the land. After so many years you start noticing the good sides of life here, you start discovering the beautifull nature and the wonders of, not much but still, a different world.

19 October, 2007

Flemish TV

It was late last night. And it's all because of the tv. There are too many good programs on flemish tv. I watched first "Rare Streken" a very well made nature program about two young european otters (it's the same word in flemish: een otter), growing up on their own, after their mother had been hit by a car and never came back to the nest again (oooo.... ;( ), learning hunting and defending themselves and finding their way in the nature.

Especially Canvas (the former TV2, the flemish national channel) is good, showing a lot of art, nature and science. Few of my favourite programs are "Over leven", "Rare streken", "Panorama", many good historical docummentaries and the new one "The Power of Art".

However the TV1, called "één" right now, which means "one", can also make me stick to the tv set for the whole evening with the immortal "Allo, Allo", "Keeping up Appearances" and, of course, "Fawlty Towers" which gets better and better every time they repeat it. I love the flemish tv for the simple fact that they dare to show/reapeat the best programs (showing 20years old american bad movies does not happen here). It never gets boring. Thar rae either new good flemish programs or the best classic ones.

The typical flemish shows are certainly "Thuis" (Home), an everyday serie about the life of few flemish families (the idea can be compared with the British "Eastenders", the Australian "Neighbours" or the Polish "M jak Milosc") but quit good, well written and with some excellent flemish actors. You might get addicted. Just like me. Every weekday at 8pm. The absolutely best ever are "In de Gloria" (very funny stituation sketches), "Het Geslacht De Pauw" (incredibly unbelievable and funny!!)... and maybe also the serie called "Life as it is" ("Het Leven zoals het is"). Ther are many good shows.

The quality of the chosen/made shows is very high. And I noticed that I don't even need the satelite tv with hundreds of channels about nothing and repeating this nothing.

The other channels like VTM, Kanaal2, VT4, I don't watch that much. It's a different kind of TV-entertainment. However I can find sometimes useful hints and ideas on Vitaya or Vijf tv, the lifestyle channels for women about clothing, style, interior design and all kinds of makeovers.

I don't watch Waloon Tv simply because I understand maybe only 1/3 of it. It's in French.

18 October, 2007

Beautiful day

Well, or not well, the life is going to get 30% more expansive (the gas and electricity prices will also go up during the next months), there's still no government in Belgium after 130 days, app. the 3000 Polish got a legal job in Belgium on the last Job Fairs, the district road in front of our house is being remade and the traffic jams are gigantic as it's a main road to Brussels, on top of that Al Gore got a Nobel Price (despite this BBC documentary film "The Great Global Warming Swindle" ?), my dad is getting 60 (!!!) next month (which makes me how old...?! :-O) and there are so many childern dying of hunger every day..., but today couldn't start any more beautiful:: with a rainbow...

17 October, 2007

the usual belgian

Today is going to be a long, cold and very rainy day. However this morning I thought "oh! rain, at last! that's how I know it here!!" which sounded like I've become a Belgian... WHAT?!?!?!!!! No way, it's just another good excuse not to go out and stay at home and create :))

14 October, 2007

Holywood, Disneyland and the Pirates of the Carribean

Sunday was a Day of Architecture, in Belgium. You could visit many unusual buildings. Many interesting buildings were open for public. There were some organised walks with a guide but also an architecture flight by a heli. We were in Gent but unfortunately had no idea about aal that. Pitty because I love architecture, especially the modern one. It can be very unusual and inventive.

We went to Gent because it was a great weather, fantastic warm and sunny weekend.It doesn't happen so often here so you take adventage, as many other people. But I guess I wrote about it already, that was about the bicycles. Well today it was in the city. We decided to go to S.M.A.K., the museum of modern art in Gent. Remember:: don't go to a museum on sunday afternoon. Many people, many cars around the building and even more kids in the building and noise, noise, noise... . However the main reason for all that was not only the sunday in the city, where by definition there are many people, but the biggest retrospective of an american artist Paul McCarthy 1966-2006. The dirty old man! The only thing that botherd me were many 3year old children walking around looking at all this and listening to all that. I don't mind teaching children about art and taking them to musea, but this exhibition was not suitable for the small ones. That's my opinion.

12 October, 2007

Mr. Fog

This is the street where I live. Since two weeks every morning looks like that... the FOG....

And every night looks like that... It's never been that foggy since I've moved here.

11 October, 2007

Slimming economy

The news of today is that the food will get 30% more expansive. Ah!! And one of the reasons for that is the bad crops this year. Isn't that interesting?!?!? The whole Eastern Europe stops gradually ploughing their fields because it's not bringing money, half of Poland has become one big green meadow, the farmers are living from social security and the Western Europe says that there's not enough food!!???? Well, the whole economy is a strange thing...

Even the cheapest shops in Belgium, like Lidl, Aldi and Colruyt will rise their prices. People are not pleased at all, who would be? However the customer will not feel the difference in his wallet, says Paul d'Hoore, the most most sympathetic TV jurnalist on
economy, because the luxury goods will not become more expansive, what's more, they will get cheaper. Ha! The conclusion is to buy a digital camera while getting a loaf of bread. Or the buy a TV set when all you need is a weekly grocery shopping. If you compare then what you spend now with the total payed a month ago (if you would buy a TV set or a camera, of course!), it will appear that you not only payed less but that you actually saved money. That's the logic.

Anyway, let's look at the bright side of it, buying less can never be bad for a personal state of the finances. And in these days of an almost epidemic obesitas, the economy might actually help us slim down and be beautiful. On top of that the luxury will get cheap and we all will live in glitter & glamour. Whow!! Isn't that something?!?

07 October, 2007

Croissant versus Speculaas

Sunday is the only day in the week when we eat croissants. That's a habit in many flemish families. Usually the fathers go early in the morning to the bakery to get the fresh bread for sunday and croissants, french pastry. They should be light and fluffy and not too sweet. Most of the times the croissants in Belgium are too sweet and covered with icing or chocolate. That's the local taste. And these can be so different. For example the croissants in Poland are usually made of the yeast pastry, like for fruitcakes. That makes them taste and look completely different then the originals. The Polish don't mind because that's the kind of pastry they are used to. The Belgian croisaants are more french, but still not the same. The original french croissants are made of so called french pastry (the best in the world and only the french can make it right!), which has many layers separating from eachother during the baking process. When the pastry rises, the layers go open creating kind of caves. The original croissants are rather neutral, so that you can eat them either with butter and jam or butter and ham. They function like luxury breakfast buns.

During the belgian (flemish), hardworking week there's usually no time for breakfast, which is not that healthy, of course. There are people who do find time to eat a sandwich everyday but as far as I noticed it's very rare. Especially the families with small children try to create this healthy morning habit and teach their children the healthy way of living, as the breakfast is the most important meal of the day. The retired people also have time to eat thier sandwich with cheese or jam and read the newspaper.

It is usually cheese or ham on bread, and most of the times without butter. But there is one very special, very tasty as I've learned, thing to put on bread. There are in Belgium very typical, kind of ginger bread dry cookies, called SPECULAAS. The main ingredients are brown sugar and cynamon. Many people dip them in their morning coffee to replce the breafast or other meal. But many people dip the speculaas in their coffee, to make them soft and spread-like and put them on a slice of bread. And I can assure you it's really tasty and in my opinion much more healthy then a chocolate spread. Or, unfortunatelly, any croissants.

03 October, 2007

Milk inc.

Milk inc. is a belgian dance group (a guy and a girl - very sympathetic and very popular). I'm not going to write about the music but I thought the name "milk incorporated" describes very well the belgian weather (again!).

Since two days it's been white everywhere. Yesterday I woke up in a glass of milk, today - on a cloud... Like in Heaven. Give me wings and I can be an angel. Maybe a guardian angel, looking from above at the passing traffic and the black road that enters the cloud in both directions and fades out, literally vanishing into thin air. One car after another, each one with a person inside, moving fast from left to right or from right to left. And some of them could use some protection as they drive with NO LIGHTS ON, not even mentioning the special fog lights.

That's how it is here, the lights are not obligatory in Belgium. Never (maybe just at night). Not that the cars in Belgium are built without lights like robots without eyeballs, only with
empty, scary, roaring gaps, and some wires hanig out. It's only suggested turning the lights on in situations of worse visibility like heavy rains, snowstorms or fog. However many belgian drivers feel so self-assured of their road position and selfish thinking that everyone should see them, that they just neglect the safety of the other road users (not only cars) as well as their own. That wouldn't be a big problem if all cars here were painted bright yellow with fluorescent orange polka dots all over them. But they are all very fashionalble, all shades of grey and black, which equals INVISIBLE.

I had the same feeling two days ago, when it was raining. It was a very strange rain: a very "slow" and "regular" I was driving to the center and these huge and heavy drops were of my car splashing against the windshield and covering half of the visibility area. So then, again many cars were riding with NO LIGHTS ON. It's so dangerous and unthinkable for me. In Poland every driver would immediately strat warning the other driver to turn the lights on by
giving signs with his own lights... And here no one seems to be bothered.