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While seeing the exhibition in Sint-Pieters abbey, I spotted a poster on the wall of the ancient refectory of the monks. It was at the other side of the room where we should exit after seeing what we had to see in the room.
As soon as I saw it, I thought of a childbirth closeup... Then, we kept up on wandering around some other pieces, laughing, wondering whether how bright coloured piled up kettles came to be contemporary art pieces. Then, we got closer to the wall.
As closer as we got, it hit me. The poster was not about a childbirth and the round thing was not the head of the newborn. No, no! This was simply a closeup of a coitus (!). Well, to be honest, I couldn't believe it since this was an ancient refectory, that most of pieces there were about kettles, TV set and armchair, a babyfoot board...
Then, on our way out, we met this family with a kid. Weird enough, they started the exhibition from the exit. Dannie was busy taking picture of sthg when I fainted forgetting sthg and followed my way back, then the family.
They entered the room, the kid descending the stairs first. Of course, he had to pass near the picture. He stared at it, didn't understand anything. Then, way logical, he pulled his dad's hand to have him looking at the pic. They were on the foot of the wall, at same level as the poster. As soon as the guy saw the poster, he went red. But, the kid hadn't asked the very question yet.
It came soon: "Dad, what's that?". "I don't know" he answered...
Of course, he couldn't know, how could he?
Sooooo, parents, if you go there, nothing that disturbing or dangerous. Just say "I don't know". It's always a better answer than the classical "It's not of your age"
On our way out of the abbey, we saw the family on the street.. Quiet. Yet, in the refectory room, I saw the guy talking to his wife, pointing out the poster. Nothing happened. Just usual anecdots involving curious kids and their questions.
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Updated Feb 25, 2004
Summer 2003 was really hot, sticky hot with this heatwave devastating Europe.
While visiting Belgium, now is the time for locals, who use to nag about Belgian rainy weather, to pray for some rain. :)
My advices: bring some bottle of water while walking through the city. In addition, don't go under the sun if you are too sensitive unless you have your strong SPF cream. Sunglasses are useful to avoid this bright light hindering you.
If you drive, don't leave neither the pets, neither the kids, neither your mother-in-law in your car while having your shopping spree. And bring some extra bottles of water. These are the times when the three categories above mentioned (yes, the older mother-in-law, too) are especially vulnerable. Take care of them.
Written Feb 25, 2004
Yes - this is a train coming from Antwerp - first class seats - airconditioned in the summer - and a special equipment on the roof of the train used in winter time ! A special heating system with chimney exhaust pipes!
PS - dear Vt members - this is only a joke between citizens of Antwerp (shadow city) and proud people like me living in Ghent - the place to be whenever visiting Belgium
Updated Feb 15, 2004
This is not really a warning or danger, but an observation and only one persons experience. The one thing that I found strange about Ghent, is the atmosphere on the buses and the trains. Though most adults are very friendly, some of the students from the University are very aloof. They sometimes won't give you room, their attitude is imposing, and it became a little disconcerting over time. Most will not crack a smile or befriend you in any way. I mentioned this to a friend who lives in Ghent, and he told me that the professors at the University lecture negatively about the USA and Americans in general, and that's why the students are standoffish. The feeling is similar to the warm welcome you receive on the Paris Metro.
Updated Jan 28, 2004
Though the park at daylight is somewhat quiet despite the number of culture, sport centers, casino around, it is another story in the evening.
The park is renowned for "hosting" male prostitutes for gay sex in the area. Also, the ara is known for cruising. It is a spot where gays meet each other, not necessarily for prostitution.
The trouble would come from some harrassements from them or troublemakers involved in the business.... Nonetheless, an insider told me that the trouble rather comes from gay bashers.
I would just avoid going there at night..
Updated Jan 20, 2004
Pay attention when you walk, the quays don't have any rope nor fence to prevent you from falling in water.
Locals use to gather on the quays (Graslei and Koreneli) to have some fun with drinks and music. They are used to it. But what about you? Who would like a nice encountering with the rescue services that would pull you out from water?...
Special warning for springbreakers and parents with small kids :)
Updated Dec 25, 2003
November the 8th - some close Vt-members sitting at the table nr 23 - in the Dulle Griet
Gonnie made her choice out of more than 250 beers - a "Gentsche Tripple"
BTW - look at the symbol of Ghent "The Strop"
she is wearing - thx folks for being my guest
Updated Nov 9, 2003
In the meantime - a "must" when i guide guests in my beloved city.
The store of the Fallen Angel-located in the Jan Breydelstraat,
Caro-Irisbe - family Tompt and Ralph - we had a great time and always welcome folks for a next "Téte-à-téte"
Updated Nov 9, 2003
In fact - on this picture TWO "Dulle grieten" - Danielle and Gonnie - we had a great time in this famous café - drinking a good glass of belgian beer ! A good laugh while Tom was excited by drinking a KWAK-We eating cheese with mostard from the factory Tierentijn Danielle bought
Updated Nov 8, 2003
Vt friends visiting my city Ghent.How can i better express this little Vt meeting as
"A téte-à-téte" - Irisbe/Caro and RahlpII on the picture - Tom and Gonnie (Tompt) are missing because they were fascinated by the store of the Fallen Angel - at the other side of the street
This fancy restaurant is located in the Jan Breydelstraat - near the Castle of counts !
Updated Nov 8, 2003
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