Monthly Archives: August 2011

Little pleasures

Fresh made popcorn: to the best of my knowledge, there is no cinema in brussels that offers it. All you get is popcorn out of 50 liter sacks that is warmed up again. It has little to no taste. Once it was so bad,i claimed my money back and I didn’t have any since.

Yesterday, fresh made popcorn was all it needed to convince me spending an evening watching an otherwise unremarkable movie. The crisp and chewy texture with its buttery and sweet taste is unbeatable. Yamee…

The difference 15 minutes can make

Alternative title: Moments when you are very happy to be inside.

Update: 60.000 people at the Pukkelpop festival were not inside when the storm hit. Some of them paid with their lifes. May their families find strength and support.

Traffic trafiqué à la Bruxelloise

Having spent more time on public transport than I would prefer to recently, I’m still startled at how badly people in Brussels drive.

I always thought it a good habit – one might say intelligent – not to drive into a crossroad when you can see that you won’t cross it (sic!) during the green light. Here, already driving schools drive into the cross road when the traffic light turns yellow (if not red) and thus block the traffic from the crossing road. Of course, drivers from that road will (have to) do the same just in order to get forward somehow. That life would be much  traffic would flow better if everybody would stop when a crossing isn’t possible in the first place, hasn’t not been understood.

But then again, it makes kind of a weird sense. Traffic light in this city have apparently not been built to guide the traffic but to obstruct it actively. The concept of the green wave – traffic lights turning green in a rhythm that allows cars to drive smoothly without stopping if driving at a certain speed (50 km/h) – is utterly unknown. Busses and more often than not, tramways are sharing a lane with the cars, blocking each other with amazing efficiency from advancing.

I can’t help but wonder if some of the so-called urban development in this city is only bad planning or intentionally bad. If it is meant to keep the cars out of the city, this much is sure, it clearly hasn’t worked.

Any idea

What that is?:

It’s a shell like thing  found numberous times on the beach. It’s top seems like a huge, white tongue and the bottom … well. If you break it through, you can see that the yellow-whitish inside is layered.

Nord Pas de Calais – Sun, sea and sand

What to do with a long four day weekend and a weather forecast that invites everything but setting a foot in front of the door? First of all, of course, defying the weather and then go somewhere near: Boulogne-sur-Mer, a surprisingly short two hours from Brussels.

Of course, it rained upon arrival but not too heavy to withstand a short city visit including the remparts, the cathedral and the harbour where we eventually started to walk direction Calais. Just follow the beach. Calais itself is not really a place to stay for more than a day unless it is one with sunshine and some warmth.

However, the way in between was amazing, involving sand dunes, surrounding caps before the incoming tide could cut of the way, sliding clay, jumping rocks, climbing cliffs, and eventually some easy-walking though less exciting coast wander path.

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After a first day, the second, third and forth brought unexpected sunshine, siesta in the dunes and the worst sunburn in years. With the English coast always clearly in sight, the walk between Boulogne and Calais, passing by Wiméreux, Ambleteuse and Wissant, is very pleasant. The coast is much more beautiful than in Belgium thanks to the far less dominant use of concrete with the exception of the remnants of the Atlantic wall.

The whole region has something soothing with its small villages and the friendly people. And what could be better than a weekend of constant wind in the hair, the feed in the water and the taste of salt in the air?

Die Gänte

Wenn Gans meets Ente, dann gibt’s Gänte.

To the right, a normal sized duck. To the left, the youngster – proof of an interspecies relationship?

Leuven off the beaten MBA track

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There is indeed a Leuven beyond the way from the station to the school. Discovering the botanical garden on an afternoon filled with sunlight; something I can only advise to do.

For those that were wondering, the MBA Blog is closed. Working and studying at the same time proofed to be incompatible with writing one blog, never mind two.