I'm wondering how many times I can get away with punning on "Gent". Several, maybe.
It didn't start so well, with engineering work adding minutes and minutes and minutes to the expected train time until if seemed to be permanently moving out of reach like a ball on a boating lake. We mopped up the passengers who were waiting for the next train, therefore it was a packed, rather whiny, rather suitcasey and standing up journey. You know when you are in a hurry and everyone walks really slowly in front of you? All right they were two blind people, but even so. Reader, I almost ran to the taxi rank at Gent. We did this weird thing of the driver speaking to me in Flemish and me answering in English. Oddly I think we understood one another. However I had to commandeer the satnav as he seemed not to have heard of this particular street. And then he still got lost even after I'd punched in the address.
So, the apartment. It was not quite love at first sight. Even in November, there was a desultory ambling of tourists getting in my way, and the local shops are full of what my dad would call expensive tut. Oh apparently it's spelled toot. The apartment itself was lush, though. The dining/living area is about the size of my entire apartment here. Nice bedroom, all modern fittings everywhere, loads of storage, dishwasher, cellar. All essential shops nearby. Afterwards I went and explored and the area is just gorgeous. Google Patershol.
The tourists are the only problem - I cannot imagine what it would be like in summer. I would have to devise ways of not killing them. They are like zombies in cagoules with cameras. (So maybe killing them is not strictly necessary).
After much thought, I'm going to go for it. If I don't get this one, that is definitely the area I want. It would be nicer slightly off-er the beaten track, but this place is so near the tram stop I wouldn't even need to wake up till the station.