Saturday, 3 November 2012

Gently Does It

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. 


  1. It looks beautiful Jane, a little like a Flemish version of Rochester, where my late partner lived. Every weekend his street would be besieged by tourists, but come darkness they'd all toddled back to wherever they'd come from and the locals once again had the place to themselves!

    I think you should definitely go for it, it surely can’t be any worse than Brussels? The apartment sounds gorgeous. And, on a positive note, however many of them there might be, tourists won't break into your apartment, on account of them being too busy buying toot - which I assume is the same as tat?

    By the way, I thought you'd stopped blogging?

  2. It definitely sounds like the place for you Jane. We've lived in very touristy areas and you just get used to it. I strongly believe in fate, and I think that events, such as the burglary, happened because you were meant to move to Gent.

  3. Great news, Jane - sounds like somewhere you can call home at last. You will just have to feel smug and local in the faces of gobsmacked tourists - or try and get into all their photos...I also think Maud and Ayak have a very good point about burglars!
    Gent sounds really lovely. I quite fancy a visit. Note to self; don't wear a cagoul or carry a camera.


  4. Tourists are easy to deal with - just think " You have to pay to visit here for a couple of days - I'm lucky enough to live here" and feeling a bit sorry for them, avoid all murderous thoughts and smugly walk/push past with your nose in the air.

  5. Well for better or worse, it's me and the tourists now. I may just photobomb all their pix.

    And yes Maud I have - this is an illusion :o)

  6. Aaah, I see... or not, as the case might be...