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Apparently the past week has been ‘Haiku week‘ here in Ghent, with the waterways of rivers lined with haikus in French, Dutch, English and German.

This morning I took my car in to get serviced, and despite my four years of trying to learn the ins and outs of Flemish couldn’t for the life of me understand what my dear mechanic was trying to say. To be fair I don’t really understand mechanics in my own language, so it may not be entirely fair to blame the man for his refusal to speak Standard Dutch*.

So, to commemorate Haiku Week and my babling mechanic, I present my first, and quite likely last, Ghent haiku:

The man from Ghent speaks,
Though I understand nothing.
Four years of Dutch, why?

Emotional. Epic. Haiku.

And now here it is in Dutch! Print it on your bubblejet and stick it on a shirt!

Het Gentenaar spreekt,
Maar ik heb niet begrepen.
Vier jaar les, waarom?


Yesterday the gent festival came to a close after a solid two weeks of city wide drinking.

This is the first year I’ve actually been in the city for the entire duration of the festival – and I must say I was quite overwhelmed by the pace these Belgians set. Drinking starts at around 10am on a Thursday, and doesn’t stop for a full 11 days and nights. There was a rave outside my house every night from 10pm until 10am, fueled solely on car speakers and who-knows-what-party-substances.

Right now I have some sleep to try and find, whilst the rave is quiet. Arrrgh.

Apparently it’s KASK Week at the high school of Ghent, which implies plenty of arm-wielding hot bettys, and presumably art.

KASK, the Royal Academy of Fine arms Arts, is a local institution here in Gent, home to many a buddy Belgian artist.

I’ll have my eyes open for shots in the streets, and keep you posted. In the meantime you can check back at the official KASKweek website.

This afternoon I went to the local Kringloopwinkel (second hand store) on a mission to buy some Ghent flavoured crap to give a mate in in Berlin, and came back with an amazing swag that cost no more than €2,04.

I couldn’t believe my luck when I discovered that €0,50 can buy a picture of a gypsie stamping a train track. Not entirely Ghentish, but definitely worth the export to Deutschland!

The Ghent Swag

Official Ghent City Hall trophy! Hot crap! Money can't normally buy these! Or can it!

Framed Indiana Jones! 50 cents!

Gympsie stomps on train tracks! Incredible!

Official 1988 Gent Boating Thing! Yes! Official!

It seems the owner & chief coffee barista of my favourite Gent coffee shop Simon Says is now the naked spokesman for the Brussels to London train Eurostar.

I’ve been a Simon Says devotee since Simon appeased my longing for the delightful Flat White – a deceivingly difficult coffee to find outside of Australia!

Check out Simon from Simon Says pimping the latest promo for Eurostar at, running around the streets of London in the nude – anything for a free ticket on a train..!

Last night the University of Gent was the stage of a dramatic battle of ideological pasties, when several extreme-right NSV students were pelted with tarts from some local PCF anarchists.

Wouter Opdenacker, chairman of the NSV declared his disapproval of the act. ” We were not injured, but find it childish and tasteless”.

This could very well be a rally cry for bakers in the area to step up and prepare some tastier pies for the next scheduled match, on 24th of February outside the Gent University’s St. Peter’s square.

Book it in your diaries, and bring along your tasty pastries.

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