02.11.2007 - 04.11.2007
Ok so this weekend I went to antwerp from friday night till sunday arvo... and it was a GREAT trip.. its not even expensive, 34 euros for a return trip, but not on the thalys, im not sure how much that one is, next time ill check!
But i took the train on friday afternoon to get there by 6:30, as i was meeting Lucy there, a chick who came and lived at our place on exchange from south africa, like, 14 years ago. kinda weird that i was staying at her place, since i hadnt seen her in so long, and i guess, didnt know her that well lol we were emailing for like a year until now so that was a nice step, but in terms of personally knowing someone, i dont think you can really get to know someone when youre like, 7... lol. so anywya i met her (late, oops!) at the anterp centraal, after a little panic that it was gonna take ages to get from berchem to centraal. never fear readers, it only takes about 10mins! but i met her there, and since the second we met up again, it was like we;d been friends for years... I got to their place (we took the tram) a little later and met her husband terence and the 2 kids, emma and joshua. we had a coffee, then sat down for dinner, which was yuuuuum! after the kids had gone to bed lucy got out some of the pics and her diaries from when she was in australia. some of the pics were funny, the fashion was preeeeetty bad lol mum n dad have changed ALOT! well, dad hsnt changed so much, mum has tho, but i think its got alot to do with the loss of the BIG glasses and a hair cut haha..
anywya, in the morning we had chocolate croissants and coffees, and lucy and i set off into antwerp to be tourists! well me a tourist, her the tour guide, cos she knows stacks about the place! every corner we turned she knew something about the building sitting there... it made it much more interesting to know what i was looking at, since mostly, i dont! i can appreciate the architechture, the style, what theyve done with the place, but mostly i cant appreciate what it actually is, lol. we saw the catherdral, which reminded me somewhat of the cathedral in Milan, buton a smaller scale... it was wasnt as detailed or over the top as milan, but it was very impressive none the less! i havent been in a church since i left germany, and we went in. im not a fan of religion at all really, i think it causes alot of problems and i just dont agree with alot of things the bible says. however i like churches! theyre very peacful places, you relaly can sit there and just feel chilled and peaceful. quiet and cool. and they have such old things in there it makes the mind of an australian (who knows nothing older than their grandparents most the time!) boggle! they certainly dont make things like they used to! churches these days suck compared to the old ones. anywya.. it was crap weather, so we went for a coffee at EXK or EKX lol i dont remmeber the exact order, but we had little tarts with the coffee, which were yum! the caramel walnut was my fave :D we went walking around a bit more, saw where lucy used to live and the square where the town hall is.. its a really pretty city, of course there are some areas that are just normal city looking, but other areas were really pretty! It reminded me of amsterdam, yet much quainter. it has a slightly different style, im not sure what it is, if i knew anything about architechture then i could tell you what it was, but it was the same yet different if you know what i mena... it certainly attracts a different crowd than amsterdam, without the legal pot and hookers, but thats a good thing, as a'dam has too many damn bogans. its cute, quaint and has a little more charm than amsterdam i think. i still love amsterdam of course
Rens came on saturday night which thrilled me to bits, as we ont get to spend much time together since his rowing started, so to have him come to antwerp was really cool. we picked him up from berchem and just chilled at home, laughing at him, as emma was quite taken by him, and was climbing all over him, sitting on his lap, kissing his hand, telling him to pick her up etc lol shes only 3, and tiny, and hes massive, so to be lifted that high was like a rollercoaster for her! it was VERy sweet tho, he sat down and did puzzles with her, watched josh play video games, put on stupid glasses that josh bought, gave them wizzy dizzies, hes not scared of kids at all, and it was very cute, and nice to see! hes going to be a really good dad one day!
we just chilled at dinner, the kids managed to convince me (they didnt have to try hard lol) to read them a story, and i got treated to a story too, as josh wanted a dutch book but since i suck at reading dutch he decided to read it to me! lol hes actually a very good reader, much better than charlotte, and hes a year younger than her... the way he sounds things out shows that hes really learned what theyre teaching him, and hes not just memorising words (tho im sure he does that too). charlotte just tries to remember wat the words look like, and then she guesses a word that starts with that letter. shes not good at sounding things out, and sometimes i think she just does it on purpose totally wrong, just so she doesnt have to do it, thats the extent of her unwillingness to do ANYTHING for herself. even read.
anyway, after being woken up by the kids running around, banging on our door and opening the door (which was funnier than annoying, i was already mostly awake when it started! it was getting late anyway lol) we went down for more chocolate croissants (i wasnt getting sick of that kinda breakfast!) and coffee (i need a coffee break lol i drank TOO much there!) then rens and i packed up our stuff and went on our way to see the same things we saw the day before, but with much beter weather, and the camera! so ill upload the pics later on tonght.
the highlight of the weekend had nothing to do with the city of antwerp, as many ppl might expect it to be, as everyone goes on about how pretty it is there... rather, spending time with a wholly normal family. it made me see in an even clearer light the things i dont like about the family i work for now. there are good things, of course, but the negatives of how this fam is run, in my opinion, outweigh the positives. but to be in a normal family, who eat dinner together, mum kids AND dad... where the kids have to clean up their own mess, they have to do as their told, its not a time to bargain or throw a hissy fit, you do as your told. its exactly how i was bought up, and to be in that kinda environment just restored my faith in the modern family! and the fact that the kids were awesome helped too! emma is the just sweetest thing, shes so boistrous and outgoing, if she wants to play with you she's not gonna wait for you to offer, she'll come to you! she has the cheekiest smile and you cant help but wanna take her home with you! Josh was also a sweety, hes a bit quieter, but once he comes out of his shell a bit, hes a smart funny kid! he was so proud of this glasses he got from Bart Schmit, he wore them all thru the shops getting comments from all the shop keepers, and he just loved the attention! when he was reading the story to emma and i, he was always involving emma, syaing things like oooh emma look at the picture, whats behin the sink? A MOUSE! it was so sweet, and again so refreshing to see a big brother looking after his little sister. i see so much fighting, and so much "this is MINE not YOURS! GIVE IT BACK!" in this house i was beginning to think all kids did was fight, and while they certainly do that alot, some kids are jsut good kids, and they love their sisters and brothers. unselfish kids are a rare find...
probably one of the nicest things tho, was how welcoming lucy and terrence were, not only are they just genuinely REALLY nice ppl, they were just happy to have me there, and made me feel right at home. it didnt feel at all like the first time id met them (it wasnt the first time with lucy but relay, i was so young it might as well have been). theyre just an all round, fantastic family, theyre everything this family isnt... you can just tell by seeing how lucy and terrence are together that not only are they husband and wife, theyre best friends, and thats just the sweetest thing. theyre always checking up on each other, theyre totally in it together, its the total polar opposite to where i work. Theyve been thru alot together, relocating abroad, kids, jobs, houses, pain in the arse neighbours, but theyre still stuck together like glue and it all jus makes me sit back and wonder why all fa imlies arent exactly like that. why are some familes SO materialistic? why are THINGS so imoprant? money and power will only get you so far, and kids dont need that. emma and josh are surrounded by a solid routine, and alot of love, and you can see the difference it makes. it reaffirms my beliefs in how you should bring a kids up (my uneducated beliefs, since i have none of me own yet...), and what kind of parent a person should be. and it echos loudly here, as this place is fairly empty of good routines and a solid family base. dads never here, kids are always late for school cos t heyre too busy doing nothing in the mornings watching tele to get ready, adn they cant do it themselves cos theyre too damn lazy.
if they lived in amsterdam and wanted an aupair id be there in a flash... a normal family is such a blessing...