14 Mar 2020

BELGIANS IN QUARANTINE

For the past few weeks, we had all been sitting behind our TV and we were watching with more or less interest the development of a Virus which reigned in China and which was called Corona Virus. We made a lot of jokes because it's also a well known brand of beer.

But then it went down to the wire, and we started to think it'll become a very uncertain month that we've got ahead of us.

 Indeed the Virus started to move and spread out. 

The first country which was heavily hit was Italy with the result that the government decided to shut down the whole country, no restaurants, no hotels, no shops, only food stores, no market no, meetings, no sport activity in fact no social life at all anymore then sitting home and washing your hands.

Some people wear masks when they went out. But despite all the precautions it arrived in France, in Spain, and all the other European countries followed and of course also our little Belgium.

Since today we have the same rules like in Italy. We are not allowed to go into a restaurant or a bar, to the theatre or a cinema, to the market or to a football game etc. The schools are closed and the Universities too, but students can follow their courses on internet. Fortunately the nurseries remain open and there is also a daycare for young school children whose parents are both working and have nobody to take care of the children.


The virus looks rather beautiful

As soon as this decree was out, people rushed to the shops to buy food. It was like in war, people lined up in front of stores and a reporter said in the news : "I saw a line of 150 caddies before the opening of a supermarket. Never seen by some regular customers who come to do their shopping quietly. Some people said to me, I have never seen that .."

The shelves were empty especially pasta and rice and two women were fighting for the last loaf of  bread ! A friend of mine had filmed the scene, it was really funny if the situation wouldn't be so bad.

I will do what I am told, wash my hands and keep one meter away from the person I am talking too. To make a joke I took a meter with me and measured before I talked to Nicole.

It's better to take it with humor then sitting in a corner and imagine the worst.
This is only the start, but we try to keep our life as normal as possible with our Scrabble, this is private, unfortunately no painting, as the retirement homes are closed too, but we will find  another activity all in private of course because museums are also closed.

We have in total 556 infected people and two dead, one 90 and one 76 years old. For a country with about 11 million inhabitants it's probably quite a lot.

And you know what is badly missing because people snatched it from the shelves .... Toilet paper !!

What a strange time !





Linking to Linda G.Hills SOCS - Wire

13 Mar 2020

FRIDAY's FAVE FIVE

The Boston woman had found on the map of the house that outside there was a bit of asbestos under the door sill and therefore cancelled her offer. She must be hysterical, because in all houses here built until the 80 there is asbestos, and in ours only a little bit and outside ! No danger at all. Even her representative tried to explain it to her, but she didn't change her decision. Finally I was happy for my neighbors because such a difficult person doesn't fit in the street !

In the afternoon we had as usual our scrabble and this time I was third out of five ! Of course we talked a lot about the Corona Virus and that some people stock food don't go out etc. And Belgium has not many virus infected people I guess  about 200 and today we also had our first dead ! He was "only" 90 !! Italy is completely closed the borders but also the schools, shops and everything until the 3rd of April. My niece was not that worried, she is home and could go to the Garda Lake and have an ice cream there without any tourist !

I don't do anything special, I just don't shake hands or kiss people as they use to do here and that's it. In fact the best garment would be the Burka

available in other colors

The next day it stormed and rained so it didn't bother me to stay home the whole day because my estate agent came in the afternoon with a whole bunch of potential buyers there were 18 or something in total who came as couples all 15 min and he led them through the house. I was sitting in the living room and worked on my computer as decoration. It was like in a zoo, only the other way around.

There is nothing to do the weather god I don't know his name, has decided to pour buckets and buckets of water on us also the following day. I hid behind the TV and tried to find a movie with a lot of sunshine. Finally I ended up at my friend Myriam who was also bored and behind her TV. She had got an email from the retirement home in which we have our painting classes, that due to the Corona Virus there is no class ! But we wanted at least have our lunch together so we looked on Internet to find restaurant which was not closed. All restaurants with "all you can eat" were closed, so that nobody could spit his Corona Virus on the food.

After some Whatsapp exchanges we finally found one which was open and which we all liked very much. We always go there after a movie. It is an Italian one called "La dolce Vita" (sweet life) and has an excellent real Italian food with self made pasta.



This time the lunch was escalope Val d'Aosta with fresh made pasta and salad.

It was a pity that it was not warmer because they have such a nice terrace with Palm  trees around.  We had a little sunshine, but when we left it started  to rain.

People and the press make you crazy with the Corona Virus, so on my way back I bought enough to fill in our deep freezer with ready made food, from our special French deep freeze shop, so if we don't get the virus I should have enough food not to starve in the next weeks.

Meanwhile universities are closed and students have to work at or from home. Doctors can be consulted via Internet to have prescriptions. The shops are still open but probably not for a long time, except food shops. In Italy all shops, and restaurants are closed and they let in customers in groups with 1 m distance to buy food.

My son who lives in Amsterdam has to work from home and my daughter in law too. Toby has no school. They are one step further as we in little Belgium but they foresee a peak for mid April !!





more participants at Susanne at Living to tell the Story.

12 Mar 2020

WHAT DID YOU JUST SAYING ?

Mr. G. unfortunately has to wear a hearing aid. Although it is really necessary according to the doctor and the tests and above all to me, who has to screem when he is not wearing it, he pretends that he doesn't need it !

This causes loud discussions, loud because he doesn't hear and I am so upset repeating all the time "What have I said ??"or "what I am saying" ?

As he doesn't listen I thought I will show him how it feels when somebody doesn't understand immediately. I put earplugs in my ears. Of course he was surprised that I didn't answer to his "what have I said ?" until he touched me and I turned around and pointed to my ears. This made him speachless.

I told him I will continue until he wears his hearing aids again ! I keep you informed .....






Iinking to One Liner Wednesday  just saying

10 Mar 2020

FLEA MARKET BRUSSELS

If ever one day you visit Brussels, don't forget to visit it's flea market which is something typical and special.

This popular flea market is the only market in the world open seven days a week, 365 days a year. With more than 500 stalls and shops, you can find a huge selection of bric-a-brac, vintage furniture and retro d├ęcor pieces. There is even a regular stall that sells spare chandelier parts. The traders are often the same and a man near the church sells vintage hand bags, suitcases and typewriters.

On the right side of the Palais de justice (Justice palace) which sits on a hill, is an elevator who brings you down to the "Marolles" district.



The elevator



Inside the cabin you have a wonderful view on Brussels







Looking down to the "Marolles" it seems quite high !



a funny statue greets you





Houses with funny wall paintings



Cafes where you can sit, drink your beer and observe the people





From false teeth to mink coats you find everything here



The architecture in this area is very beautiful too

You can read more about the fleamarket here in my Countries & Cities Blog





more participants here

9 Mar 2020

AWWW MONDAY - WEEKEND MARCH 7










Linking to AWWW MONDAYS



WEEKEND

This weekend I had the feeling that I was in a wrong film. I was sitting on a cloud and looked down to myself.

Cat Arthur's dead and the rush of potential buyers of our house, made me feel exhausted and I escaped to Nicole to change walls and at the same time I admired the new cat tree which Isis has gotten for her third birthday.



In the evening I looked for apartments on Internet just to know if there were a lot on the market which were suitable to us and fortunately there were. Our estate agent and friend had called telling me that there was a buyer and that it was sure to 99 %. It was a couple of Boston (!!!) who was interested in our house, apparently she was Belgian and he Italian and they had lived in Boston for a long time and wanted now to return home. A friend of them thanks Whatsapp filemed our whole house and explained what the lady on the other end was seeing.

I thought how wonderful new inventions are now you can visit a house sitting in Boston on your sofa and "walking" through a house in Belgium.

Sunday we were both exhausted and missed Arthur of course. We were both hanging around not really knowing what to do. Finally Nicole, Myriam and I decided to go to the cinema there was a very funny film called Papy sitter. It rained outside and it was cold so the ideal time for a funny movie when we were all in a lousy mood.

Fortunately we laughed a lot, it was the story of a 17 year old girl who had to do her High school  diploma. As the parents were away they had asked the two grandfathers to keep an eye on the girl and help her studiying. One grandpa was a Military and the other a Night club owner. You can imagine that they had not the same opinions of education.

So finally the day was safed and after a drink together in the Cinema bar, we returned home. Of course no Arthur was expecting me on the steps. It will probably last a while until I get used to that.