Thursday, July 27, 2006

A True Story ...

The heat is unravelling me ... I swear.

I've worked all morning and had no clue about my psychological decline until I found myself, tv remote in one hand and bath towel in the other, heading off to shower.

I made a note to self to return the remote to the lounge after my shower ... of course I forgot.

Suddenly aware of hunger pangs, I had decided to shower before loosing myself on the general public. We were briefly down around 22 celsius as a thunderstorm made a punitive attempt at arriving ... we're now experiencing an intensely muggy kind of Singapore heat and my body has become a braided river system of sweat. (Apologies to those with delicate constitutions).

I set forth ... painkillers and crossiants were my goals.

We have 3 apotheeks close to home ... THREE!

But to backtrack, this is Belgium, land of the unions ... a special country.

The land where the neighbourhood Post Office closes between 12.30 and 2pm so the staff can lunch together; the nearby supermarket closes on Thursday's ('Is it really Thursday?' was my conversation with self on reaching its closed doors.) Ahhh well, that's probably why the first of the 3 Apotheeks was closed (Pharmacist for those back at home, hmmm Eczane for Turks).

Okay, I retraced my steps some and wandered off along the main shopping street ... checking my favourite white bread bakery was open as I passed by, terrified it too might close for lunch while I was searching for painkillers.

First corner ... and the 2nd Apotheek was closed.

I walked on, knowing they couldn't all be closed on a Thursday but you know how this story goes ... of course they're all closed ... it's Belgium, it's holiday time, it's lunchtime, it's Thursday ... who knows why they're all closed, sweat was running over my eyes, blurring my vision by now.

And so it was back to the bakery, still open thank god but my usually helpful baker lady was having a 'special' kind of day.

I asked for 'een whit broed'. She reached for the wrong one, I said Nee, and pointed to the shelf above. She brought both to the counter.

I said 'Niet cut' struggling as ever over the Dutch word for 'cut' since the Dutch word for 'divorced' settled into my mind during the crucial 3 second moment of learning a new word.

She got that so we moved onto the fact I only wanted one loaf of bread. I think she was playing with me ... it's the only explanation. I said more than once, quite sweetly too, 'Een whit broed'. Gesturing with one finger even ...

She wasn't budging and it was too hot to continue and so that's why it is that I have two uncut loaves of rather nice white bread in the kitchen ...

Now to test whether my tongue has formed a callous at the point where it rubs itself against my sharp little broken back tooth ... I'm talking again, although I think I was too grouchy for Gert to have enjoyed my 24 hours of silence-by-broken-tooth.

May the gods of happiness be smiling on you ... because I do believe they were playing with me.


Manic said...

I hope you enjoy your wit brood niet gesneden. :D Yea, everything closes during summer. You better just go with the flow and take your bags down south.Where it is even hotter :(.

woman wandering said...

Ahhh manic, you often make me giggle.

You'll be happy to know I've written down 'niet gesneden' ... I always forget and it's not in my dictionary.

I'm not going anywhere hotter, this is misery enough bedankt. And then winter will come and I'll probably complain about that too ... I'm getting horrible.

Belle said...

Loved this post. I was smiling the whole time.

You make the frustrating funny. The bakery story was a gas, and I think she was trying to get rid of her loaves.

We're sweating here too.

woman wandering said...

Sorry to read that you're sweating there too ... who could have imagined I would complain about heat after the long cold winter ... but there you go.

I'm glad I made you smile ... it really was one of those days, I just didn't know that Brussels was going to provide me with much the same, if not worse, in terms of frustration over (dare I say it) Belgian complications and inefficency ...

ML said...

I didn't think I would complain about the weather either, after the heat wave there and no air conditioning (a gift from God!) but we had a huge flood day before yesterday, worst in history and only in my small county here in Ohio. I was ok, as was Al, but friends have lost boats, roads are closed, bridges washed out and a mess all around,, state of emergency! Wow~

woman wandering said...

Hi ML ... we had a small version over in Brussels on Friday night. Gert came over after work and said he was stopped by the side of the road till the water level across the road dropped ... I thought he was joking, despite seeing the ferocity of the storm outside but he wasn't ... it got to 16 inches in a very short space of time.

Glad you and Al are okay, and racing towards 90oF this week ... oh and how I envy you your airconditioning.