Monday, January 29, 2007

How to describe these last few days ...

And really, it has only been two days, but so full of good things that it feels like I'm trying to write of a week ...

Saturday we finished cleaning the apartment.
Some muttering took place but we survived all and drove towards Brussels after lunch, heading to the country home of two New Zealanders.

Mike, Sue, Forrest and Frodo made us welcome, standing the camera and my 'just one more' style of photography. The 'boys' are my new poster dogs.

Pineapple lumps, packets of NZ raspberry jelly and a Hone Tuwhare cd were treasures to be taken away when we left and dinner was stunning. It was a truly delicious part of our Saturday.

We drove off into the night around 9pm, heading for Brussels Airport where Lisen and Yakup were arriving, fresh from Istanbul and a teaching life continued after I left.

Lisen was my mentor, colleague and friend at Sisli Terakki and it was finally time for us to catch up. They came laden with gifts we simply didn't know to expect ... white Turkish cheese and olives, a Tupperware container of my beloved Borek, dolma in cans, almond biscuits, chocolate covered coffee beans and a new treat I didn't know.

There was a stunning Paşabahçe bowl as a wedding gift and a much-missed Turkish teapot - 2 pots high and specially for making cay Turkish-style.

We had informed them that they had to bring swimsuits and plan nothing for Sunday. They obeyed, although Yakup did ask Lisen if I was expecting them to swim in the sea here ... as if I would.

Sunday morning brunch and we headed for Spa ... our small gift to them, 3 hours in Thermes de Spa . I had been racking my brain for some way to fastforward Lisen relaxing after a challenging year and we succeeded, if the people we picked up after 3 hours were a measure of success. They had loved it - thank you Alison .

Part of the delight I find in having people come stay is the conversations we have. We had so many 'people and work stories' to catch up on and of course, my life has changed so dramatically from those Istanbul days when we were oftentimes stressed beyond measure ... stress that was usually balanced out by the city and the treasures found there.

Today is the Antwerpen city tour day ... trams and old city wandering, a secondhand bookshop perhaps, designer clothing streets and department stores on the Meir.

Tot straks.


Alison said...

Yay, I'm so glad they loved the spa and glad to hear you're all having fun!

woman wandering said...

We are and I'm so glad you and Andrew discovered it. It's the perfect way to arrive in Belgie ...!

Manic said...

Ohh details. Good to hear that you are showing them the kool parts of the country. The spa at Spa, Antwerp, keep them away from the smelly river :D. Have fun with the wandering wonder tour of Belgium and try not to get lost :D.

woman wandering said...

I showed them the river yesterday manic ... Gert calls it the river that gets polluted as it slides by manic's part of the country ;)