travelling with inge

Come Travel with Inge

My Favourite Time of Day….. Sunset!

Good day my Dear Readers. I hope 2014 has been treating you well so far.

I am still on the West Coast and enjoying what’s left of my holiday before heading back to work on Monday.

As some may know, Rain is something very scarce on the West Coast during the months of January and February. These are generally the hottest and windiest months of the year, But we have been blessed with 3 days of strange down pours and suddenly the earth looks and feels alive again.

Something that rain always promise’s, is that the sun will shine again, and after yesterdays storm, at the end of another blessed day, we were encompassed by this magnificent Sunset. It is testament of the amazing world we live in.

Sunset is my favourite time of day. It humbles the soul, and makes me feel so alive. Therefore I  share one of the greatest sunsets I have ever witnessed. Have a wonderful day further, and always remember-  ‘After ever storm, the sun will always rise”

Inge*

Sunset

Inge2

Sunset 1

Wise Words cont.

As the Cape Coloureds would say, ‘Haai Tjulle’. Today, I writing to you from the warm, sunny and friendly Fishing village of Paternoster.

The quaintness of this village is something to be experienced. Before sunrise, the fishermen get their Skuide/Bakkies (small fishing boats) ready for the days trawling, they leave behind the White Stone Washed cottages on the shore and  head out to see what the sea will allow them to harvest. As the cottages slowly start to wake, people, locals and tourists, start to bustle along the streets. Charismatic and generally toothless Locals, Freshly baked goods, Curios of all kinds and  Seafood at its best, this is a place one can definitely sit and people watch all day.

Paternoster

I am currently helping out at the local Fine Art Gallery. Every now and then, the local children peep through the door way and ask ever so politely in their best English if they may drink some water at the tap outside. On a good day, I can barely understand a cape coloured’s accent, and these youngsters make it even more difficult. I always have a good chuckle and enjoy embracing the culture of this West Coast Village.

Back to our Wise Words, I am sharing the final 50 with you today. As all of us prepare for tonight’s festivities of seeing in the New Year, I urge you not to make silly New Year Resolutions you know you wont keep, But to rather, during the year ahead, try to always be TRUE and HONEST to yourself. I have seen so much hurt, tears and anger in that last 2 years, that i realized, in the end, we are all we have. Be the best for YOURSELF and everything else will fall into place.

I have faith we will all have a splendid year ahead, So therefore I wish you all a Prosperous New Year, may it be a year of travels, memories and lots of bucket list adventures. Till then, Inge*

51. Never be the last one in the pool.

52. Don’t stare.

53. Address everyone that carries a firearm professionally.

54. Stand up to bullies. You’ll only have to do it once.

55. If you’ve made your point, stop talking.

56. Admit it when you’re wrong.

57. If you offer to help don’t quit until the job is done.

58. Look people in the eye when you thank them.

59. Thank the bus driver.

60. Never answer the phone at the dinner table.

61. Forgive yourself for your mistakes.

62. Know at least one good joke.

63. Don’t boo. Even the ref is somebody’s son.

64. Know how to cook one good meal.

65. Learn to drive a stick shift.

66. Be cool to younger kids. Reputations are built over a lifetime.

67. It’s okay to go to the movies by yourself.

68. Dance with your mother/father.

69. Don’t lose your cool. Especially at work.

70. Always thank the host.

71. If you don’t understand, ask before it’s too late.

72. Know the size of your boy/girlfriend’s clothes.

73. There is nothing wrong with a plain t-shirt.

74. Be a good listener. Don’t just wait for your turn to talk.

75. Keep your word.

76. In college, always sit in the front. You’ll stand out immediately.

77. Carry your mother’s bags. She carried you for nine months.

78. Be patient with airport security. They’re just doing their jobs.

79. Don’t be the talker in a movie.

80. The opposite sex likes people who shower.

81. You are what you do, not what you say.

82. Learn to change a tire.

83. Be kind. Everyone has a hard fight ahead of them.

84. An hour with grandparents is time well spent. Ask for advice when you need it.

85. Don’t litter.

86. If you have a sister, get to know her boyfriend. Your opinion is important.

87. You won’t always be the strongest or the fastest. But you can be the toughest.

88. Never call someone before 9am or after 9pm.

89. Buy the orange properties in Monopoly.

90. Make the little things count.

91. Always wear a bra at work.

92. There is a fine line between looking sultry and slutty. Find it.

93. You’re never too old to need your mom.

94. Ladies, if you make the decision to wear heels on the first date, commit to keeping them on and keeping your trap shut about how much your feet kill.

95. Know the words to your national anthem.

96. Your dance moves might not be the best, but I promise making a fool of yourself is more fun than sitting on the bench alone.

97. Smile at strangers.

98. Make goals.

99. Being old is not dictated by your bedtime.

100. If you have to fight, punch first and punch hard.

 

Farewell2013

Wise Words

Hello My Dear Readers. Its been over a year since my last post and as I sit here today with the view of the Atlantic Ocean, In Britannia Bay on the West Coast of Southern Africa, I thought there is no better place than to get writing again.

I trust you all had a jolly festive season and look forward to the New Year ahead. 2013 has been an adventurous but busy year for me, and as they say, “A rolling stone gathers no moss”, and therefore we keep going.

I recently came across a post about a teachers ‘100 Wisest Words’ that he handed out to his students at the end of the school year. As I read through them, I noticed that I myself have heard many of these wise words before, and live by them from day to day. Some may be applicable to your life, some not, but enjoy the read (and the photos) and please feel free to share them with your friends too. Here are the first 50. Happy Reading.

1. There are Plenty of ways to enter a pool. The Stairs are not one of them.

Pool

2. Never cancel dinner plans by text message.

3. Don’t knock it ‘til you try it.

4. If a street performer makes you stop walking, you owe him a buck.

Antwerpen

5. Always use ‘we’ when referring to your home team or your government.

6. When entrusted with a secret, keep it.

7. Don’t underestimate free throws in a game of ‘horse’.

8. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

9. Don’t dumb it down.

10. You only get one chance to notice a new haircut.

11. If you’re staying more than one night, unpack.

12. Never park in front of a bar.

13. Expect the seat in front of you to recline. Prepare accordingly.

14. Keep a picture of your first fish, first car, and first boy/girlfriend.

15. Hold your heroes to a high standard.

Hero

16. A suntan is earned, not bought.

17. Never lie to your doctor.

18. All guns are loaded.

Guns

19. Don’t mention sunburns. Believe me, they know.

20. The best way to show thanks is to wear it. Even if it’s only once.

21. Take a vacation of your cell phone, internet, and TV once a year.

22. Don’t fill up on bread, no matter how good.

23. A handshake beats an autograph.

24. Don’t linger in the doorway. In or out.

25. If you choose to go in drag, don’t sell yourself short.

Drag

26. If you want to know what makes you unique, sit for a caricature.

27. Never get your hair cut the day of a special event.

28. Be mindful of what comes between you and the Earth. Always buy good shoes, tires, and sheets.

29. Never eat lunch at your desk if you can avoid it.

30. When you’re with new friends, don’t just talk about old friends.

31. Eat lunch with the new kids.

New kids

32. When travelling, keep your wits about you.

33. It’s never too late for an apology.

34. Don’t pose with booze.

35. If you have the right of way, take it.

36. You don’t get to choose your own nickname.

37. When you marry someone, remember you marry their entire family.

38. Never push someone off a dock.

39. Under no circumstances should you ask a woman if she’s pregnant.

40. It’s not enough to be proud of your ancestry; live up to it.

41. Don’t make a scene.

42. When giving a thank you speech, short and sweet is best.

43. Know when to ignore the camera.

IMG_00004073_edit

44. Never gloat.

45. Invest in good luggage.

46. Make time for your mom on your birthday. It’s her special day, too.

47. When opening presents, no one likes a good guesser.

48. Sympathy is a crutch, never fake a limp.

49. Give credit. Take blame.

50. Suck it up every now and again.

Excuse me, We’re English!

Antwerp, Anvers or as the locals call it – Antwerpen.  Such a diverse city full of Architecture; Art works and Hands….. Yes Hands! As the historical story goes – “According to folklore, and as celebrated by the statue in front of the town hall, the city got its name from a legend involving a mythical giant called Antigoon who lived near the river Scheldt. He exacted a toll from those crossing the river, and for those who refused, he severed one of their hands and threw it into the river Scheldt. Eventually, the giant was slain by a young hero named Brabo, who cut off the giant’s own hand and flung it into the river. Hence the name Antwerpen, from Dutch hand werpen—akin to Old English hand andwearpan (= to throw), which has changed to today’s warp.”

Starting the day off with some freshly baked Koffiekoek from the local bakery is traditional how it’s done. Koffiekoek is what we would call Danish’s in South Africa, which is technically incorrect for if you were to ask for Danish in a Belgium Bakery, they would tell you to go to Denmark! True story so head the warning! With bellies full and after a quick scenic ride on the Tram, we arrived in Antwerp. Stop #1- The MAS (Museum aan de Stroom): very impressive modern age building. The MAS is a total experience because it is also the visible storage, the museum square with Luc Tuymans’ mosaic, the boulevard, the rooftop panorama, etc.. The contoured glass is the first thing you notice. As you walk closer towards it, you start to notice more and more detail, like the little hands on the sides of the building. The Hands symbolize the “Hand” of the giant that Brabo cut off. It’s a symbol of freedom and can be seen all over the city. While visiting the MAS, we climbed all 9½ floors, up to the panoramic viewing deck. The weather was clear and we were gifted with an amazing view. It looked like a scene from a movie from ancient times . . . . . as if time stood still for hundreds of years and now we were visiting it again.  The zoom of a little Smart car whizzing past down below, brings us back to reality.

 Heading off to our next port o’ call, our very efficient tour guide Heidi, with Mom, Mecé and I, stopped off at the Scheldt River Promenade and walked a distance admiring the boats and barges moving up and down the very calm river. Here is where Heidi told us all about the story of how Antwerp got its name. At ‘The Stone’ where the statue of the giant Antigoon is, lies a beautiful Castle like building which would remind you of a scene out of “A Knights Tale”.  We stopped for some refreshments, took a plenty more photos and then made our way to the Town Square to see the hero, Brabo’s Statue in front of the Town Hall. Covered in Lime, from the natural elements, the green statue stands tall above us all and is a wonderful tribute to this city’s history and freedom.

 

Photos – Top Left to Right – ‘The Mas’. ‘Us 3 girls on Panoramic Platform on top of the Mas’. Middle – ‘Me looking through a viewer on the Scheldt River’. Bottom Left to Right – ‘9 1/2 Floors in the Mas’. ‘Us 3 ladies with the Mythical Giant at the ‘Stone’ ‘

Walking through the cobblestone streets, one really gets the feel of “EUROPE”. We have arrived! Stopping off at one of many Original Smurf stores (because if you didn’t know it – The smurfs come from Belgium), we passed a glitzy sparkly store. . . . . . Strangely enough, 3 out of the 4 of us knew exactly what kind of store it was, yet mom stopped, turned around and said “Look at the snazzy Computer mouse”.   Well that was the end of us!!!!!  Almost laughing our pants off, and after explaining what kind of X-rated adult shop it was to mom, we giggled the rest of the day and the rest of the 30 days, and even now sometimes, today, we still give mom a go. (HILARIOUS)

Arriving on the hour, the Church Bells & Chimes of the Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekathedraal (Cathedral of our Lady) greeted us in all its splendour, and we enjoyed an almost 10 minute long serenade. This was an absolute magical moment. There is a beautiful square in front of the church for mass gatherings, which is now surrounded with little shops. While Heidi and mom shopped for Lace (as Belgium is famous for its hand made lace), Mecé and I listened to the bells, and people watched while people watched us! Entering the Cathedral, one feels like you are in a medieval movie.  The Cathedral contains a number of significant works by the Baroque painter Peter Paul Rubens (The Raising of the Cross ; Assumption of the Virgin Mary ; The Descent from the Cross ). Another Significant piece of art in the cathedral is the ‘Madonna and Child’ Sculpture by Michelangelo. It was the only sculpture by Michelangelo to leave Italy during his lifetime.  Standing so close to the great artists works is a surreal moment and very difficult to explain. This was our first visit to a European Catholic Church and absolutely one of our favourites.

Photos – Left Top and Bottom – ‘The statue of Brabo in front of the Town Hall’. ‘Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekathedraal (Cathedral of our Lady)’ .  Right Top, Middle and Bottom – Rubens Paintings. 

Moving on with belly’s hungry again (I don’t think I have ever eaten so much in one day in my life before), Heidi took us to one of their favourite food stores, ‘Fritkot Max’, a Belgium delicacy…….. Double Baked Chips with Mayo AKA Fritjes! Ordering Large Fries and Mayo, we paused for a few minutes in the square while we awaited the arrival of Shovawn who is the youngest daughter of Heidi.  Meandering through the streets and enjoying our Fritjes while window shopping, we wondered off in another direction, this time past the grand Hilton Hotel.  Desperately in need of a toilet, we decided to pretend to be Hilton guests and sneak in to use the restrooms. It was quite a challenge, as there is a doorman at the main door checking for identification keys and even at the ‘ladies’, so we joined a very smart elderly lady and just walked in behind her, chatting loudly in English and the doorman just gave us a broad smile!!! The Hilton will never be the same after a visit from us ladies!

We eventually popped in to the shoe store of Steve Madden to say hello to Natasha, Heidi’s eldest daughter. And then…We Found THE HAND! Yes, the hand the whole world knows and speaks about. With it being so large, we could all sit cupped in its palm. We scouted the area looking for a potential stranger who could play photographer for us. After explaining to the gentlemen that if he planned to run off with my camera, that I am a sprint athlete and would be able to catch up with him and beat him up, we posed for the photo. After a few photos, a few laughs and camera in hand, we wondered off in the direction of the Toneelhuis, a beautiful old architectural theatre where both Elvis and Mozart had performed. Here they have a coffee shop on the mezzanine level, serving many kinds of scrumptious treats and some of the many beers Belgium has to offer. This is where we got our first taste of animal hospitality and which made me love Belgium even more…. one’s dog, no matter how big or small, is more than welcome to stay for tea. The waiters provide the dogs with doggie treats and water bowls while their owners relax and enjoy a meal or refreshment.

Photos – Top Left and Right – Eating Fritjes and Mayo! Middle – Toneelhuis. The Hand. Bottom – Us ladies in The Hand. Cherry Beer served with Wasabi nuts at the Toneelhuis.

A final stroll through the streets of Antwerpen, as daylight fades fast in winter, we pass through a shopping area of all sorts of stores. A sales promoter starts making her way towards us and before any of us can say anything, Shovawn pipes up with a ‘don’t bother us’ kind of tone and says “Excuse me, we’re English”, and then carries on walking. Stunned and not sure if we should laugh or be concerned, we followed her away from the crowd. Eventually I asked her why she said that, she explained that if you are English they don’t bother you as most of them can’t speak English, and so they move on to the next person. Needless to say, mom turned around and went back to the young girl for the Freebie she was offering. LUCKY Mom won a Gel Soap!

Our home-bound route takes us towards the Majestic Antwerp Station, which looks just like the station out of the movie ‘Hugo’. The Architecture is magnificent and has great timeless detail and in a class of its own. This beautiful station has withstood the hands of time and dates as far back as 1895 (completed in 1905).  This is where we await our bus to head back home, but let me tell you, we only got to see a tenth of what we should have seen. What a day! The bus ride home was an adventure on its own, which I will keep for another day. So, if you love history, architecture, art, great food, shopping, people watching, being in the presence of timeless greatness, you need to add Antwerpen to your bucket list. Travel in Europe is expensive . . . . .  if you make it expensive, but there is definitely no price tag on the many memories one makes. Till then …Totsiens!

*All facts have been taken directly from Wikipedia and have not been altered.

Have you lost your ticket?

You may wonder why my first blog is called “Have you lost your ticket?”

It all started when my sister, who had just completed High School, my mom, who is like a superhero, and I embarked on our month long adventure to Europe. Departing from O.R. Thambo Airport in SA aboard the amazing Turkish Airline en-route to Belgium where our friends Ian and Heidi awaited us at the Brussels airport – we were excited and ready to go!!  Anyone who has met my mom, and hopefully you the reader will get to know her, will instantly know how ‘O.C.D’ she is. Everything has a place and must always have order, hence my name for her ‘superhero’ because nothing ever goes wrong………or so we thought, and now for the saga.

(Photo below- Embarking on our Turkish airline plane)

Tickets ready, we boarded our flight. We were politely greeted by the Pilot, Chef and Stewardess’s at the entrance of the plane. Giggling girls were we, and excited as can be. We watched our plane take off on our personal interactive screens en-route to Istanbul which was the first stop over of our trip. Mom did a check of our passport’s and tickets then we settled in and enjoyed the flight. Arriving in Istanbul in the very early hours of the morning (it was still dark), we strolled around Customs, bought nothing and headed to find our next boarding gate.

What awaited us at the boarding gate is a story all on its own and I’ll keep it for another day.  All I shall share is that if you suffer from claustrophobia…you will understand my frustration!

Moving on to the “have you lost your ticket” saga has us boarding our connecting flight and EVENTUALLY on our way to Belgium. As usual, the ‘O.C.D’ mom checks the passports and tickets again, and strangely enough I decided to keep my own passport and ticket on me as I thought it would make for easier custom’s check in on arrival.  Lucky for us, we chose great seats near the front of the plane, so it made for easy disembarking…or so we thought. The mass of people on the plane decided they all wanted to be first to leave, not realising the plane had only LANDED, and still had a while of taxiing to go before the doors would be opened.

A kind gentleman in front of us said he would stand behind us ladies allowing us an easy exit, and so with that we greeted the crew on our disembarking and started making our way along, what felt like a very long walk, to customs. As we got a little closer the ‘Welcome to Brussels’ signs greeted us!  Excitement was building as we were about to see our friends shortly…. all we had to do was make it through customs. With my passport and ticket in hand, I made my way into the Non-European line (which in this case did not mean Black/Non-white, but a person who does not come from the Schengen States). A sudden sinking feeling in my stomach came when my mom called me back and asked if I had their passports. YES….mom and Mecé’s passports were missing.

Right there, we emptied our bags, every pocket, and every zip, everywhere! We rechecked our coats, rechecked our bags…NOTHING! They were gone. Mom quickly turned around and made her way back along the very long walkway to the plane, only to arrive at a closed door. In that same moment, one of the customs officials made his way over to me and asked if there was a problem. I explained the situation and he asked us to come over to the customs counter. Mecé by now was hyperventilating and ready to burst into tears, I however was like, “of all the people to lose something, I thought it would be me, never mom”. The customs officials were so helpful and took mom and Mecé into the ‘SECOND Holding room’ and I made my way through customs to go and find the Lost and Found desk in the wonderful and strange BRUSSELS airport.

If anyone reading has travelled abroad, you will know the strict rules and regulations of customs and airport security. So while mom and Mecé sat patiently with some Dutch grannies and other strange Nigerian foreigners being detained for strange things braided into their dreadlocks, I headed off to the first Lost and Found counter (yes there were more than one). After waiting for the lady to finally end her phone call, she explained to me that she couldn’t help and I needed to go OUT of customs into the airport and go to the second Lost and Found counter. With time passing by quickly and our luggage going round and round on the conveyor belt, I grabbed my coat and passport, went through customs into the airport.

In my haste, I did not even see Ian on my left, waiting for us. I headed over to where the lady had told me to go, only to be told to go BACK inside customs and speak to the Head of airport Lost and Found. Now my patience was wearing thin and I even at one stage thought, ‘my dad is probably at home watching this all on that TV show ‘Boarder Control’ thinking “those dumb Olivier girls…only they could get into trouble overseas!”  I headed back to the Customs ‘Exit’ doors and headed straight for them, only to be stopped by customs security telling me I am not allowed to go back there. I turned to the officer (who I shall call BOB) and told him in my most polite English, “WATCH ME! I am going back into customs.” His eyes nearly fell out of his head and speechless let me through.

Once back inside customs, by now I bet mom and Mecé are having tea and cake with the airport security, I made my way to the security place. Was it my final desk I’d be querying at?…Nope!! They told me If we think we lost them on the plane, we need to go to the Airline desk outside of customs and speak to their Lost and Found Manager. The expression on my face must have been priceless as the gentlemen even offered to escort me to the flight desk. But now, I had to make my way through those custom doors and past BOB again.

Out the doors, up many flights of stairs, losing a few kilograms and working up a sweat, even though it was 2deg, I finally found the Turkish Airlines desk. As I arrived a the desk, the Clerk said to me, “ You must be Miss Olivier”. I don’t think I have ever felt more relieved in my life. They had found mom and Mecé’s passports on the plane and were currently on their way to Customs holding to give it to them. I was so happy; I leaned over the counter and gave the man a kiss on the cheek. Elated and relieved, I made my way back to the customs exit gate.  Officer Bob was a lot friendlier this time and let me through without any argument. I grabbed our luggage and wheeled my way to mom and Mecé.

We finally made our way through customs doors, passed Bob again, and found Ian waiting patiently for us at the exit. You can only imagine the stories on the drive back to Edegem, where our month long holiday started in the Zulch family home. After a nerve wrecking arrival on the European continent, the best thing was being with friends, it felt like we were home, safe and with people we loved.

For the remainder of our 30days in Europe, “where’s your ticket” passport check happened every morning and evening. Needless to say, mom did misplace hers again…in that moment, both Mecé and I turned around and said, we’re leaving you behind and going on holiday without you! She did eventually find it and so our adventure began.

I am Inge*

Deciding to start a blog was an impulsive and random moment for me. Listening to and reading my dear mom’s notes, stories and memoirs from her colourful life, inspired me to share my own wacky and memorable stories and photographs with you  . . . . . .  First things first, let me give you an introduction of myself.

Inge, a name that’s short and sweet and suits me perfectly, but no  . . . I’m not from Sweden.  Age? Currently 27 years young. I am the middle child of three – the eldest daughter to two Amazing Parents. My vocation is my passion and this finds me as a Dance Teacher by profession in the small country city situated in the North West region of South Africa. My mother, who is my biggest fan, would say that I have many talents and definitely capable of accomplishing anything I put my mind to HOWEVER writing is not my forte!  But I hope that my stories and photos will inspire you to travel more and explore the countries and regions that find you calling.

Travelling is a life skill and as my mom always says– The world’s best classroom. Throughout my years, I’ve realised that travelling is not only about seeing and visiting new places, but meeting new people and making new friends. Being very spontaneous is one of my gifts and nothing holds me back from asking “old Oomie’s”* for some help, a random stranger to take photo’s of me, or the odd car guard* to push my car! Random moments and events seem to follow me around, or it might even be my force of attraction ….. Believe me, there is NEVER a Dull moment.

My blog is to share my experiences, photos, ideas, thoughts and memories of my travels from the past, present and hopefully my future. Some may bring joy and laughter, some may bring you to tears – you decide. So sit back and enjoy, and please feel free to leave a comment or ask a question.

 

 

 

Time waits for no man

Time waits for no man

Taken in Belgium awaiting a train.

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