Tuesday, 12 October 2010


After reading a great post over a Cheeseburgers and Sauerkraut about being, among other things, feeling stereotyped, I felt it struck a core with me. 

After living in Germany for about 14 months, I must be quite lucky to have any stereotypes thrown at me. For one thing, the Australian culture does not a profile as high as that of an American or an Britain. Furthermore, I don't physically look like a stereotypical Australian.

In some ways, I stereotype the Germans more than the Germans stereotype me.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Liege, Belgium

My family wanted to get away for the weekend. As it was only for the weekend, we don't want to drive too long to reach it. After doing a quick search, we settled on visiting Liege, Belgium. It is about one and half hours drive from home, and the drive is almost all on the autobahn, so it is perfect.

The one thing that strikes me about Liege is the industrial nature of it. The general colour of the city is grey and black. Not too many green or blue. I also were quite taken back by ambience of the town, the people of the town are a bit on the depress side. Maybe I am more accustomed to the higher levels of living in Germany.

I have heard that food, more specifically food from the restaurant or cafe, are a bit more expensive than Germany. We had lunch at a local cafe in town, and it costed about 33€. Lunch consists of a three servings of open sandwiches for everyone, coffees for my wife and I, and a slice of cake. I would have expected to pay about 25€ back in Germany. Having said that, I must say that the sandwiches were absolutely delicious. The children also eat all of their sandwiches as well. The Belgians really do know how to do pastry food.

The October fun fair started the weekend we arrived, actually our weekend apartment is across the road from the fun fair. It is one of the largest in the region, with about 150 stalls. Our kids were a little bit too young for the majority of the attractions, they were mainly targeted towards to young adults. However, the lights and the sounds captured their imagination.

The usual suspects were at the fair, the carnival food of hamburgers and pommes frittes, the many bright lights and loud music, and the abundant spruikers tempting you to part with your money.

There were a new fair ride that I have not seen before. It is basic and looks quite terrifying. You sit in a open capsule, and the capsule is located at the end of a swing arm. There is also another open capsule at the other of the swing arm which can also hold passengers. When the ride goes, the swing spins in a vertical axis, very, very fast. It claims that it is pulling 4G as it swings around. For the spectators, they can safely stand under the downward swing of the arm. I tell you that it can get quite scary for spectators as well.

On the Sunday, it was a trip to La Batte for the Sunday Market. It was one of the largest market that I have ever been too. It is located on the La Batte on the Meuse River. We heard that parking is hell, so the we walked to it. It was only about 15mins from where we are staying.

There is quite a large variety of things to be bought, for eating, for wearing, for admiring, for listening and for drinking. I love the noise that a market generates. We also saw a monkey in a pram!

The main language spoke in Liege is French, and this is true for the market. We were not confident enough in our French to negotiate prices on some of the items.

The market is big! The market walk stretches for at least 3km!

We bought some lovely ham, local cheese and some local sour dough bread, and had lunch at the after the market visit. It was delicious.

In the afternoon, the drive home was easy and relaxed. We are definitely looking on our next visit to Liege.