25 January 2007

Hockey Day

There's another plus side to the move to Belgium (as if it really needed one)


I've got a friend, a good one who lives here in Belgium. He, like I, is a hockey fan. Only he's a much bigger hockey fan, in fact he also plays in the Belgian League. Check E. HotCorey Cornish's team in the standings http://www.rbihf.be/leagues.php?cat=bd2 They're Olympia, top of the charts. He like, myself, is a firm Canucks supporter.

Anyway, whilst Chiara and I were staying on their floor during the Great Brussels Househunt we got to enjoy CBC's Hockey Day in Canada, in Mechelen, in taped delay.

For those who don't know, Canada's venerable public broadcaster, the CBC has recently added to it's very old "Hockey Night in Canada" tradition a new twist: Hockey Day.

The NHL, in it's expansion, has left left it's Canadian teams behind, a few clubs have migrated to the states, as in the Phoenix Jets, and the Colorado Nordiques, and hockey has been focussing on pushing it's way into the lucrative yet crowded, American sports market.

But the CBC, and Canada's hockey teams have been organizing Hockey Day, wherein the 6 Canadian Hockey Teams play each other, back-to-back-to-back in a whole day affair, complete with coverage of local minor hockey games from various rinks around the country. And Ron MacLean and Don Cherry coming from a smalltown rink in Canada.

This year it was Nelson BC, and 6 sweet hours of, not just hockey, but CBC hockey coming straight into Mechelen via the North American Sports Network. It required staying up late on Saturday night, to catch the Montreal Ottawa game live, then waking up at 8am Sunday Morning to enjoy the Canucks trouncing cross-country rivals the Leafs.

Followed by the battle of Alberta, and lastly followed up by some Playstation 2 battling. Sportswise, it's unfortunate to move away from Italy and AS Roma, but it has put me much closer to hockey in general, and specifically the Canucks.

Who, by the way, are on fucking fire these days!


22 January 2007

Here's Brussels so Far

So the update: a home has been found and it's the cats pyjamas. In a sweet area of Brussels known as Ixelles. A clearly upper middle class neighborhood with all the comforts a home needs at accessible distance (video store, two grocery stores, hardware store, bakeries) and more than enough options for going out. Tonnes of restaurants, Lebanese, Chinese, tonnes of Italian, a Jpanese restaurant across the street from us. My only complaint is that collectively they average out to be a spot you'd go for a 'special dinner, on a special occasion; i could use a few more dash-in local joints. The one exception is the Quickburger. Quickburger is a Belgian only fast food chain. It's awesome, but not quite the spot one might chill at.

Otherwise, on the interior of our apartment, where we've been spending most of our time, the palce is incredible. Two floors, two bedrooms, 1.5 bathrooms, big kitchen, both bedrooms with little loft areas. Pretty much a dream: big bright spacious with really nice thoughtful, generous landlords. Exactly the opposite of our apartment in Rome.

Chiara and I have been busy with trips to IKEA. One day I will buy furniture that I don't have to assembke myself. Then I will feel successful. But for now, i'll use the assemblage of IKEA products as a substitute for genuine DIY projects.

I haven't really been out, and the job hunt has stalled, but we're getting the house in order.


08 January 2007

Hunting and Gathering

There's not that much to love about househunting, the endless phone calls beginning with "parlez-vous anglais s'il vous plait?" and ending immediately thereafter if the answer is no. If the answer is yes it can lead to all kinds of craziness: plaid berets, secret bedrooms, and getting rear ended at a traffic light. Or just regular hassles like missed appointments or getting stood up and shitty apartments that clean up nice for internet pictures. All are disappointing...

And there's no end yet. The good news is, though we're so far lacking results, after 5 days of teamwork and learning Chiara and I are feeling alot better about our househunting skills.


02 January 2007

Moving On...

The cars being loaded on the train, our dumpy small Roman apartment is empty and clean, I just need a shower, some dinner, and two nights on the train to get me to Belgium with Chiara.

Kind salutjes to Roma, una città bellisima, ma nostro tempo è finito. Adesso io scopro una città nuova, è una vita nuova, con la sua ragazza. Grazie Roma, ci vediamo tra poco.