Why I Love The Gentse Feesten


It’s that time again.

The time when the tram broadcasts stops in a Gents dialect and the city of Gent probably triples in population for 9 days.

When people walk down the streets at all hours proudly wearing black and white nooses around their necks.

When half of the businesses in Gent shut down and residents flee to other vacation spots to avoid the insane 24/7 partying that goes on in the center.

It’s Gentse Feesten time.

This morning ushered in the 167th Gentse Feesten as well as a glut of tourists and non-Gent dwelling Belgians.
And surprisingly enough, despite the fact that I opened the kiosk and was running it solo from 6:30 until 8:30, I only lost my temper and yelled at one customer. And she totally deserved it, coming up to my little kiosk door and asking me to make her two coffees before her train left while I was waiting on 3 other customers who were in line before her.

My Dutch really flows easier when I’m pissed.
My grammar begins to disintegrate but I lose all the hesitant stuttering I have while thinking about my sentence structure.

But that’s besides the point.

See, the university shuts down for the duration of the Gentse Feesten which means Piet has 9 days of vacation.

Nine days of vacation in which he plans to (amongst other things) cook.
And when Piet cooks, he cooks. It’s almost something really delicious, even if it’s simple.* Tonight he made tuna burgers from fresh tuna steak, chili peppers, cilantro, basil and lemon juice. He grilled them with soy sauce and served them on whole wheat toast with a garnish of tomato, lettuce and shoots.

Apparently he plans on finding inspiration for the next nine days on the Jamie Oliver website.

My taste buds can’t wait.

* this is opposed to what I do, which is either bake a piece of chicken or fish too dry and serve sautéed peppers and mushrooms, often with a side of rice or bulgar. Point being, I can cook for sustenance sake, but I rarely create any magnificent taste sensations in the kitchen


4 responses »

  1. Enjoy! I’m so jealous! I was begining to think the Flemish males were unable to cook!(all the guys I know can’t cook for their lives)

  2. I’m not gonna make it to the festival this year….probably for the first time in 20 years or so. But somehow I forgot about it….the longer I don’t live in Ghent anymore makes the unthinkable possible: I miss out on the Gentse Feesten and I’m not devestated about it.

    yet when I read all the reports of the concerts and activities on Gent blogt again then I do realise how much I miss.

    Oh well, you can’t do it all in the summer, there’s choices to be made. I find Piet’s (still not used to his name) vacation a good reason to love the gentse feesten!

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