This weekend in Antwerp: 18th, 19th & 20th May

FEATS2018

HERE’S THE GOOGLE MAP FOR THIS WEEKEND AND BEYOND …

FEATS (Festival of European Anglophone Theatrical Societies) is on over this weekend on (18th -21st). It is hosted by BATS VZW (Antwerp’s own British American Theatre Society) and takes place at the Fakkel Theatre on Hoogstraat.  Tickets are popular, so waste no time in getting yours if you would like to go. Tickets via this link will get you an evening comprising of three performances. Here is the list of participating groups, and the FEATS program.

FridayamorikaGreeknight

On Steenplein, some and enjoy another Aper’eau event next to the river from 5pm.

A little way along the river, summer bar Bocadero opens for the summer season at Waagnatie from midday.

Amorika host an evening of Greek music at ‘T Werkhuys (8pm)  for just 5 euros (pic right, courtest of Amorika).

Saturday

Cross the river for an Evening Market on Frederik Van Eedenplein from 3pm to 9pm.

Sinksenfoor (funfair) opens today in Park Spoor Oost at 2pm. Sinksenfoor is on an ongoing summer attraction, open until 24th June.

Sunday (Pentecost)

The regular second hand book market on de Coninckplein has a musical dimension this month, as it will be accompanied by a piano marathon.

For more general bargain hunters, this Rommelmarkt, free from 10am -6pm at Skate Planet.

Japan Con takes place in the Loods building (Park Spoor Noord) and brings Asian pop culture to Antwerp (animé, Manga & cosplay) from 10am -6pm. Tickets are E8.99 (free for kids under 10)

There are Pentecost services at OLV Cathedral.

bocaderoF
Bocadero Summer Bar

Friday will be cool/ mild (16 degrees) The weekend should be mostly dry, with temperatures warming up on Saturday (20-21 degrees, cloudy with sunny patches) when there could be a light shower. Sunnier on Sunday.

Miscellaneous

I am proud to share this post I wrote about Antwerp for Discovering Belgium blog.

Monday is Pentecost Monday (aka Whit Monday). It’s a public holiday so most shops will be closed. Warm sunshine expected! How about this bike market on Dageraadplaats instead? Goegekregen are also holding one of their secondhand markets on Theaterplein from 9am.

Also on Monday a guest post here on Nessascityblog, from the lovely Nonnative Blog

Keep an eye on the ZVA website for the release of the Antwerp summer programme on the 22nd May (Tuesday). Tickets for events will be available from 2nd June.

I’m pleased to share this blog post: Three Great Spots For When The Sun Is Shining which was published recently on the Stad Antwerpen website and optimistically describes three places in the city you might want to check out if the weather holds out …

Screen Shot 2018-04-24 at 16.28.21

Open- air swimming pool De Molen is now open on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays from  midday until 6pm.

Summer bars now open: Bar JardimBar Paniek and Bocadero (from 18th May).

 

Find & Follow Nessascityblog

Find Nessascityblog on social media, where additional events and activities are also posted

socialmediaFbPTw

Instagram

Facebook (Events in Antwerp: in conjunction with London Calling)

Twitter &

Pinterest

nessacityblogbannerbymaf

Guest Post: Laura Soave, designer and blogger from Italy writes about how there is no place like home …

Laura Soave is an Antwerp blogger and designer from Italy. Check out her blog: nonnative and find her on InstagramFacebook and Twitter  Read her story here:-

LauraS

No Place Like Home …

Breathless, I’m completely breathless, not because I’m admiring a beautiful view from a fancy skyscraper in some fancy big city like New York. No, the reason why my ex-smoker lungs are loudly screaming is because I have just ascended 65 stairs (yes, I counted) just so I could reach the top floor of a building in Kipdorpvest, a street in the heart of this small city. And all of this effort just so I could visit the last apartment available te huur (to rent). That day I made my first big decision in a foreign country: quit smoking! This is one of the first memories I have of moving to Antwerp and one of the first time I saw Leopold de Waelplaats. I thought it was one of the most charming places I had ever seen: foggy, a little grey, but incredibly charming. I remember I was sitting in this café while waiting to check the last apartment for the day. It has been a long time since I’ve thought of that first day in this strange, new land.

LeopoldewaalpltsF
Leopold de Waelplaats

My name is Laura and I am an Italian from Napoli living in Antwerp since 2011. When I moved here with my Italian husband we did it to get a better life, sure. But we weren’t running away from La Bella Italia; we were homesick everyday, and we still are. Were we leaving everything behind – family, friends, our apartment – in order to try this new experience that might get us a better job and a better future? The hope for better opportunities fused with a curiosity to explore a new culture won the battle between “shall we go?” and “we’d  better stay”.  

So the answer was yes. Even though during my first days of Belgian-life I perceived some kind of hostility, I wanted to feel part of the culture and understand the everyday mechanisms of a society that I could not yet comprehend. While observing people crossing the street I couldn’t help but wonder how could they go around with just a light t-shirt or shorts while an unstoppable rain was coming down! And as soon as a timid ray of sunlight emerged, everybody was sitting outside, no matter what temperature: that was a complete mystery to me. But yes, I now forgot cars and traffic and rode around Antwerp on my purple bike, crossing streets of a city so diverse that it can make your head spin. I noticed there is less queuing at the bank or at the post office, and less stress caused by things like late buses, however, you’ll feel the need to take advantage of enjoying a day outdoor in the sun, because it might be the last you’ll see in a long time. Due to this and many other reasons, I became passionate about this place. I started working as designer, began to attend Dutch classes and discover more of this new culture. I made both Belgian and international friends.

GroenplaatsLaura

When you live abroad for a while, you realise your life will always be split into two perfect halves. Half of me is still in my hometown; and then there is other half that has tuned out of my own culture a little, and has adjusted to a new way of life and new rules. At first, this new feeling created a sense of non-belonging, not belonging to Antwerp but also not to Napoli, because not living my culture for so long made me forget what’s it like to live there. A dawning awareness enabled me to at last realise that I do belong to both places at the same time, so to make a better record of my life here and experiences, I recently started a blog about Antwerp (nonnative.blog), which is a collective of expat voices. Nonnative is a place where people can write about this city from the expat point of view; it’s like an online home.

Sometimes I think of what Dorothy says “There is no place like home” right before clicking her heels for three times to go home. Home can be in two different places at the same time: in one place you have your heart, and in the other your have your soul. One cannot live without the other.

Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 13.24.21

Inspired to write a guest blog post telling your Antwerp story? Please get in touch via nessascityblog@gmail.com -I’d love to hear from you.

cropped-maf3.png

Find me on social media, where additional events and locations are also posted:

socialmediaFbPTw

Instagram

Facebook (Events in Antwerp: in conjunction with London Calling)

Twitter &

Pinterest

 

This weekend in Antwerp: 27th, 28th & 29th October

Screen Shot 2017-10-24 at 21.46.14
Pumpkins at Antwerp market (Theaterplein, Saturdays)

Here is your GOOGLE MAP for all the locations mentioned in this weekend’s post!

Plein Publiek celebrates two years at the Fierensblokken this weekend. There’s also a fair amount of Hallowe’en events on, although Hallowe’en itself falls on Tuesday.

One option for some Hallowe’en entertainment would be the BATS production of Dracula. Tickets for the 31st are sold out but there are still some left for the 28th, 29th & 30th. I have already heard very positive reviews of this production!

DraculaBats

Friday

Critical Mass takes place as usual for the last Friday of the month, and this is a special edition for children and young cyclists. Be aware that this route will, however, comprise three sites where cyclists have been killed in accidents lately in Antwerp, so that flowers can be laid at these places. If you’re a cyclist, do be especially careful as the weather gets darker, and especially at crossings (all the recent fatalities occurred at crossings).

Saturday

The Antwerp Fire Services celebrate their 200th birthday with an open door day at their main depot on Noorderlaan, between 9.30 am- 5pm. Ideal for a visit if you have a child who aspires to be a fire-fighter.

It’s the legendary An Sibhin Hallowe’en Quiz! General knowledge quiz in fancy dress, in English. Teams of max. 5 players – 5€ per person entry. The quiz starts at 8pm.
Reserve your team by messaging the An Sibhin Facebook page  or in person at the bar.

London Calling are celebrating 50 Years of Sergeant Pepper at Ampere! SuperEarly bird tickets are sold out but a few early birds are left at 7 euros… Otherwise it’s 11 euros. DOORS OPEN: 10.30

sgtpepper

Sunday

There is a free Dia de los Muertos event at MAS museum from 3pm on the 8th floor. It is suggested that visitors bring a photo or object that evokes the memory of a lost loved one.  There’s music, and a free visit to the expo on the 8th floor, as well as some activities for children.

The weather this weekend is likely to be mixed with showers (particularly on Sunday) and maximum temperatures of around 15 degrees.
Miscellaneous

Wednesday 1st November is a public holiday (All Saints) and there will be a Goegekregen Rommelmarkt all day (9am- 6pm) on Theaterplein.

On MONDAY 30th Oct: I’m looking forward to pressing another guest post – this time from Laura, an Italian who lives in Antwerp and is the the writer of Nonnative blog

Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 13.24.21

Don’t forget to get in touch via nessascityblog@gmail.com if you would like to write a post telling your Antwerp story.

I have also guest-blogged for Nonnative. Read my restaurant review here.

Antwerp has been included in the Lonely Planet Top Ten Cities for 2018!

For kids: you may be pleased to know that the indoor playground above Mercado (Groenplaats) has re-opened. It will be open on Saturdays and Sundays (and during school holidays) from 10am- 6pm and on Wednesdays from 1pm -6pm.

Find me on social media, where additional events and locations are also posted:

socialmediaFbPTw

Instagram

Facebook (Events in Antwerp: in conjunction with London Calling)

Twitter

&

Pinterest

Guest post: Dolrish Aguillon, vlogger and nurse.

BEING AN EXPAT

What’s it like being an expat? What are struggles you’re likely to face when you leave your country of origin? How would you start a new life when all the things you’ve cherished, treasured and loved are 10, 718 kilometres away?

I am Dolrish Aguillon, a Filipino. And this is my story.

DolrishGraduation
Graduating, in 2011

It’s September 2011, and I’ve just got my license to practise as a registered nurse when I decide to leave everything behind and go to Belgium. The reason is to have immediate work and earn. My mother was already working here so bringing me from the Philippines wasn’t a big deal. I didn’t have much time to prepare, to say goodbye to my friends and loved ones. I’ll never forget the day when the plane took-off: I was crying like a baby;  it hurts so deeply.

The first week of staying here was exciting and full of promise. I was curious and anxious at the same time. The separation, anxiety and sadness came after a month and it lasted for almost four months. Every night before I went to sleep I would think about how life might have been if I hadn’t left The Philippines. However,  I used all my uncertainties as a fuel to become a better person and to succeed. Here, I’d like to share the things which totally caught me off-guard when I came here:

LANGUAGE

Learning Dutch or any foreign language isn’t that simple. During my first months here, I experienced the frustration of not understanding others, and not being understood. I’ve gone to different evenings schools, followed intensive courses (university and adult courses) just to learn the language. After four years, I got my level 5 certificate from Linguapolis in Antwerp.

philippines-26794_640

MAKING FRIENDS AND MEETING PEOPLE

What makes it harder is the fact that you don’t know anyone in the city. There is no one with whom you can spend time and enjoy activities. There is no one who would give you a tour of the city, nor advise you on how to live and survive there. Being new to a country, without acquaintances, is hard.

I have made friends through attending Dutch lessons, going to events and activities in Antwerp and by joining groups like Expats in Antwerp on Facebook. My friends are mostly foreigners, like myself.

FOOD

All of us can relate to the experience of suddenly not be able to get the foods we are used to. I didn’t eat much potato before. I am used eating rice and noodles; they have both here but it was seldom cooked at my new home. One dish I really miss is chicken adobo (chicken prepared with soy sauce and bay leaves) – a typical Filipino food, usually served with rice.

WEATHER

Belgium is known to have pretty terrible weather; a lot of rain, cold, wind and snow. You can’t plan anything without consulting the weather first. This is a problem I never had when I was in the Philippines, so it really took me some time to get used to it.

CULTURE

Different country, different culture. What do I expect? I had to accept, mingle and respect the new culture I found myself in. Throughout the years I have seen a lot of Belgian culture and their way of living. I would say that they are very organised and careful in all aspects of their lives. Something that we Filipinos don’t have. We are used to living day by day; not worrying about what tomorrow may bring.

Dolrish Vlog
Dolrish in 2017 – ready to vlog!

Those are the 5 things what made my integration process challenging here Belgium. I wish I knew those things  before I came here and had researched more deeply about Belgium, its people and  its culture. And for these reasons I decided to produce a Youtube channel which gives insights and tips about being an expat – not only in Belgium but also in general. I make 1-2 videos per week, so don’t forget to check out my channel

Screen Shot 2017-05-03 at 18.07.29
Vlog posts on Dolrish’s Youtube channel

Inspired by Dolrish’s post?

If you’d like to contribute and tell your story, please get in touch via nessascityblog@gmail.com

If you are on Facebook, you might also like to check out Expats in Antwerp and connect with people from all over the world who have made Antwerp their home.