I’ve been on my feet all afternoon and tramped all the way around Leuven. And on the hottest day of the year so far too!
And it hasn’t been without its incidents too – some of them good, some of them bad.
The bad incidents concern the attitudes of various estate agents who, in many case, quite frankly couldn’t care less about potential clients and make no effort to give any assistance to anyone calling at the door.
Not only that, I doorstepped the Tourist Information Office about potential holiday lets lying vacant over the winter that might be let out profitably on a mid-term basis. But to give you some idea of what I’m up against here in Belgium, this was met with an outraged “but that’s illegal!” And so you see – trying to do something out of the ordinary here in Belgium is a waste of time.
But there has been some good, positive news. And it’s been a long time since I’ve had any, isn’t it?
Firstly, I found some information about a couple of flat-hotels in the city. And so I went off on the prowl. The first one was right out of town on the road to Kessel-Lo (you can see how far I walked), and the second one was, quite appropriately, right next door to the Nick, so I won’t have far to go when they find out about me.
The first one was the cheaper of the two. It looked rather like a barracks and the rooms were rather spartan, but it had everything that I would be likely to need. The second was in a much more beautiful setting and I really liked the look of the place, but this too was rather spartanly-finished and I could smell the damp. However, the price worked out at less than I’m paying here, and that’s with all of my own facilities. Consequently, we are starting to pull ahead a little (and about time too).
But I turned up trumps in another estate agent’s that I discovered by accident. The guy there downed tools and took me round the corner to show me a studio. On the third floor (with a lift) of a small building in the pedestrianised street between the city centre and the railway station was a small (and I do mean small) furnished studio – nice and clean with a wooden floor and with modern furniture. It’s basic I suppose but it’s there and while I don’t like the situation much, I’ve learned that I can’t afford to be choosy.
Another possibility is a flat by the seaside and some estate agent in Oostende has come up with something too. This was a long shot – something round about Plan Z I reckon – but once more it’s an option.
And so I’ll keep on trucking, but I’ll see what this place is like tomorrow afternoon. If it muts the custard, I’ll be taking that one seeing as how it’s situated near to the hospital. But if it’s no good, I’ll be going for the one in the town I reckon.
It was a long way back tonight and I was thoroughly exhausted. And soaked in sweat too. after a coffee and a little doze I went and had a shower and a change of clothes.
Tea was quite exciting too, especially after I dropped almost all a bottle of hot spicy tomato sauce into my pasta tonight. And the garlic bread was delicious too.
And I wish that these Flemish girls would stop wearing these skimpy skin-tight shorts in this hot weather. It isn’t ‘arf interfering with my breathing.