A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: Eurochunks

Day 1

Here I go

No real problems getting to Antwerp, there was a flight delay due to high winds, which also made the flight a bit bouncy, and trying to find the right place to exchange my flight ticket for a rail ticket was a bit of a bind, but got here in the end.
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But here's where it all went downhill

I'd read that the WiFi in the hotel was a bit temperamental over the forth floor of seven so I emailed them in advance to put me on a lower floor, which they emailed back to say no problem.

You can guess what happened - yep got here and was given a room on the seventh floor, I had a whinge but was told there was no more rooms available but there would be tomorrow, and anyway the WiFi was OK in the bar and lobby area, so I though well it's only for one night no big deal.

So dropped my stuff off in the room and took my laptop down to the bar - thought I'd have a beer and do some emails and watch some TV.

Spent a little too much time there as the football was on and I did some catch up with Game of Thrones, anyway got back to my room about 12:30am, got ready for bed, when I pulled back the covers the bed was full of bed bugs, I pulled all the bedding off, and as I had a twin room, tried the other, I did see one or two bugs there as well but brushed them off did a quick check all over and seeing no others got into bed.

The next morning yep you've guessed it was covered in bites, which were really itchy, but as I had an early start and the office was a good 10 mile bus ride a way thought I'd better get going

I spoke to reception on my way out about the room change and they said it was OK, I also told them about my room and that it needed an urgent clean up.

My itchy lumps were really playing up all day, and hoped that they would start to go once I'd moved into the new room, anyway the new room was ready I checked for bugs - none and went off to get my stuff from the old room. When I got there all my belongings had been moved out, including all the toiletries I had out in the bathroom and even a pile of dirty clothes I was going to put in a back when I got back.

I went to reception to find out where it had all gone and the girl there just looked at me blankly, she called over another chap and he said he go looking for it, as it happened my things it were in a room next to the desk, all in a bit of a heap, dirty clothes and all.

After getting all my things into the new room, I set off to find somewhere to eat, I knew I didn't need to go right into town, (about 2 miles away) as there were a few restaurants nearby.

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I must have been walking for about 30 minutes and found about 6 restaurants none off which I liked wast I saw on the menu, although there was a Tapas Bar, so thought that will do, nope had some tasteless chorizo and cheese thing with chips (with a dollop of mayo) like cardboard, had a beer as well which took the bill up to nearly 20EUR

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Headed back to the hotel to watch something on my laptop, I did have wifi but it was too slow to watch anything without freezing every now and again, thought I'd leave it until the morning to complain.

Posted by Eurochunks 05:33 Archived in Belgium Comments (0)

Day 2

First day

Took bus to office, but couldn't find reception, after walking almost in a circle - about a mile found reception, there was no one there, so rang phone, told them who I was there to see, and the woman on the other end said she'd never heard of her and would look her up on the company database. anyway after 15 minutes the woman came to reception to say the person I was here to see would be here in a minute, another 15 minutes later she turned up, had the usual quick tour of one of the manufacturing buildings and went to the office.

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Met up with the rest of the team except the other guy from the UK who was starting Thursday, went over all my tasked in a meeting I scratched my way through, after which I thought this job is about ten times bigger than originally though and was wondering if I'd done the right thing taking a job in Belgium.

As my equipment wasn't ready - surprise surprise, I just looked over some details I was able to get to on my personal laptop, for the rest of the day

Did stop for lunch in the canteen, they had several counters with some very odd looking meals, which I decided not to try and settled for a roll and meat and cheese, although the first packed meat I picked up was horse - that went straight back, and settled for salami.

Posted by Eurochunks 11:02 Archived in Belgium Comments (0)

Day 3

Itchy and Scratchy

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My bites were beginning to get worse and spread, but got off to work anyway, had a busy morning with meetings and things, which I scratched all the way through, went to lunch with the team, which I scratched all the way through, got back to the office to carry on still scratching, when my manager told me to leave early and find a pharmacy and get it treated,

There was one just down the road from the hotel, I showed the woman behind the counter some of my bites and asked for some cream to put on them, she said as there was so many it was dangerous to put that much Hydrocortisone cream on and gave me some tablets and some soothing spray, so 20EUR later I went back to the hotel to have another whinge about my bites and the crap wifi.
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Girl on the desk gave me the same blank, "there's nothing I can do about any of it" look, so off I went to my room to sort out my lumps.

Thought I'd watch some more Game of Thrones, but the wifi was still playing up, so by now I'm fired up, and stormed off back to reception to get them to try rebooting the router,

When I got there, there was another guest complaining about the wifi, I said me too, i checked the signal and speed which were both really low, but the girl at the desk said "Well it works for me" and anyway the hotel had been informed of guests complaining and were upgrading the wifi on the 27th - well that's alright then, only a week to wait.

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Posted by Eurochunks 05:54 Archived in Belgium Comments (0)

Day 4

OOPS

Was hoping things would start getting better, but how wrong I was, as I was a bit bored the night before I was twiddling with my phones launcher page and broke before I went to bed, but though no problem I'll fix it in the morning.

So was stood on bus stop and though I'd have a go at fixing it while I was waiting, so with my head down in my phone trying to fix it, I looked up and the bus had pulled in right in front of me, thought great, I'll carry on fixing it on the bus, so got in sat down and in about 10 minutes had managed to get my phone back the way it was,

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Looked up to see where I was, and thought I don;t remember any of these roads were passing, so fired up Google Maps only to find I'd got on the wrong bus and was now quite a few Kilometres in the wrong direction, I asked the driver the best way to get back to my bus route, he said easy just stay on this bus as it goes to the station where I could pick up my proper one,

Didn't know I'd have to sit on the bus for nearly an hour until we got back to the station, any way found the right bus and got into work 90 minutes late

At least the rest of the day went smoothly.

Posted by Eurochunks 06:14 Archived in Belgium Comments (0)

Day 5

Scott

Got on correct bus today, later Scott the other UK Analyst who was supposed to be starting with me on Monday which is why I started a week or two earlier than planned turned up, he said he'd already told them he wasn't starting until the Thursday and that he was only there for two days as he had a wedding to go off to for four days in Rome - so thought "Cheers then"

Anyway we got together had a long chat about how we were going to work and live and travel over the duration of the contract.

In the meantime Marijn, one of the other local Analysts offered to put me up in his place as he was hardly ever there as he spent nearly all week at his girlfriends in Amsterdam.

Posted by Eurochunks 06:38 Archived in Belgium Comments (0)

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