December was a very nice and festive month in Gent, of course after exams, and we as IMFSE group enjoy it by celebrating Giorgio’s late birthday and the end of exam period, which was quite intense let’s say. We had a group dinner at our favorite place Amadeus (which for me is the best place, I’ ll tell you later why :D).
Our classmate from the local master, Bert had prepared for us a day trip to visit some historical cities starting with the city of Ypres, an ancient city, dating back to the first century. A very interesting fact was the Ypres battle is one of the most important battles of the WWI. Ypres occupied a strategic position during the First World War because it stood in the path of Germany’s planned sweep across the rest of Belgium and into France from the north. The neutrality of Belgium was guaranteed by Britain; Germany’s invasion of Belgium brought the British Empire into the war. The German army surrounded the city on three sides, bombarding it throughout much of the war, for this reason, the city has enormous cemeteries of soldiers from the different part of the world.
After visiting and honoring their graveyards we went to Bert’s hometown, De Haan where we had the chance to enter the firefighter’s station where Bert is youngest firefighter volunteer. It was so cool to see all kind of trucks and we could sit in them. After this amazing surprise visit to the station we head to Bert’s house where we met his family, it was a lovely dinner prepared from them.
Everybody left for the winter holidays, Ines, Balsa, Giorgos and the Kiwi (Jemie) went back home and Gerard had a tour in central and eastern Europe, so I was all alone in Gent and the office that I work for was closed during this holidays so I thought maybe will be fun working somewhere in Gent and meet new people and have new friends. So I had to think which place I would like to work and of course, if they were going to accept me or not. Oh well, I did not think a lot about my choice and guess where I went to ask for a part-time job and I started immediately, Amadeus (you remember the place with the ribs competition and who can eat more). So I started working as a bartender since I don’t really know how to speak Duch (let’s say I don’t know Duch at all). It was an amazing two weeks experience, during the mornings I had the chance to visit Gent and be a tourist around the city and during the evenings I was a bartender in Amadeus.
The New Year’s Eve was very special, even why I was working. After the restaurant was closed all the team was gathered and started to celebrate the new year, eating, drinking and dancing. It was a different kind of New Year for me since I was used to celebrating this holidays with my family and close friends, but now I have new friends and it was a very fun experience!