Monday, August 5, 2013

Not Just-In-Time

Whiling away time at the station
They say that older couples come together over time, adopting each other's habits and outlooks. I do know that geezers come to resemble their dogs, but their wives? I've always thought that unlikely.

My Anita starts packing days before a trip and considers an hour early barely optimal for airports and trains. If it weren't for her, my just-in-time slacker scheduling would have me racing through the trip in a healthy panic. When I am alone I engage in aerobic traveling at its finest, which must be quite a popular sport, based on so many sprinting though stations.

Yet, this morning found me in the Ghent station more than an hour before the Puurs train. This Anitaism makes me wonder if we might be converging after all. Perhaps because we have no dog I have imprinted on her instead.

I am cruising Belgium solo these days. So that train station pause was not her doing. I had glanced at the clock and rushed out of the flat, thinking I had only moments to spare. I seem to be unlearning how to tell analog time or Anita nudged that clock way fast for her own flight home. Either way it made for a leisurely pace at the station. I enjoyed an excellent apple cake and a cappuccino as I watched the parade of travelers.

A tiny blue sign marks the Mechelen rabbit hole
In Mechelen I reversed the situation and missed my connection by seconds. My arrival train blocked the view of the other seven platforms and I spent a few moments wandering around Platform 1, puzzling out the various schedules. Instead I should have been quick down the stairs and under the tracks to pop up like a rabbit. When I finally found someone to ask, the same dash had me arriving just-too-late as the train slid away.

Three minutes might be a long time to hold one's breath but not nearly enough to stumble around asking questions and make a connection. I could have easily taken an earlier train from Ghent and allowed more than three minutes. But my just-in-time slacker scheduling had me lingering over that leisurely breakfast. This un-Anitaism makes me think that that converging stuff is unlikely.

What fun to play these beauties
No harm done. I have another hour for train spotting before I head off for Viseur Accordions. Anita has a good laugh along with, "I told you so".

We need a dog.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Philip,
    My wife and I happened to be walking down Ballenstraat in Gent, Belgium when I heard the sound of a button accordion playing Josephin's Vals. The time was about 1:00pm, Saturday, Aug 3rd. Was this you playing? I made a recording on my phone:

    I made a Google search for "Ballenstraat accordeon" and your blog showed up .

    August 3rd was the last day of our 8-day stay in Gent. We had a great time there but it was too short. We're from Oakland, CA.

    I thought I'd leave you a comment because I gather from your blog we seem to have similar interests. I'm 65 and started learning GC diato about 3 years ago by watching videos on Youtube. My favorite artists are Sophie Cavez, Naragonia, and Rhizottome. I don't have any Swedish, Belgian, Flemish, or French in my background, I just like the sound of this music. We went to Boombal and saw the dancers but it was so crowded, so hot, and I had so many blisters on my feet, that we decided to forego the dancing.

    Nice playing on your blog video. And if that was you I heard playing on Ballenstraat, my compliments again. It really fit in with the atmosphere of Gent. Keep up the good work!

    Jim Stetson
    (Windjammer on melnet but I rarely log in--I need to do that more often)