Antwerp? Antweird

A visiting friend and I spent Saturday afternoon wandering the streets of Antwerp in the rain. Because that’s what you’ll get if you travel across Europe to see me for the weekend: aimless window shopping with intermittent drizzle. Anyway, we saw a few strange things, some of which I’ll post here so that you can feel like you shared in the experience, only without the dampness.

First up, a couple of cats in a pharmacy window (Erik has subsequently copyrighted the potential band name “Pharmacy Cats”). It took a few moments to establish whether they were, in fact, real cats and not a pair of those model cats with bellows inside to make it look like they were breathing, but the ear flicks and nose twitches gave them away.

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Seeking shelter from the persistent precipitation we found a bar, which just happened to be a specialist gin bar with over 200 varieties available. We felt it was a little early in the day for hard liquor, so we opted for a glass of gin-flavoured beer, and then popped next door to the shop to browse through the many weird and wonderful flavour combinations. Kiwi cream gin, anyone?

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Passing back through the centre we saw the staff of an Italian restaurant, finally allowed their own lunch after the tide of tourist hordes had subsided. Love the way their shirts, the table cloths and the lampshades are coordinated.

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We stopped for a browse in a secondhand bookshop. I liked the idea of this one: a book to persaude you of the value of reading books. Preaching to the converted, somewhat?

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I made a couple of purchases and we left, although not by this door, which as far as I could tell didn’t lead anywhere.

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Tricky types, those Antwerpenaars. Maybe their freshly-elected mayor will whip them into shape?