sobota 15. září 2012

Final conclusion - The Best Student City in the World !

   Finally, after a very very very long time, I found some time to add a little bit more to my blog and decided to make a small final conclusion of this famous Erasmus stay in Belgium.
   As you can read in my previous posts, there is no question that I had a great time. To sum up Erasmus as such, I would use a sentence that every student which has experienced it on own hook  agrees: Erasmus gives you a lot, but also takes you a lot...Being on Erasmus is a rare thing. You cannot do it again. And it would lose the rareness anyway. From my point of view one could say: what started with Erasmus, ended with Erasmus as well. Erasmus is a gorgeous experience. Maybe you wouldn't even believe how much fun you have. You make plenty of friends, you learn new stuff, you make lots of crazy things (like on Halloween you put a real pumpkin on your head and go partying), you learn to do new things, you learn how to take responsibility for yourself. Of course you improve your language skills, make many trips with lots of amazing experiences.

    The problem is, once you get back home, everything is gone. Forever. You have a lot of memories, but in fact all these memories just stir up weird feelings when browsing your photos. It's nice to have friends anywhere around the world but, honestly, it's very probable that many of them you won't ever meet again. But still, you can keep in touch and who knows :-) Okay okay, enough sad notes. It's just the worst part of Erasmus but's absolutely worth it!

pondělí 10. září 2012

Plenty of funny experiences

   In fact, I have plenty of funny moments to share. Do you remember I said you get lots of experiences and experience from Erasmus? I have experienced many moments, I have been in many new and sometimes strange situations, very often full of adrenaline. However, that's what definitely belongs to Erasmus....doesn't it? So I'm gonna tell you some adventures.

Catching a plane

   This is a crazy story, with a happy ending of course, how else. I was back home. I mean, since I had a break between the semesters, before the second semester started I came to the Czech Republic for one week to visit my friends, parents etc. This was in the period of a harshly freezing weather. One day morning I was going by train to Brno, where I was supposed to take a plane to Eindhoven. Sure you can't come to the airport at the last moment but you should always be there sooner. Just in case. And I was supposed to be as well.
   The journey by train to Brno was okay. Till one moment. Till we stopped in a village, like 30 km far from Brno. I was just listening to my mp3 player, staring out from the window, as usual. But all of a sudden, we are standing, waiting for something. Ten minutes....okay this is still fine. Twenty minutes..., 30 minutes....Well, this is not fine anymore at all. Starting to be nervous, the ticket inspector got to our coupé and said we were not continuing further by train, because the railway track was cracked, so we had to take a bus that would take us all to the next train station where the rail track was okay again. At that moment it was completely clear I couldn't have caught the plane. But what could I have done? I tried to contact all potential friends and relatives or anybody who could be eventually able to give me a lift to the airport. But the problem was - I was stuck in some village, not even close to the main station in Brno. Okay, I'm gonna cut it short a little....When I accepted the situation that I was never going to get to Ghent, all of a sudden I happened to hear a girl in the train calling to Wizzair airlines about the delay. I started to follow this girl along with her friend, so we could panic together. We kept asking the ticket controller or the station dispatcher about the length of delay but it was absolutely clear that we couldn't have made it. We tried to use the last option and were about to hitch-hike even though there was only a highway close. At that moment, none of us knew why, a women with a car appeared. The girls I was panicking with stopped that car with that women. I don't know whether that women was an angel or something, but anyways, she was kind and she drove us to the airport.....yes we made it.

The journey from Queen's Day 

  Do you know this famous feast in the Netherlands? Queens' Day - all Dutch people "celebrating" the ex-queen's birthday? It's absolutely the most famous feast in the country. So how could I miss this if I was so close. Yes, I wanted to experience also this, so I took my orange Holland T-shirt, which I had actually bought when I was in the Netherlands for the first time, and set out for the Netherlands.
   The way there was actually good because I went for free (21€ saved) but not to make it long, I'm going to drop the quite boring part about the journey by train.
   Well, there is not that much behind this story - plenty of people in orange, overcrowded those small and super narrow Amsterdam streets, but okay it was new for me, it was okay.
    The point is that I was perhaps the only guy not staying over the night. Yes, probably the best of the Queens' Day was about to happen, but anyway, I was going back to Ghent the same day. And here it comes. I had to leave Amsterdam quite early because I needed to catch the last train to Antwerp and to Ghent also. Or...I would probably have had to camp somewhere at a station or something over the night. I don't know why but the journey back was unbelievably long. I couldn't wait to be home, take shower and go to bed.
     Everything had been going well till we stopped in Roosendaal. To be in the picture, there was like 15 minutes to change the train in Antwerp to get to Ghent that night. And actually there was a "safety" - one more very last train, a super slow train, with which it would still have been possible to get to Ghent... you know, if something...But the problem was that we were 30 minutes delayed because we had to wait for another train. It was absolutely clear there was no time anymore to change the last train. Well, I already saw myself in the bed but now I started to try to see myself at a train station, a bus stop or eventually a hostel. I don't know if this could happen in my country, maybe, but I can't imagine. I'm gonna reveal you - I got home that night though.
   The journey continued like this - After we started up again, a ticket controller was going through the train asking the travelers who was going to Ghent. When we arrived to Antwerp, where we were initially supposed to change for the last train to Ghent, as a surprise there was still a train waiting for us. Thank God! The final group of stressed out people said. The problem was that that last train waiting or specially equipped for us was going only to Sint-Niklaas, which was in fact still like 40 km far from Ghent. So we went to Ghent but had no idea what would be going on afterwards. And what happend when a buch of like 20 people remained stuck at the station? We were told taxis would be ordered for us. And it did happen! I had to wait for a taxi for another hour because they didn't have enough taxis for so many people, that's what they said, but what is the most important - I got home eventually!

First Hitch-hiking 

    I guess this is for me the craziest experience of Erasmus ever :-D And as the icing on the cake, it happened the very last day of my stay in Belgium. As I said, for the last day of my amazing Erasmus, there was a plan. And how else the end of Erasmus could be ended than by making the last trip.
   So this last Sunday, along with my friend and at the same time ex-housemate from the first Erasmus semester, I went to Dinant and on the way back we wanted to pass by also Namur. And this actually happened. After a short excursion to Dinant we set out for the way back to Ghent but we also stopped in Namur. For the point of the story I must tell, since this was the last day and also the last trip, we also filled up the last free row in our Go Pass ticket. Maybe it's also useful to tell what the Go Pass was. If you travel by train a lot, you can save some money by buying so called GoPass. It's actually a train ticket for any 10 rides, which costs 50€ and you can go wherever you want. It means that one journey costs 5€ then and that is very cheap for Belgium. So, we used the last possible ride for the way back with a stop in Namur. But now we are getting to that funny thing! We explored Namur, its historical center, the Citadel and so on, and in the evening we decided to go back to Ghent finally because I needed to pack up, clean up the room and do all that unpleasant know what I mean...when you don't want to go home but have to and...yeah, this situation.
     So...we're going back to the train station till I tried to check and take out the GoPass. Yes, I tried, because the GoPass wasn't in my pocket anymore! I always stick everything in my pocket (you know I'm a man :-P) but that was actually the first time I had lost something (tissues don't count).  It was just a ticket you would say, indeed. But it was our only ticket to get home! Yes, we could have bought another one, even though it was really expensive for a classical ticket, but we would have had to have still some money left. My last 5€ along with 10€ of my friend was not enough for the ride even for one of us. Soo...what does it mean? It means that we were stuck in Namur, 100 km far from Ghent, without a ticket, without money at 7 pm basically a few hours before coming back home. I mean the home in the Czech Republic.
    So the first step we took to solve the confounded situation was to try to look for the lost GoPass on the way we had been going all the day. But in fact it was know. ...looking for a needle in a bottle of hay. So sure we didn't find it but we had to get back anyway. Well, I'm going to the point. Because you can't earn 40€ within a couple of hours, the last chance how we were able to get to Ghent was to try to hitch-hike. There is one thing needed to be said - I had never done it before. Maybe becase there was no reason to do it and maybe because it is ..well it's maybe quite dangerous in my home country. But there was no option, so we found a piece of paper and wrote Gent on the one side and Brussels on the other side and started going a little bit further from the center of Namur.
    We stood at some exit point going out of the city, holding the piece of paper. I was very nervous, mad, or how to describe it, and afraid of not getting back finally. And here is what happened. It took some time though, but to my surprise, some cars started to stop and then, finally, one driver took us with him several kilometers, somewhere beyond the city. It was a help anyhow, because now we were standing at a better place, exactly at a highway entrance. There was a better chance that somebody would stop. And so it was. We didn't wait for so long and a very kind woman pulled over and we started to shout. Till we found out she was going only to Brussels. But still we were again a little bit closer to Ghent.
    Another problem was, she just threw us out of the car before Brussels, somewhere on the highway. Fortunately, it didn't take so long and a next car stopped and it seemed we could finally be saved. But it turned out that we weren't yet. The guy in the car was just going a different direction so we just moved over a few kilometers. At this point, those moments were ever the worst because it started getting dark and we were stuck in the land of nobody, not even in Brussels and still far from Ghent....
    I started to think about one more option - get somehow to the center of Brussels and gather the rest of our Euros for a train to Ghent. The only problem was, we were far far from the city center so we had to solve a dilemma whether to keep hitch-hiking on that side or to try it on the way to the center. We decided to go on stopping cars and hope some human being would save us. We waited more than a half an hour and then we finally convinced two nice women to take us at least to a petrol station behind Brussels. When we get there I was confident that we would get home. I believed already. And eventually we did get back home! This spot was a good place for hitch-hiking - at the petrol station, near the highway going through Ghent. So we got a lift up to the house where we lived.
    Now it's just a funny story, I always laugh when I remember these moments from Belgium, but I will tell you guys...the helpless feeling, you don't have money but you are 100 km far from your home and you need to get back.....then you get a promising lift just to get a small bit closer and then you are standing again with a tag and hope that some of  the passing drivers will stop and take you up....Do not wish to experience it!

středa 9. května 2012

Trips - The Important Part of Erasmus

I realized that the posts about one of the best things of my Belgian adventure are still missing, so I should fix it right now. Six moths is a time long enough to make some trips so I also tried not to waste any opportunity to travel and I have made a lot of nice trips with lots of experience. It is known that Ghent, thanks to the great position it has, is a very good point where to start travelling. No wonder that during my Belgian mission I have managed to visit 4 capital cities, namely Amsterdam, Luxembourg, even Paris and naturally Brussels.


I would expect the biggest "wooow" for Paris from many people. Yes, Paris is a very nice city, I can agree. We spent there the whole weekend, but still it was not enough. There is a big problem behind. I started to call this city The City of Waiting and Deja Vu. The reason is that if you want to visit Paris, you have to take into account that you have to wait. Everywhere! Yes, even for the toilet! And moreover, in the season, holiday period and such, then it is even worse. And why is it the City of Deja Vu? I know already why the word came from France. During that weekend I felt a few times like I was in the situation in which I had been before...hmm strange, again a queue, again the same people....
    Anyway, we made 674 steps to get to the top of the Eiffel tower, saw the sunset and night Paris (absolutely amazing!!!) and I spent the most money in McDonald's ever. We made a boat trip, saw Louvre (I was waiting outside with the feeling Mona Lisa is just a painting) and Notre Dame (unfortunately also only from outside). It was a nice time :-)


Amsterdam - what to say to that?'s amazing! If you have never been there before, you definitely have to go there! If you are thinking about your next trip, go for Amsterdam. This is probably the best city I've visited (well....okay, I think Prague is still the winner). I really love it. I think it's so interesting because Amsterdam is different, weird, controversial, cosmopolitan as you like. But still very nice. To be honest, on the other hand, I wouldn't live there. For this purpose there are many reasons why not to do that.
   Amsterdam, in fact, is an overcrowded city, with a lots of tourists, which is not such a problem. As I already said it is also controversial, and controversial is the right word. As everybody knows, Amsterdam as the capital of the Netherlands is so famous for its benevolent approach to many debatable issues. Yes, you can encounter a lot of famous coffee shops, you will surely not miss Red Light District with all those nice girls wearing very nice clothes showing everything (almost) in the windows. (author's remark: 10 minutes for 40€ :-D). But at the same time, you encounter also very strange people, a lot of drug heads, dealers, mafiosos, perverts, psychopaths and other kinds of aliens. And crazy bikers :-D It is very dangerous.
   Anyway, Amsterdam has a lot to offer. Typical houses near the channels, sometimes looking like about to fall down, typical houses on the channels - houseboats (sometimes looking like about to sink down :-D)

Cologne (Köln)

   A very strange English name for this city. I rather use the German expression. So we've also been to Köln (Cologne if you want) which is situated not far from the borders. We went there in the winter right before Christmas to see the famous
Weihnachtsmarkt. Yeah, those markets were pretty nice. We drank Glühwein, kept the cups as a memory and enjoyed the real Christmas atmosphere. But on the other hand, this city just didn't wowed me. But perhaps many people liked it. I think it's because it's very similar to the cities or towns in the Czech Republic. There is nothing new for me and seems quite boring then. It's just a big city for me. It should be added that, unfortunately, we missed probably the most beautiful spot of Cologne - the romantic view from the Hohenzollern Bridge.


The biggest disappoitment of all is definitely Brussels. Maybe it's not the worst city of Belgium, because especially in the Walooon part you can find quite a few ugly ones, but.....I don't find it nice at all Well, everybody has to visit it, because this is the core of Europe and there is not much more than say - I have been there, I've been to Brussels. But at least for me, nothing special and very worth seeing. Well...okay, if you go there, go to the historical center. That's nice, that's typically Belgian. But otherwise this city is a concrete jungle, full of high buildings, skyscrapers, homeless people and high unemployment rate. I have visited all the "famous" places like Atomium, which is quite nice and I would say it's worth visiting once but the entrance fee is not the cheapest. I have also seen the "Manneken Pis", which I actually encountered for the first time just by chance (because that famous guy is so small and hidden that you don't even know). In the end, I also looked into internals of the Europan Parliament, was quite boring. But anyway, it is the European Parliament, you have to go there.

  There is, of course, much more. I have written here only about the places which usually allures people the most. I would strongly recommend to make a trip to Luxembourg. It's a pretty nice city, small but very nice. I liked it. If you want to see and experience something different (something different for Belgium), then you can go to the Walloon part of the country and pass by Dinant or Namur, for instance. They are different because there you can see also some hills!

pondělí 19. března 2012

2nd Semester - extending my Erasmus adventure

Yes, the topic says everything. I have survived the first semester (to wit, I have successfully passed all the exams). Moreover, I'm staying in Ghent also for the next semester! Yipee! I should say. Yes, of course I'm happy. Just......I also realized what all I have to solve and how many things I have to sacrifice at the expense of the prolongation of Erasmus. I had to postpone my final exams to September so I won't have the final exams with my schoolmates, among others. thesis, I have to write it here, in Ghent, anyway. So this semester I'm going to be very busy with all that stuff for school. long as it is worth it...okay, let's have a look at it from the better side :-)
    By the way, I've moved to a different place for this semester. The location is great! It's at the park, very closed to the centre, but mainly it is very very closed to my school, central station and Overpoort (once more this is the busiest street at night). Furthermore, I have a rented bike now so everything is closed suddenly. But I miss my friends here, who I had a great time with. Okay this is not the better side,'s time to get to know new people and make new friends:-)
   The winter is definitely gone, we can see the Sun more often here, so I'm starting to spend more time outside. I have a bike now therefore I have already explored also new places outside Ghent.
Let's see how the second, summer Erasmus semester looks like...

Well, next days are going to be very busy, i.a. because I'm expecting also my first visitors to come to see Ghent finally, so I don't know when I will find some time to add something to my blog again....I will try it some time....

pátek 30. prosince 2011

Now a little bit about school...seriously!

    During my revisit to my country I had been asked several times by my curious family and friends whether I had been even attending the school there (meaning Ghent), so finally I've decided to tell you also something about how it goes at school here - in Ghent.
     Well, when I was going to Ghent, and I must remind that this has been my first time abroad of this type, I was scared a little. My English was not so good and I also expected the level of education to be better than at our school. So to tell the truth, it depends - as usual. I expected me to be very busy during the whole semester but surprisingly I had also quite enough time to enjoy my Erasmus stay here! I would say that in comparison with my home university it was really more exacting. I had to do some papers (whether a project, an essay or webpages) almost for each subject. But if you do it continuously during the semester, or if you do it in one go closely before the end of the semester or before the deadline, as 95% of students do (including me :-D), you can make it all.
   Regarding the teachers teaching at the school subjects in English, I haven't had any problems with anyone yet. The English spoken by them is pretty good. Of course, they are not native speakers, but that's good for me too so I can understand better. It's a shame, and for me quite suprising at the same time, that a lot of these subject I attended is not that interesting for me. Maybe a problem starts even at my home university, because in fact I couldn't choose many subjects I wanted to take. Anyway, let's see how much difficult or not and how useful they have been after the exams :-D

úterý 20. září 2011

First Days With Intercultural Shocks

Public toilets vs. toilets for 50 cents
Perhaps the very first thing I noticed as strange or rare to me, and in fact the thing which has been the biggest intercultural shock ever for me, is local toilets. Yes toilets! Because they have public toilets here! I would say the person who came up with an idea to build several huts with pissoirs should be awarded the Nobel Prize. Throughout Ghent you can find really a lot of these men public toilets quite reminding a bus stop, so that normally you don't have a problem to find one when needed (even after drinking some beers). This invention is concededly great, but some people (let's say women) within this context also talk about discrimination of women. Yes, maybe, we finally have something what is not a discrimination of men O:-) Anyway, if you live in Ghent for a longer time, you can encounter another interesting thing. In many bars, clubs, pubs of Ghent, if you want to use a toilet, you have to pay something for it (usually 50 cents)! You know, at least for me, this is not nice anymore and I don't like it. I'm very angry when I see a place in the Czech Republic where they have public toilets, for example stations, shopping centers or certain places in the city and I have to pay for that, but I have never come across such a toilet in some pub, club or whatever! Paying even for such human needs seems to be unfair, mean and inhuman to me. Always when you go somewhere for a beer(s), you have to add also 50 cents to the final price of your beer then. Speaking about toilets and discrimination, very often women are dispensed from this obligation, it means that only men when they want to visit the toilet inside, only they have to pay. In fact, this forces people to think whether it isn't better not to drink so much or else go outside every time.....
    Well, I'm not going to look for the consequences, I just wanted to tell what the one of the biggest cultural shocks is for me.....

Tram stopping
As it is said, failure teaches success. Maybe the very first thing I learned here as a habit is that you have to wave at buses and even trams. Yeah, I noted that people were waving at buses every time, and I have also already been to the Netherlands where people do the same, so it took only a few hours to realize I have to wave as well. But I didn't realize, or actually I didn't know, that the same applies to trams, till the moment I was waiting for a tram at the tram stop, listening to the music with the earphones in my ears, so thinking about something else. I was quite surprised when the tram was just passing without stopping at the stop. Okay, I will be waving next time....

Drivers of means of public transport - they don't wait!
Yes, the title sounds ridiculous but it's obvious. The drivers of any mean of public transport in Ghent do not wait. I don't know if I could call it "culture shock" because this can be same in many countries, in many cities, and actually I can't even say how it works in different cities in the Czech Republic (because I have never had an opportunity to try it out). And of course, at the same time it depends on actual mood of the driver or on the driver himself or herself, but in Ostrava, when you are running to catch your bus, tram or trolley-bus, the chance you will make is pretty high. In Ghent the drivers don't wait at all. I have seen a lot of such people catching the tram and one time I experienced the same finally. It was even at night and moreover it was the last bus. I almost made it, I even touched it so the driver had to see me! But he was probably looking forward to be at home and just went away. From this moment I know. What is the advice if it sometime happen? If you know how it works here, how much time does it take to stop and start up the tram again, you know place, shortcuts etc., you can make it. But don't ever rely on the drivers....

Bicycles everywhere
I think this is maybe the most obvious thing. After you first come to Ghent, moreover if you get out of train at Sint-Pieters station, the first thing you see is....bicycles (well it's not the very first thing but the first thing you really realize) Yes, when walking through a city, you are probably used to look around (at least if you are not going through area without roads) if any car isn't going right now. In Ghent, the probability that you will be run over by car is much less than the same will happen by a bicycle. In the Czech Republic we like to ride bike, but for us riding bike is a kind o sport. It's the kind of summer (spring) sport therefore we usually do it during the time of nice, sunny days when we find some suitable bike path. Riding a bike somewhere in the center (not only in the center but in the city in general) is not only strange, but it is mainly dangerous and sometimes even impossible. In Belgium, this activity is not sport at all, this is a very useful means of transport which became a part of life of many Belgians. Here, thus, somebody who is just walking or is even going to take a tram or bus is the weird one.

Prohibition of smoking in bars, clubs, restaurants and casinos
From the latest summer (July 2011), there is a new law on smoking in enclosed public spaces such as restaurants or similar facilities. This is not surprising to me but on the contrary it is great to hear something like that does exist. In the Czech Republic, we don't have it, unfortunately, so you can basically smoke wherever you want. I'm a non-smoker but I don't care about the others, about smokers. Well, I'm not going to discuss about the rights and relations between the smokers and non-smokers but it's horrible when you go with anybody to a pub, club, restaurant, whether for a drink, meal or party and you can't stay there longer because you just can't breathe and stink like you have just came from a factory. Isn't it so?

New Lifestyle
What comes into your mind when you hear the word lifestyle (or maybe even "life" is enough to imagine) concerning students, in addition Erasmus students? I think everybody imagines just a party at first. Yes, of course, that's how the Erasmus (student) life works actually. But a lot of people is off base when they think this life is only about partying! Also students have their own obligations. We have to cook, go shopping, go to laundry (or wash at home), sometimes also go to school etc. But it's normal even in our contry to go out with friends at weekends and for a drink also during the week sometimes. I accepted very quickly the fact that young people go partying when they just want and no matter if it's Friday, Saturday or any other day. Either way, every Wednesday there is a student day so as a student you are obligated to go partying. Sometimes it happens that you have classes on Thursday very early, it sucks then because this is not a good excuse in such a city. And if you happened to think about going out earlier to get up better next day, it wouldn't work either. Because in Belgium as well as basically in all Western Europe countries, people are used to go out very late. The Czech meeting time is not applied in Belgium at all. Therefore since I didn't want to sit in a bar alone not at 9 or 10, but not even at 11 p.m., I had to adopt to the local time. The bars start to be filled up by people at about 12 p.m. if you are lucky and it's not rare that you finish your night at five, six (sometimes also later) in the morning. Hence your next day is indeed completely different. However, you get used to it very quickly.
Abstractly from the party nights, the time schedule of each day is still quite different in comparison with the one in CZ. If you go to bed later, you have to also get up later naturally. Thus, mostly my breakfast here is almost at the time of usual Czech lunch as well as I eat my lunch later. One thing to mention, people, or at least Belgian students, ordinary have lunch in form that I could call big break or breakfast maybe - it means "broodje" (baguette). This is also normal for more people from countries of Western Europe since we I have a Dutch guy as a housemate and it is quite ridiculous when we are preparing our lunch at the same time, but I'm cooking meat and soup for example while he is spreading the butter on his bread.
Anyway, the complete life is like one, maybe two hours forward (regarding my country). The first early morning classes start at 8, in the winter when you have to wake up there is totally dark outside, people go out later, a lot of shops is open from 10 a.m.
That's how it works in Ghent....

Driving rules
Oh, I remembered I should warn people who could maybe think about visiting Ghent by car. At first, there is an unofficial rule: Bikers at first, pedestrians then, and cars are even the third! Yes, when you are driving your car you have to be always alert. You have to expect the bikers even where you would never expect them.
And there is another thing I noticed. The drivers don't use lights neither blinkers! So another thing you have to take into account when you are driving your car (or actually this is not only for drivers but for all people around) that it can easily happen a driver will turn somewhere without warning you. What is also quite strange, that in Belgium, the country where there is quite a lot of not so sunny days, it is not obligatory to have the car lights on.....

A few general remarks
I must say that so far I have a very good impression of this city or of Belgium as a whole (respectively Flemish part to be punctual). Of course, I could find some, let's say not that good things, but generally I have fancied here. Especially I like these people. That's something absolutely new for me, because local people are in the best sense absolutely different from the Czechs. They are friendly, kind and smiling! I can't remember I have ever met someone who was looking sad, angry, upset and the like, whether at office, shop or school . At least not so much I could notice it.

úterý 30. srpna 2011

The arrival

The D-Day is finally here. August 26, the day when I finally set out on the trip to a destination more than 1000 km far from my home. This destination is going to be my home for next 5 months. My trip starts at Prague airport (actually in Ostrava, but a boring journey by train is not consider even to be a trip). The first moment I realize that I'm going to Belgium is when we are flying over the Belgian borders because it starts raining. Anyway, I had to take into account that this weather is classical in Belgium.
    Firstly I'm in doubt after I leave the plane. Due to the fact that the airport is in Charelroi, in the Walloon part of Belgium, everything is written in French. They don't speak English, I don't know Dutch yet and, moreover French is for me the same like it would be written in some language which is not even of the earthly origin.
  Anyway I got to my new home eventually. I would mention one more situation which I experienced on the way to my point. The only thing I had known before I found myself in Ghent was the name of the stop where I was supposed to get out of the tram number 1, but I didn't know which stop it was. With my 30 kg heavy suitcase I took the tram, which was indeed overcrowded,  so that I couldn't move to a driver to ask him, i couldn't move anywhere, so I decided to try to ask people around me if they knew which stop was the famous Witte Kapr...something (I already know, it's Witte Kaproenenplein). Of course, they didn't know! But....what was fairly pleasant for me was the reaction of the women I asked at first. She forwarded my question to people of almost the whole tram with such a pleasure and smile that since first minutes I already started to be happy here. 
In fact..... this wouldn't be so worth mentioning, but I can't just imagine such a reaction in my home city.....