December 25, 2012
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Christmas is the time of giving and gathering, a time of being joyful and thankful, a time of celebrating the reason why we should be joyful and thankful. 2012 years ago, the one and only God came to this world as a man, a humble king who would die for the atonement of our sins. Because He came, we are free, and today, we gather to sing His praises and celebrate His wonders.
Throughout the years, Christmas has become such a commercialized holiday that many people have forgotten its true meaning. The other day my sister asked me what presents I got, and while I said none, she replied in surprised, “How could you not get presents? It’s CHRISTMAS?” A bit ironic, isn’t it? Because it is Christmas, I should be getting presents? Is Christmas all about putting presents under the tree, waiting for Santa Claus, and singing carols? Among the dazzling lights and cheering crowds, who remembers the real Christmas story?
Regardless of the way we perceive Christmas, it is a time where joy is present in the air. Bordeaux, of course, lacks no Christmas spirit. Although it is rain instead of snow that covers the city, Bordeaux dances in its own beauty even in the rain. Although our Christmas market isn’t as grand as the ones in Paris or Strasbourg or Cologne, the crowds are not to be belittled. Although I am far from my home in Canada, I found a family here with whom I could share the peace and joy that was blessed upon me 😉
So you wonder if Santa Claus really exists. Did you know that Santa Claus is really…a thief? Yep, that’s right. Santa Claus was caught in action in Saint-Émilion! There was a big “attention au chien” (“beware of dog”) sign in front of this house, but I guess the dog somehow missed the stealthy Mr.Claus…
November 23, 2011
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Last Saturday I went to Liège for the second time, again to visit my friend who studies there. I was getting a little stressed, and I felt like going some place where I could relax a little.
Last time I came, all I did was chat. There was no time for picture-taking, and in fact, that trip was made with the decision of taking no photos in mind. This time, however, I told my friend that I intended on snapping some photos of Liège as we strolled around the city, so he would know what was up if I stopped randomly in the middle of the street.
Compared to some of the other cities in Belgium, Liège is much less touristy. No water canals like Bruges, saxophone bridge like Dinant (although Liège lies on the Meuse River as Dinant does), and no Grand Place like Brussels. I can’t think of anything Liège is famous for other than its waffles. And once again I missed them.
I ended up taking not as many pictures as I had wanted because I wanted to focus on catching up with my friend, and when I did stop to shoot, they were quick snaps. Here’s what I’ve got.
The Liège Guillemins train station is probably the fanciest station that I’ve seen so far and as my friend says, the coolest looking thing in Liège (and there aren’t many). Pretty impressive welcome for a visitor.