“I Know Where I’m Going!”

This is the view from the terrace at the back of my apartment.  For months I’ve said “I want that crane to go away.” Seems like what I want is not so impactful.

I have my days where the crane has become part of the natural landscape, a welcomed piece of the puzzle.  Yesterday was not one of those days.

I vowed to find this crane, to stand beside it and gauge the construction progress being made.  And … calculate when the big long thing would disappear.

So I set off, brimming with confidence that I’d easily locate my “companion”.  “It’s just to the right of that tall smokestack, only a lot closer.”

Out the door, along the Oudburg, a stop at my bench where the Leie curves.  Way in the distance rose the smokestack.  But no crane.  “No matter!” I huffed.  “It’s just to the right of the crane.  It’s not as tall as the stack so it’s hidden behind buildings “

On I trod, following the sweep of the river.  Way to the east beyond, I eventually spotted the crane.  Yes!  I marched on resolutely, proud of my determination to produce the result.  “Look at that crane … that yellow crane.”

Hmm.  Yellow seemed off.  Wasn’t it orange?  Unhappily I didn’t come armed with a terrace photo.

And then I stood under the beast.  Next door was a hole in the ground with a cement foundation.  “That’s the sum total of the work they’ve done for all these months?”

My certainty puddled.

I went on Google Maps and figured out angles: smokestack, church spires, an ornate tower.  “I’m in the wrong place!  I’m too far south.”  So I shifted north, cleverly putting myself on the edge of a park so I’d have a long view in that direction.  “Yes, I know.  The buildings will be father away.  I’ll be able to see the crane above them.”

I walked.  I looked.  I didn’t see.

I started beating my chest, tearing off my clothes, sinking my fingernails into flesh.  (Just kidding)  Actually the angst was purely emotional … or perhaps it was The Dark Night of the Soul

“What the hell do these construction people do … dismantle the crane every evening?!”

With my Ghentian orientation skills, I located myself on the Ottogracht – a neighbouring street to the Oudburg.

“My God, I’m nearly home.  I give up.”

And then, leaning over the precipice of despair, I glanced across the street.  Such lovely buildings here – ordinary, lived in, unspectacular.

Peeking above a roof was a little bit of metal angles.  It was … orange.

I hurried down a side street.  It opened onto a little square – the Edward Anseeleplein.  In the corner, a home was clearly inder construction.

I was a four-minute walk from home.

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