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.