Some Days are Diamonds – Maroon 5, Antwerp

By - December 10, 2007 (Updated: November 28, 2014)


There are some days when you just regret getting out of bed. Everything that could go wrong does. Lately I’ve been having these sorts of days with increasing regularity. I refer to them as my “I hate Belgium days.” I think all expats here have them. Often, they really don’t have anything to do with Belgium (except for days when you have to go to the commune…). It just becomes a scapegoat. I certainly had bad days in Canada too.

Yesterday certainly had the potential to be another bad one. We crawled out of bed late, after getting to sleep somewhere after 3 am. (It was a great party and I’ll post about it in a bit) The dish-washer had conked out the night before. It probably saw that every dish in the house was piled on the counter along with the rest of the party after-math. We just closed the kitchen door on the mess the night before and planned to deal with it in the morning. Miraculously however, I gave the dish-washer a bit of encouragement and she decided to help us out. What a relief.

Around 6, we headed out into the rain, in the direction of Antwerp. Our final concert that we had purchased tickets for in the summer Maroon 5, started at 8. We always hate parking for concerts in Antwerp. Being Belgium, it’s always raining. There is never anywhere in the same postal code to park. Last night was particularly bad. We drove around, and around and around. In a fit of desperation, we made one last circle. We passed the only parking lot that still had spaces available – for 9€. No thank you. We intended to drive until we found a free spot and hike back to the arena. But on the fourth time around, there it was – a free space… and a very close one at that.

When we arrived at the arena and found our seats, we laughed. They were actually behind the stage. We would have a great view of the band’s butts (not altogether a bad thing but not a great way to see the entire show). We had just settled in with our drinks when a woman came over with a clip board. She told us that our tickets had been booked before they knew where the stage was going to be and she could move us to seats with a better view. I expected to bed hustled up to the nosebleed seats but instead she headed down to the first row in the lower bowl. She told us to pick any seats and we ended up directly beside the stage. If we could have reached over the fence, we could have tapped the security guard on the head. The only issue was that the fence was a bit high for us short folk to see over. It turned out to be a non-issue though, because when the guys came out, we were all on our feet. They were the best seats I’ve ever had for a concert.


When Adam walked over to our side of the stage we could almost reach down and touch him. (I must say I’m a bit in love now. There was definite eye contact at one point. As for my crush, Andrew just has to suck it up because just about all of the other concerts we’ve attended have been attractive women. It was high-time I had a little eye-candy of my own).

Crushes aside, it was a great show, with great seats. It was a good weekend to remind myself that there are good things about living in this country too. Once in a while, everything just comes together and you’re damn glad you got out of bed.

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Alison Cornford-Matheson is a Canadian freelance writer and travel photographer and the founder of She is the author of The Foodie Guide to Brussels: Local Tips for Restaurants, Shops, Hotels, and Activities. Alison landed in Belgium in 2005 and, over the years, has become passionate about slow and sustainable travel, in Europe and beyond. She loves to discover hidden gems - be they museums, shops, restaurants, castles, gardens or landscapes, and share them through her words and photos. She has visited 45 countries and is currently slow travelling through North America in an RV, with her husband, Andrew, and two well-travelled cats. You can also follow her work on Google+
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