"With the train to Ostend" is a sentence I hear a lot in Dutch. It is a famous Flemish song from the year 2004 that is known almost everywhere in Flanders. As I live in a different city while studying, it is a typical conversation starter to ask where someone is from. The three things that I affiliate the most with Ostend are listed below.
What I think of when I hear the word Ostend is the train station. It is an old beautiful building and looking at it while walking between the boats is another one of my favorite views in Ostend. I look at it every Friday while sitting on the bus going home and every week again I love it.
Something else I always think about when I hear Ostend being mentioned is a simple activity that is almost exclusive to Ostend. Shopping on a Sunday. I never noticed that it was exceptional in Belgium to be able to go cloths shopping on a Sunday until I tried it in a different Belgian city. That day ended in me and me friends standing in a street with shops that were closed.
Another place I think of is the Wapenplein with the Kiosk in the middle and the clock tower with the carillon. Sometimes the carilloneur still plays songs on it. I was able to enter the building when I was twelve years old and was allowed to play "Brother Jacob" on it. Maybe that is the reason I always think about this building. The clock on the building is also very nice. Since every sign of the zodiac is on there I used to play this game when I was younger to say the time with the animals. For example: it's a quarter past Taurus.
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