Ghent already has the feel of somewhere which might get visited again at some point (more so than Bruges, which was pleasant enough but a bit too biscuit tin) so the fact that we missed the textile museum today was not such a major blow. Passing the ripped-up pavement of the Korenmarkt (which people are trusted to be able to safely navigate (as they are trusted to walk along half-re-cobbled roads and pavements in Bruges and through out-of-hours construction sites in Brussels) without spraining themselves and suing the council) we went to the design museum where (for the first time ever in a museum using such terms) the various style-names of Rococo, Regency and Empire (and their French equivalency in Louis-number) were explained in both chronological calendrical absolute terms and relative style-form. Classical was always an easy one to guess and Art Deco has popped up enough in the past to be pre-known. Whenever I hear Rococo I generally always think of the Spitting Image sketch where prince Charles criticises one of his children's drawing of a house for being insufficiently fancy, though apart from being a means to get a reference to the carbuncle incident into a sketch it failed to elucidate exactly what the style meant. A third of the museum contained recreations of various-era rooms with colour-coded maps indicating the design epoch alongside the explanations of what each involved. As demonstrated by the other open-and-accessible third of the museum containing standalone designed objects from various eras with particular reference to 1978 onwards, design musea generally seem to be a worthwhile thing to visit wherever they appear if only for the wash of relief occasioned when viewing the sort of hideous nonsense which homes might have been filled with during the 1980s if they hadn't already been perfectly adequately filled with things from previous decades which were still perfectly serviceable and in no need of replacement just yet. I'm frequently reminded that the stylistic errors of the 1980s didn't end with the termination of the decade, either: bad hair and bad clothes lasted well into the early 1990s though I was again lucky enough to mostly avoid them. Although a great deal of the stuff on display was non-commercially-available shiny-expensive one-off custom hideous garbage it's the sort of thing one might conceivably have had to witness an employer buying to decorate their office's entrance-lobby or possibly even something a dentist might have reduced their tax bill with for the waiting-room.
Near the design museum and free to visit was an anime exhibition left over from the film festival, where a little bit more was learnt concerning the various strands of sub-genre and that even the curators of exhibitions feel that some of these are perhaps a little bit weird or unexplained in places. Besides the stuff which makes no sense unless it's been based on some sort of old folk tale (which still might not make sense but which has years of tradition behind it) there's the stuff which makes no sense unless considered within the bounds of the particular sub-genre, within which things are free to make no sense as long as they do so in a very specific manner. Most of it was entertaining enough (I'd heard of but never seen the cartoon original of Speed Racer but the creakingly ineffective way in which high speeds were portrayed goes quite well with the cheesy theme music from the westernised version) though I'm not certain it was entirely necessary to paint the walls of the porn section bright pink, throw up a few "18+!" signs and stick everything behind hinged panels when the hinged panels were only four feet above the floor and thus accessible to lots of the short youngster-people attracted by the signs.
With only half an afternoon left we split up to allow Nicky to poke at a couple of shops and then go back to the hotel and to allow me to poke at a couple of shops, go on a fast wander to the north-western extremity of the area downloaded onto my phone-map, find my way back (catching sight of some bobbins and looms through a window of the textile museum on the way and remembering that we'd forgotten to go to it) and successfully buy tomorrow's breakfast and a coffee from a shop still serving such things at a reasonable time of the evening, resorting only to English right at the end. It was only buying a few buns and a coffee but it's the effort that matters and it's handy to find that (some of the time) slightly tweaking the pronunciation of German words makes them acceptable to Flemings. Nice buns and coffee too, so pop to 't Stockbrood Walpoortstraat if requiring similar things when in Ghent. A little while later, after another fruitless looping evening-wander during which we established that the place we were looking for no longer existed (and never had at the number of the street it was supposed to be at unless there'd been a significant renumbering exercise) we eventually found somewhere not-quite full of a reasonable mix of people and nationalities which looked prepared to sell us some food we had a very nice meal featuring a steak almost the same shape and almost as nice as the one I had in Dijon six years ago, though the green beans beside that one were far superior to the chips beside this one. Very nice proper-made egg-containing chocolate mousse, too. The service was a little bit excessively lethargic as the place started emptying towards closing time, culminating in a coffee being ordered but never appearing even though it made it onto the bill.
I did attempt to get a couple of days' worth of entries uploaded in the evening back in the slightly-smoky-but-otherwise-hang-outable-in Vooruit café in the evening but it wasn't having any of this upload-an-image nonsense despite being quieter than the other night I was there. If it hadn't been raining I could have lurked outside the couple of other places containing free wifi but it was raining (and reasonably heavily) and I was down a coffee on the evening already. Although catching up on comments is all well and good it'll just mean I have three entries to load the next time I find some connection.