Thinking of moving to Nossegem/Erps Kwerps area(32 Posts)
Hi! I was wondering if anyone could give me some input about these areas. DH will be commuting to Antwerp (where we currently reside). We've only been in Belgium for just over a year and are still trying to 'find out place'. We like the thought of having easy access to french although we'd keep our kids in a flemish school. We have 3 DS ages 11, 10 and 6 who are also in need of connecting with other english speaking children. I've been driving through those areas and they seem to be nice mix of urban and country-side. Are those areas quite active and are there expats there? Cheers!
Any area east of the Antwerpen exit of the R0 is going to be terrible to commute from, at least from Nossegem you can go directly north through Steenokkerzel and join the Antwerpen motorway avoiding the R0. You could also take the train from Nossegem to gare du Nord then onwards to Antwerpen. Nossegem has the advantage of direct bus and train connection to central Zaventem and the centre of Brussels, plus a bus to Kraainem metro. With the completion of new train track around Zaventem airport, it's possible that there will now be trains avoiding Brussels going Antwerpen from Nossegem.
There isn't a huge expat population in Nossegem or that area though, whereas this is a significant percentage of francophones in that area, you'll find many more anglophones in Sterrebeek, Moorsel, Wezembeek-Oppem, Tervuren.
You should also consider St Stevens Woluwe as somewhere with good connections to French speaking areas (well it is slowly becoming French speaking!!!) and far from where the significant anglophone population lives.
You should consider the location of middelbarescholen when choosing an area, plus location of any activities your children might do. Zaventem and Leuven are where many children will go for secondary, to get there it might be an idea is looking into Nossegem to be near the train station as there are secondaries within walking distance of Leuven and Zaventem train stations. Very few 12 year olds are taken to school by parents, it's far easier for children to be able to get around independently. Nossegem has one single lagere school, Sint Lambertus.
Zaventem has 2 secondaries, Catholic ZAVO which has an academic and technical branch and I'm guessing this is the sought after school, plus KA Zaventem.
To meet a sizeable population of anglophones, you would have to travel to Tervuren, Wezembeek-Oppem, Woluwe St Pierre etc, there are quite a few children's activities in English in these areas, but what do your children like doing, I could suggest where to look?
There is one very active mumsnetter in the area you are looking at, she could advise you more.
I get the feeling you really know your area ;) Have you been here long?
You bring up a lot of strong points that could become stress factors.
We've thought about St Stevens Woluwe (we'd like to be in a french area) but I really worry about the middelbaar school situation, and that it could become very difficult to get a spot because most of the schools have waiting lists.
I am assuming, although haven't checked, that this is less of an issue in Zaventem and/or Leuven.
We also plan to send the oldest by public transport to school on his own when he starts middelbaar next year and so for this reason the areas Nossegem/Erps Kwerps seem attractive to us, since he could go to either Leuven or Zaventem on train.
Most of the time DH will be wanting to drive to work, but it's good to know on days when it snows or the roads are bad that the public transport is possible and yes, maybe once the new tracks have been finished he could switch over to public transport more often than not!
Activities they like are football, rock-climbing (which he already does in Auderghem), break-dancing, archery, scouts, theater.... with 3 DSs there will be a lot of ground to cover for me ;) I don't mind having to drive a bit to access activities, I do now already anyway
I get the impression that even though the areas of Nossegem and Erps Kwerps are more rural you are still connected to the big city because of the easy train connection.
I live in Nossegem! I like it - we live in a nice quiet street with very easy access to public transport eg train station is about 10 mins walk, the bus stop less than 5. There are frequent bus services between Brussels and Leuven and a school bus that goes into Zaventem.
St Stevens Woluwe is actually in the commune of Zaventem - so not officially French speaking - though of course many inhabitants will be. There are a number of French speaking families in my street, plus Americans, Armenians etc etc.
With regards to activities, there is a good pool in Zaventem, but I tend to drive dd to Kraainem, WSL etc to the sports centres. There is also a good one in Wezembeek Oppem. I find it very easy to get about at the weekend - due to being so close to the main roads/E40/Ring. 10-15 mins drive to Stockel or Woluwe Shopping Cemtre for example. The same time to get to the British Shop at Everberg and Leuven is about 20 mins in the car.
There is a Colruyt in Nossegem, but also 5 mins to Delhaize in Steerbeek or Delhaize and GB in Kortenberg - all other commerce in those places too. There is a chemist and Night Shop. There are a couple of pubs in the village and about half a dozen restaurants - Italian, French, Japanese, Begian Taverne, Fusion and the newly opened Bavarian Biergarten.
I took a look on immoweb and there were only 2 * 4 beds currently for rent and I think one of those is already rented, the other one is quite a way from the train and bus. Availability of housing might be a deciding factor. You might want to look on immoweb for what is available in Zaventem gemeente.
I'd also contact schools about places at lagere, there is only one Dutch school in St Stevens Woluwe, but more in Zaventem and Evere - including and exceptionally popular one.
You are right that enrolments for Brussels' Flemish schools are quite popular, previously you would camp overnight for the best secondary schools. This year at many of these schools, they are introducing a telephone enrolment system, please see the link. The link is also useful for lagere enrolments. In Vlaams Brabant, enrolments are handled by indivudual schools.
The nearest French activities to Nossegem, St Stevens Woluwe, Zaventem centre are at Centre Sportif de la Woluwe next to Kraainem metro and there is a climbing wall and club there, loads of choice of very very cheap to not so cheap sports. Then there is also Wezembeek-Oppem sports hall, WSL and WSP's sports centres too, plus for St Stevens Woluwe, Evere sports centre is quite near too. Break dancing at CH Danse in Wezembeek-Oppem, archery at Kraainem sports centre I think in French. For French scouts, you would have to put your name on waiting lists now.
Take a look at the bus map which has train stations on it and the metro stops too, so you can see how you can get from the Zaventem area to Brussels - it's not always easy to get where you want in Brussels eg to get from my house to the top of Kraainem which is only 3 km requires a tram, metro, de Lijn bus!!! It could be just a bus but the de Lijn buses only go to certain points in Brussels and although I live near to Vlaams Brabant, they don't go near us.
PS I still would consider Wezembeek-Oppem, Kraainem, Sterrebeek, St Stevens Woluwe, as you can avoid the ring if you know how to. Ok it means a bit more commute, but also means being a bit closer to French and English speakers. There is a good school in Kraainem which has in-house music academy and the gemeente library, 2 schools in Sterrebeek, 1 brand new Flemish school opening in Wezembeek-Oppem (current school failing miserably) and the hugely popular Heilig Hart which is in W-O but on the Tervuren border. Out of those places, I'd go for Kraainem in the streets north of the metro station, as you are on the edge of countryside, but you are also near Centre Sportif de la Woluwe, near the metro, there's a free bus or a cycle ride to the Flemish school. A good alternative is the area of W-O / Sterrebeek north of Ban Eik and Ter Meeren tram stops, this area has tram access to Brussels, is on the adge of countryside, a cycle ride or free bus to the Gemeente school in Sterrebeek or Vlaamse Gemeenschap school in W-0 (not the Catholic one in Sterrebeek though I think). I am guessing in all these areas, children either go to secondary to KA Zaventem, ZAVO or Heilig Hart.
Here's the local climbing club at Centre de la Woluwe
Archery is at Centre de la Woluwe and Kraainem sports centre in French
Our children do a free theatre class at WSP music academy, well it's 15 euro for the year admin charge, for children who are at Flemish school, they can do these classes at the French music academies in Brussels ONLY if they can get the cooperation of their Flemish school in filling out a declaration that French is their "usual" language at home.
PS the "other" house in Nossegem was supposed to be rented but is still in Immoweb and still has the Te Huur sign outside....
And Natation - I am in Halloween disguise.....
Yes Putri, I had guessed it was you, but I am lost on the new name?? I thought I'd "test" whether that lovely house near you was still for rent and sent an email to the agent but got no response :-<
Just thought of some more useful links of activities in English : Scouts groups which are all held at BSB in Tervuren once a week after school hours (quite different to Belgian Scouts as much more adult supervision, less risky activities), Hip Hop dance and theatre at GC de Kam community centre in Wezembeek-Oppem, and finally football Wezembeek Wanderers which is once a week on Sunday mornings on BSB playing fields which are in fact in Wezembeek-Oppem on the Tervuren border - for football, put your boys' names on the waiting list now for next year.
Just want to add that these things are minutes away from me....I know <<whispers>> that we are not walking distance from Place Dumon, but it works quite well...
You get more for your money out here in the "sticks".....
hi there! I had to read the posts a few times to make sure I could absorb all the great info! The good thing is that it seems like wherever we land we'll be good as far as activities go, the bad thing is that I thought I could just focus on one area but it seems now that I should broaden my search area haha!
I think that most importantly I will have to sort out the middelbaar school situation, I don't feel that worried about lower since the 2 younger kids will stay in their school in Antwerp for one more year after this one. DH can drop them off on his way to work.
I have to admit that this is a huge issue that I have to sort out before we really focus on an area. Seems like activities and such is easy anywhere you choose to live in that area. I've heard many bad things about the flemish schools around the brussels-ring area, do you have any thoughts on that? Is that an exaggeration? I know the Heilig Hart already has a waiting list. I need to check on ZAVO for that. I couldn't find the school you mentioned in Kraainem, is it maybe in a bordering community?
One thing I've learned about moving to Belgium is that we can't assume the school will be worked out the way we would like it to be... when we moved here to Antwerp we were stunned to realize that there were NO spots in ANY of the lower schools close to us! Now, we commute outside the ring every day for that. The lijn bus stops close to the school but they still have to cross a very busy main street where there are no crossing lights, so I still have to go with them. Turns out that their school is wonderful, but still, we had decided to live in the city to have everything close and so this turned out to be a huge stumbling block. This is why I want to make sure that the oldest one will be able to go to school easily on his own and we won't have to worry about having him go really far from where we live. I am also not too keen on a very very big school, if there would be a choice.
We're not planning on moving till after the Christmas holidays, and starting from January I will have plenty of time to wait for a home that could suit us. We'll have to break our contract (fun fun!) Well, I am assuming I will have plenty of time, you never know here if something good will pop up!
I know exactly what house you are talking about in Nossegem. I've driven by it at least 3 times! I just wanted to get a feeling of what you could get in Nossegem. Seems like a lovely street!! Putrifyno; I like the thought of having such a nice mix on the street. Sign me up!
I do like the idea of being close to country side as well. Sometimes Antwerp really feels congested and 'on top of each other' even in the suburbs. With 3 boys, I'd love if they could have some freedom to visit friends and play on the streets. Am I asking too much? haha
Do you have kids? And if so, are they in a flemish school?
Do you all meet up once in a while for coffee/tea/cocktails?
rainy in Antwerp ;)
I can't say I've heard any BAD things about the local Flemish schools in Brussels, certainly not academically, only that the number of French speakers is at 80% in many of these schools - in your situation, I would see this as a great plus! The best regarded academically on the east side of Brussels and actually frequented by plenty of children from Tervuren, Sterrebeek etc are St Jozefscollege on Woluwelaan (great connection with 39/44 tram) and Mater Dei Institut (tram 44), plus there are loads of De Lijn school buses from Tervuren etc to these schools. Enrolments for erste secundair on 30th January 2012, following instructions on the link in previous post. Both schools also have lagere school, very handy to have all 3 children together!!! You can only opt for one choice of school in Brussels.
As for secondary in Vlaams Brabant, I don't believe there is anything to stop you enrolling at multiple schools, I personally would want to take advantage of having all 3 children in the one place, plus you do get priority for brothers and sister if you have a child already in secondary at many schools, Heilig Hart being one of them, which has its non priority enrolment on 8th May 2012, info evening on 7th February 2012, there can't be a waiting list for 1ste secundair as no-one has enrolled yet for next year, you simply apply with other non priority children on 8th May next year.
If I am reading this link right, ZAVO had its enrolments this year on 27th April?? As a Dutch speaker, I'm sure you can read it better than me, not certain I read it right.
KA Zaventem had their enrolments this year on 31st March?
Don't know what other schools in the area to recommend, I do know KA Tervuren and GITO Tervuren are not as academic as Heilig Hart.
There isn't a secondary in Kraainem, only a basischool which I linked to above, no secondair in Sterrebeek, Moorsel, St Stevens Woluwe either.
I don't know about any of the secondaries in Leuven, but I do have a friend with who had a child at Mater Dei Institut and the only Catholic school in Leuven which does Greek + Latin, I'm sure she'd be happy to help you out. I also know 2 children at Heilig Hart secondary who are native English speakers, one who took up a very late place in July this year for 1ste secondair there. Drop me a PM with your email and I'll ask the mums if you can email them.
Anyway, have you looked at that house in Nossegem? I know nothing about the rental market in that area, but it does seem rather expensive, even though it's a lovely looking house and apparently the neighbours are just magnificent!!!!!! It's 100 euro more per month than we pay for the same size 4 bed house in Stockel, I'd expect to pay less than where we live, not more.
I think that is a great idea to sign up at several schools!!!! That we we'll be sure to have something lined up!
What I am going to concentrate on now is researching all the possible schools and see about signing him up. My second will be wanting to do Latin so I'd like to have a school where they would both fit in (and then eventually the third) . And yes, after next year I will have the little one attend a local lower school as well, so if the school has a lower and upper; that's even better.
Unfortunately amongst the flemish speaking community outside of Brussels comments about the downfall of the Brussels school system is quite common. That's why it's better I ask someone who lives there than count on people just making judgements without really knowing. They say the schools are overcrowded because everyone prefers a flemish school (even the french-speaking, academically they are supposed to be of a higher level), and because of the international presence the quality of education has gone down. Personally, I need the international aspect.
This is 'word on the street' , so I find it very positive that you don't think it's so.
I will send you a PM, I would love the opportunity to ask them a few questions, thanks!!
So, in a nutshell this is what I am understanding;
For schools I should worry too much, if I follow all the enrollment processes I should get a spot at possibly several schools.
To get to school is completely possibly by public transport from pretty much any community surrounding brussels.
That living inside the ring could actually be faster getting to Antwerp than living outside the ring.
If you want more country side you need to be outside the ring.
I didn't go inside the house in Nossegem, but I drove by it several time. I am surprised how expensive rental housing has become here! Another reason why we wanted to look outside of Tervuren is because you can get more for your money, but now that seems to be changing too!
All i know is that I need to have some green around, I found out by living here in the city that I would like to see the occasional belgian cow :O
I feel a bit of stress to get this move right because we've moved quite a bit these past 3 years, and now we need to hang up our hats somewhere (and leave 'em) ;)
Well the school bus 530 runs to Zaventem from Erps Kwerps, Meerbeek, Everberg, Kortenberg and Nossegem so any of those places might suit.
There is this house on Immoweb at the mo.
Also the 616 bus runs between Leuven and Zaventem taking in Tervuren, Moorsel and Nossegem Moorsel More expensive
Yes! I know the house in Erps-Kwerps too, I've been circling that area too, I hope people don't start talking ;)... it's quite nice but it has a oddly shaped garden and no sun in the back. Also, we need 2 bathrooms since we are 5 already and we regularly have family come in from all over the place to stay with us.
I really liked Moorsel but thought maybe it was too remote, but if there is good bus access that helps a lot as well, thanks for pointing that out!!
Do you think that getting to Antwerp via public transport might be too difficult to do from Moorsel? I know Nossegem and Erps-Kwerps are on a direct train ride to central and north brussels stations.
Living in Nossegem, do you feel 'far away' from Brussels and all the things to do? Does it seem like a hassle to take the kid(s) or yourself to activities? Do you find the people open there?
I know a couple of people living in Moorsel - it is a lovely area with nice houses, but it is very quiet - not much there. If you were hoping on relying on the trains in the future, I would stay north of the E40.
I don't feel "far away" from Brussels. In fact I travel into the centre every day to work - my office is next to the Gare du Nord. Normally I drive as far as Evere where dd is at school, park up and get the bus. Generally at the weekend we only tend to go into the City centre when we have visitors and do tourist things. The Mannequin Pis ceases to become exciting quite quickly! We go in to see concerts/gigs at Botanique /Ancienne Belgique from time to time or come in for a meal/drinks. It takes about 20 mins on the train, or 45 mins on the bus.
I find the location really handy as far as our life style goes. A good choice of places to eat out within walking/stumbling distance. 10 mins to dance class at Roodebeek metro and Woluwe Shopping centre. Easy access to pool/parc at Zaventem - really cheap for residents. Not too far to Poseidon for a change of swimming scenery and the winter ice rink. Cinema at Stockel or 15 mins on the ring to Kinepolis at Bruparck.
I go into Leuven more often at the weekend. The shops are lovely - most main stores are there, and there are lots of great restaurants / lovely terraces in the summer. We go to the Kinepolis cinema there reasonably often too (though for OV/French versions of cartoon films we have to stick to Brussels). It is quite compact but easily accessible by bus and train - parking can be difficult. There is also a nice pool / sports centre at the Philipssite on the way to the city centre.
Um, what else do we do - Brownies at St Anthony's in Kraainem, trips to the Provincial Domain at Kessel-Lo (15mins drive) -which has excellent play areas, sporting facilities, pedaloes and an outdoor pool in the summer. We take dd on her bike to the park by the African museum in Tervuren and have lunch in the cafe by the lake. The market on Sunday am at Watermael Boitsfort. Playground at Parc Madou. 15 mins to the British Store in Everberg. 20 mins to Planckendael, about the same to Technopolis. Dd's school friends live all over - in Evere, Kraainem, Diegem etc.
I tend to meet friends/colleagues for lunch in Brussels itself - we have done a couple of MN lunch meetups in recent months. At the weekends more likely to go out nearer to home, or in Leuven. There is a reasonable Indian in Zaventem now, though have been with MNetters to the one at Overijse...
My neighbours are lovely. I think it helps that it a newly built street, and we all moved in much at the same time - so the kids all play together outside/inside - and there is always someone to feed the cat if we go away for the weekend. We have an annual street party and drinks at Xmas/Halloween etc.
Meant to add (to above novel) that we lived in Evere when we first moved to Belgium and school run not withstanding, I find it just as easy to get about everywhere now - due to close proximity to the E40/Ring/Ch. de Louvain/Bld de Woluwe.
4 bed Wezembeek-Oppem, 1250, back onto open countryside, quiet street. It's cheap because of proximity to RO. It's on Ave de Burbure just where it passes under the RO. IF you don't mind the downside plus one bedroom downstairs, it's a 5 minute walk to 77 bus which takes 5 minutes to get to Kraainem metro and Centre Sportif de la Woluwe, 10 minute walk to 39 tram stop de Burbure which goes directly to Mater Dei and also St Jozefs, it's a 5 minute walk to Carrefour supermarket, it's a short walk to the new Flemish Community basischool currently being built and due to open September 2012. ?Hubby wanted us to go and look at this house for us, but I didn't want to as too far for children to get to swimming pool on their own! You won't get a lower price in this area, I reckon you could get it down another 50-100 euro per month even.
Moorsel is very very quiet, has a well regarded basischool and decent sports hall, riding stables, that's about it. There's one bus an hour which connects with gare du nord, one per hour to Tervuren, one per hour to Kraainem metro. It's not the best place to live if you are relying on public transport, Nossegem with it's twice an hour service to Brussels gare centrale, several buses an hour to gare du Nord, one per hour to Kraainem metro, it's much better connected to public transport, despite being further out from Brussels city centre. Don't know much about Erps-Kwerps but it's a bit further than Nossegem and looks like less buses too.
I know this is based on our family make-up, but with 3 active children, you may find yourself very frequently in your car transporting the children if you live in a more rural area, with that comes more choice of cheaper housing and countryside living, we simply couldn't do that, with 4 children who are out and about every day of the week, the elder 2 children now take themselves swimming, to theatre, to dancing, to rugby, to music lessons, the 9 year old now takes herself to theatre and swimming, we simply couldn't do that if we lived too far away from the activities that it would be a choice of being constantly in the car or less activities. So we do pay a premium to be a bit closer to everything, but we then do not need 2 cars, or even 1 most of the time.
It's a pity Nossegem doesn't have much property at the moment, because it really is very well connected for its size and edge of countryside location.
Hey, I was just at the Ancienne Belgique on Monday, I went to go see New Order
Certainly doesn't sound like you're disconnected from any sort of city living in Nossegem. When I drove all around there it seemed that you also had nice nature/walking paths along the edges of the town, right? My DS's are 11, 10 and almost 7 and so I know in a few years they'd like to get out and go to activities on their own. This I also have to keep in mind when picking out an area. Sounds like both areas would be nice fit, depending on the house. Funny how no one really mentions erps kwerps :O Is it remote like Moorsel seems to be? There is the train connection there as well though. I remembering reading a post saying that an expat thought the natives were particularly friendly there....
Thanks for including all places, I had a look and (of course) I had no idea all that was there and that it was all close. The Poseidon sporting complex looks great!
I've only been to Leuven once but everyone I know that goes there, loves it. Its smaller and has really nice shopping, I guess that's the advantage of living outside the ring, you can choose to go to another city if you want a change of scenery. Living in Antwerp city, even though other cities are is relatively close, you still end up doing only being in Antwerp (except when New Order plays )
If we were ready to move right now, I'd definitely check out the house in Nossegem. It's got everything we need.
We decided to use these next few months settling on an area and then come January we'd starting looking for a house, so I'm afraid that house won't be available by then... but, you never know, right?
I haven't even thought about Zaventem, I thought maybe it could be noisy, as a matter of fact that's why they told us to stay away from Kortenberg.
You are absolutely right in that we have to see how we function as a family and then see how the house/area could play into that.
That nice house in Erps-Kwerps is on a busy street and it doesn't have a garden, it borders on a huge corn field, but does not have it's own area, maybe that's why it hasn't rented yet because it is a very nice house though.
Ok, I am going to be daring and tell you our home/area wish list, feel free to laugh if you want ;)...
* 4/5 bedrooms (lots of visitors)
* 2 bathrooms
* either big garden OR ability for boys to play on the street (the little one still needs that and I am sick of sitting in the park every damn weekend cold and alone on a bench)
* close to public transport
* 'Easy' commute to Antwerp (easy in brussels terms)
* close to activities for kids (and myself)
* ability to ride bike to the Zoniënwoud or any other nice woodsy area where DH could mountainbike with DD's.
* Sunny garden
* Lots of light in the house, we live in a very dark house right now.
Ok, that just about sums it up. Ok, am I dreaming??? Oh, and did I mention we would really like to stay under 1600 (maybe 1700 but that's the top).
this one would do nicely hahaha if only it was in a more convenient area;
One more question, in your street in Nossegem, what are the age ranges that play in the street?
oh... I meant to say for DH to go mountain bike riding with DS's not DD's, oops
oh, I forgot something (surprise surprise)
I'd love to know if and when another MN get together is going to happen. I don't mind the drive
If you mean airport noise in central Zaventem, apparently there is less noise there than even Stockel, but it depends on the weather, because it's only one runway which sends the planes over Stockel / Kraainem / W-O. It's certainly not like living near Heathrow airport for noise of frequency, it makes almost no difference to the value of the houses!
That Wezembeek-Oppem house ticks fairly well your boxes, it might just be the location near the RO which people might not like.
I'm not sure you'll tick all your boxes perfectly though. But if you were after a quiet area, very near children's activities and schools (ie walking distance), public transport, Foret de Soignes, choice of parks, 5 beds + 2 baths plus garden, then this house is a 5 minute walk from ours, near Rue au Bois tram stop. You don't get the countryside but you get Parc des Sources /de la Woluwe / Crousse / Malou starting at the end of the street and Foret de Soignes at the other end. Only the commute by car is not ideal, add 15 minutes on to commute from Nossegem times. If this house is in "expat" condition (says it's been "refreshed"), then it's bargain of the year for the area. It's between St Jozefs and Mater Dei and a tram ride from Heilig Hart or even St Jan Berchmans (where the royal family have their children and current the "in" Flemish school). Maybe the downside is that I'm not sure you'd see your husband - is it not TOO close to bike routes
Yes - they alternate the runways. We only hear planes on a Sunday generally when they take off in a South Westerly direction over the eastern part of Zaventem.
I see them coming in to land that way frequently - houses to avoid are ones on the hill between the Chaussee de Louvain and the park in Zaventem. We looked at a couple there once - the planes fly in really low there. It can be a bit unnerving sat in traffic on the way home....
Actually looking at the map, you might get planes directly overhead in Erps Kwerps too. I tend not to notice really any more. One of our favourite walks is up past the railway line from Nossegem and across the fields to the airport perimeter. (there is a cycle path into Zaventem on the way up there). It is a surprising popular pasttime to sit underneath the landing lights at the end of the runway and watch the planes come into land over your head. I have seen people up there with picnics and everything.....
MN meet ups....mmmm....must organise something. I want to try to do another Xmas one - we cancelled last year due to extreme weather.....
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