I’m officially living in the Netherlands again…. After six and half years in Switzerland and just before I start my trip, I’m back where I spend most of my life. I have been back quite often, but mostly for shorter times and with a very full schedule. Not this time. This time I only had four small things to do: finish officially moving out of Switzerland, officially moving to the Netherlands, buying a camper van and shipping the van to the US. Sounds easy and like mostly waiting for governments and companies to process stuff. Turns out I needed 5,5 weeks to organise this and not my slightly optimistic plan of 2 weeks. But hey, who remembers the pain of preparation once you’re travelling? This meant I could meet up with loads of friends and family for some good Dutch fun, food and drinks.
While most of my friends in Switzerland would disagree with me the Dutch actually have loads of good food. My Dutch food check-list for my few weeks home:
- Boerenkool met worst (kale and sausage)
- Friet met frikandel speciaal (fries with a sort of minced-meat hot dog, mayonaise, ketchup and chopped raw onions)
- Drop (licorice)
- Afhaal Chinees (take-away Dutch-Indonesian food)
- Bitterballen (bitter balls)
- Hagelslag (chocolate sprinkles)
- Stroopwafels (syrup waffles)
- Rijstevlaai (rice pudding pie)
So much goodness. I really missed them. Next to all the good traditional Dutch food, I also had some good other meals. With my friends in my old student town of Enschede, we made a 10 course dinner with every course being from a different continent (I had Antarctica and made banana penguins with ice cream). And at my parents’ place we made two whole turbots (those big flat fish). Even more goodness.
My other tasty “hobby” is beer. Which means I had to go to two bars (one of which is in my hometown) that have 300+ beers on their card. At one of them the waitress gave us a tour through their walk-in fridge which even had some beers that will cost you 100+ Euro for a small bottle. We happily skipped on that one but tried many others. Even more beer goodness in Haarlem (the original one, not the one in New York) at the Jopenkerk, a bar/brewery inside an old church with really nice beers. It does not got much more Dutch than that. In total I managed to try 32 new beers in these few weeks. I hope I can find some more bits of beer heaven during my trip.
After all the eating and drinking it was time for some sporty times. I managed to go running every week while I was in the Netherlands. There is a very pretty pond in a forest close by my parents’ place which gives me a nice 7 km run. The weather over Easter was so nice that I also went for a hike with Jeroen and Donja on the Veluwezoom. Who ever said the Netherlands is flat: we managed to get 150 height meters in 12 km. We were hoping to spot some wildlife, but we didn’t get further than a frog in the garden.
Dutch post: Dutch song.