Around the World in 80 Days: Day 59, Dutch Weird Stuff

Welp.  I gotta tellya.  This is a very different residency.  It’s not bad.  In fact, the old people-hating me from about 60 days ago, had she come here first, would be doing just fine.  This is very solitary.  I have a big Dutch house all to myself.  It’s beautiful here and the kitchen area has a beautiful garden to look out on.  Here, see for yourself.

I wake up in here with a cup of tea and breakfast.

And this is the little sun room.  Now… in October, you might call this a “chill you to the bone room,” but it’s pretty.

All this to say, I’m not getting out much.  I take it back… I force myself to go out into the cold, rainy weather wearing leggings, pants, two shirts, a sweatshirt or light jacket, a fur cowl, and a fur hat.  I frequent a cheese shop, coffee shop, bread shop, butcher, and Turkish grocer regularly, though I’m not making the connections with the locals in quite the same way I did in Onishi.  I made it to Wageningen twice and to Arnhem once via bus. Dutch people are nice and they all speak English.

I wear all of those clothes indoors too.  I’ll be paying for utilities for the month and I’m told if you don’t stay conservative (that means 63 degrees in the house) your gas heating bill can get close to $300.  I have a sheet, comforter, bedspread, and another comforter on my bed.

What was I saying again?  Ah yes… I’m not really getting out much and because of that I don’t have the pictures or stories that I had from Japan.  BUT, I will be getting to Amsterdam at least twice to see some art and talk with some local artists over the next two weekends.  That should yield some good stories and photos!  For now, here’s what I got from the three towns…

Cat 1: Weird Stuff.

That is one evil clown right there.

Nothing too unusual.  Wait.  You’re just going to casually throw that last menu item on there with no warning?

The bagel in question.  Don’t look to close.

Hoors deserve comfort too.

I’d like a dozen to go please.

Cat 2: Cool Stuff.

Poster for a dinner theater.

Doing this to trees must be a Dutch thing.

Found some that still had leaves on them.

Cool car.  Feels more like a British movie prop.

Slipped into a Moroccan cafe for a little tea break.  Had Moroccan mint tea, stroopwafel with cardamon, and this stupid good little Moroccan cookie.  I asked about the cookie and the woman there said it had special spices in it.  She pulled a jar off of a shelf and had me smell it.  It was ras el hanout.  Yeah so…. if you click that link you’ll see why I’m no closer to actually finding out what’s in these cookies.  I may go back there and actually buy some of their ras el hanout though.  The cookies are a lot like baklava, with phyllo dough wrapped around almond paste seasoned with ras el hanout and honey drizzled on top.  I had one with my tea and bought 5 more to go.  I’ve eaten them all.  Man I miss those cookies.

The church in the center of Wageningen.

Really cool building that housed several businesses.

Oh hey it’s like I never left Jap… wtf.

By the by… I finally said to myself, “You know what?  Let’s go try that Japanese restaurant in the middle of town.  How bad could it be?”  Famous last words.  It was bad.  Probably the worst sushi experience I’ve ever had.  If you’re ever in Renkum… don’t go to the Japanese restaurant.

Love,

~S

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