5 • Dutch snacks
Instead of continue my mission to the 6th thing I hate about Netherlands, I still can’t stop gossiping about Dutch food.
The Dutch are very serious about their choice of sauce. They get to pick sauces in friteshuis. They get to pick sauces for their chips. Lay’s advertising campaign ‘Do us a flavour’, made a big deal about sauce flavour until a public vote launched. It turned out to be a huge success.
Have you thought about the Dutch way of eating a sandwich? Yes, with sauces on top!
It is understandable the Dutch are crazy over Nutella. But how about hagelslag (famous Dutch chocolate sprinkle) on top of butter spread bread?
Surprisingly it is not just for kids. I laughed out loud when a kid persuading me to try it. But I was not able to laugh when an adult did the same.
6 • Aalsmeer flower auction
Flower is such a vulnerable and lovely creature that I cannot imagine how we could bring it to such level of … Flower Auction!
No joke. The auctions are at early morning. The bidding process can be seen on the large screens inside the auction room. The buyers bid electronically as the profile of flowers move by.
Once sold, the most impressive part of the logistics takes action in the giant warehouse. Wagons and containers are sorted and sent to the respective loading bay so each buyer receive his goods and can send it on to the shops, or to Schiphol Airport for export. Touring the warehouse, I was somewhat awed at the size and the system.
When our car moving away from parking bay, we saw countless
trucks flowers happily moving from the loading bay into highways.
It is the largest, and by far the busiest floral market in the world!
Click this Link for more information about the visit.
7 • Alkmaar cheese market
Alkmaar, a charming city full of medieval buildings, well known for its
traditional 400-year-old cheese market.
We went there without knowing the Friday’s cheese trading. We saw cheese traders, cheese carriers, cheese samplers and cheese maids in traditional costume. There were guests, journalists, and TV crews. Was it a tourist gimmick?
No. It was a real business!
Every cheese must be on display in the market or Waagplein square at 9.30am. The samplers and traders standing on the middle of the square inspecting cheese.
My friend and me were giggling when we saw Colonel Sanders among them. The colonel is the mascot of KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken), a popular fast food chain in my country. Probably in your country too.
Here’s the link about Alkmaar cheese market.
8 • Dutch Lady
That traditional headwear! The first sight of them reminded me of the old logo of ‘Dutchlady’, a brand selling dairy products.
They are cheese maids. Their job is to promote cheese and the cheese market. They sell the “Kaasexpres” magazine and sometimes pose in photographs with tourists.
9 • Marken the Dutch village
Marken is a picturesque little village. It was originally situated on an island. It was not a real island anymore when a highway built between Marken and the mainland.
Still considered one of the Netherlands’ most traditional fishing communities. It was nice strolling around Marken, be impressed with the traditional homes and immersed in its folklore atmosphere.
Treat yourself with kibbeling (deep fried fish) and proffertjes (mini pancakes) at food vendors. Go to one of the rustic pubs for beers and more snacks. Interact with ducks, sheep and rabbits if you could do well with their languages. Visit some of the souvenir shops if you have something or someone in mind. They are better than those shops in buzzing Amsterdam.
I think Marken was quite a cute village to visit! You could easily spend half day without realising it.
10 • Beach life in Zandvoort
Due to the wrong weather forecast, the beach was eerie and ghostly on my first visit.
When there’s sun, wow the beach comes alive!
Zandvoort is a beach resort with apartment blocks and holiday homes. A popular summer destination for locals, with a looong beach that doesn’t seem to end.
I was watching a young girl standing on the seaside. Her feet were in the water.
Because I did nothing like what others doing (swimming, surfing, sunbathing, chasing dogs, rescuing jellyfish, building sand castles and sipping alcohols), she waved at me.
Come here to feel the sand.
Stand here right beside me. On top of this pile of sand.
Can you feel the sand? Isn’t it nice?
Can you feel the sand moving around your feet and in between your toes? Feel it.
Ah… I got it.
She smiled and left. Walking toward the sea.
I’m still feeling the sand. Viewing the ripples swirling back and forth creating endless patterns.
Then the sunset.
That day turned out to be my last day of Zandvoort.
Everything that has a beginning has an end.
And the end leads into a next beginning.
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