Saturday, March 26, 2016

sweet, gay A'dam

Finally, about my last 12 hours in Amsterdam. I realize now I've been following a rather boring chronological order for these posts. Maybe it's because works leaves me little time to get creative, or maybe the nature of the trip made the chronological approach more practical. Hopefully I can improve in the future!

So. My last night I met this really nice guy, a theatre director from A'dam itself! First, he took me to Bar Prik. A nice, local, relaxed mostly gay bar that lesbians (and I assume other queer people) patronize too. Since my stay in A'dam was coming to an end, I went for the Dutchest I could with a Grolsch beer and bitterballen (a fried snack made with ground meat, butter, flour, spices...). I actually like Grolsch. And the bitterballen were good. But the best and most incredibly delicious part was the mustard to eat the bitterballen with! Whoa! The best mustard I have ever tried! So tasty! And so perfect for the bitterballen!

From there we walked to our next stop, Café the Queen's Head. Another relaxed mostly gay bar, right by a canal! Really nice. And there I got to try a witbier, which translates as wheat beer (though some people also call them white beers). Pretty good, though the conversation I had with this guy was even better! Talking about identity, queer rights, the consequences of progress in gay rights, complex and multinational family origins... Really cool.

Before we parted ways, we came across this shop that sold all sorts of bongs. I know quite a few people that would have loved such a gift, but a) the shop was closed, and b) how annoying to carry that back home! LOL

My last morning I had two missions left to accomplish before sitting on the train to Schiphol airport – getting my hands on a herring sandwich from a famous vendor on a bridge nearby, and having poffertjes (tiny, dense Dutch pancakes) with a colleague I was in Malawi with and who happened to live in A'dam.

So, early in the rainy morning, I headed straight for my broodje haring to Stubbe’s Haring, on a bridge over Singel Canal. Only to find it closed! No! One of my two very simple yet very Dutch goals! And it didn't look like there were going to open anytime soon that rainy Sunday morning. So, I went for a walk – I had time to spare before breakfast with my colleague...

At least the reflections of the buildings on that rainy grey day were pretty. Plus I found a cat sleeping the most comfortable of naps in what must have been a nice and warm café!

When it was time, I headed over to the Pancake Bakery, one of the more famous places for pancakes and poffertjes! Once my colleague got there – so nice to be able to talk and chat with her outside work! – we got what we were there for: a nice plate of traditional poffertjes. My friend from last night recommended I go for the simple, sugar and maple syrup ones, since I should start with the true and traditional version. Well, those little fellas were amazing! But so dense! I thought maybe I could have ordered more to try them with some other topping, like cream and cherries, but I was so incredibly full!

At least I got one of my two missions accomplished, right? 

Fantastic layover in A'dam. Eye-opening comparison with Lilongwe. Met nice people. And remembered I should re-visit these places with the habibi someday.

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