I’ve been in NL since Wednesday morning, doing simple things like sleeping a lot and eating regularly, getting the basics of my life here in order: tax papers, bank account, phone, health insurance. I’ve spent a lot of time simply marveling that I am actually here, that I pulled this off. I’ve been planning this move for so long…that I get to do it with someone I love is just so awesome and unexpected. He’s getting on fine with the dog, who seems to have actually thrown me over for a Dutch guy. The blooming love affair between them is a subject of marvel and mystery to me. I’ve been jilted for a blonde. Go figure.
We had more pancakes with bacon, using a different bacon this time, and it was much better. Crunchier, saltier…and goes really well with the stash of maple syrup I have. Now that my mugs are here I can have a properly sized cup of tea in the morning.
Carel has made me one of the staples of the Dutch diet, stamppot, which is a mash of potatoes, vegetables, and whatever else one feels like putting in it, and often served with a smoked sausage. We had Boerenkool stamppot, made with a heroic amount of kale, spiced and then fortified with a generous helping of salty savory bits of pork belly bacon fried slowly until crispy and intense in flavor. We had with it a smoked sausage that had been steamed along with the mash, and it was really good. Im sure it would be healthier to leave out the bacon bits but it would be so much less tasty…
He got me a chocolate letter, which is apparently a Dutch thing. During the time of Sinterklaas people give each other letters that generally correspond to their first names, so mine was an “A”. Yum. This is an idea I approve of!
We’ve been going on lots of walks. Daisy is now a city dog and requires a trip to De Poopen Place at regular intervals. Im very lucky to have such a place to take my dog which is literally 2 minutes walk from our house.
She seems to be doing okay with this whole thing. She’s not appreciably nervous or fretful and she’s settled right in at the house where she’s being spoiled rotten by everyone in sight.
I told her that life would get much more interesting shortly, and that things would be better here, though it was beyond her understanding, but I was right. It is much more interesting for both of us. New things to see, touch, smell, taste. Having Carel around full time instead of 6000 km away. People to meet, friends to make. New places to go, and to photograph. New odd things to learn about the Dutch. Here’s one:
When it freezes hard and people go out on the canals to skate, food vendors pop up, predictably enough. What I didn’t see coming was what they sell.
…split pea soup.
To go, please.