Dutchification

ImageFriday night proof of true integration into the Dutch culture: sitting under a retractable awning at a neighborhood restaurant terrace while gulping 8% La Chouffe, listening to the wind blowing, seeing the rain falling, and taking huge bites of cheese lumpias dipped into jelly-like sweet-sour sauce. The red haze was from a wall-mounted patio heater so I had a toasty neck. Proost!

The Bubble Maker

ImageThis is Peter and I saw him in the city center making huge bubbles that transformed the square into a magical place. People slowed down and for a few seconds, their faces showed a childlike wonder as they looked at the bubbles lazily floating in the air before bursting. Just as quickly, the wonder disappeared from their faces and they went on their way, maybe thinking that there was a friend to meet, a shop to enter, a meal to cook, work to be done, a train to catch…all those myriad thoughts that constantly besiege our brains.

I watched Peter for several minutes until I couldn’t stand being an observer anymore. I went to him and told him, politely of course, that I wanted to take over. It was not easy, this bubble-making magic. The plastic rods were heavier than I expected. You needed to work with the wind and the hand movements needed some practice. But I was successful in making a few huge ones. Before I left, I got Peter’s recipe for the bubble solution. His magic ingredient made me laugh.

One of these days in the neighborhood playground, you’ll see me there making bubbles.

Chocolates

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Like Forrest Gump said, “Life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re gonna get.” I got this box full of hand-made chocolates from a famous Amsterdam confectionary last weekend from friends. I don’t think I’ll share them with hubby because they’re bad for his health. Oh the sacrifices I have to make in the name of love.

Happy Halloween

ImageMy sister-in-law Michelle and I come from countries where we don’t traditionally celebrate Halloween but things have changed for both of us since moving here. So here are her pumpkin carvings made with much difficulty because they’re so hard to carve up. I found out last night too when I made pumpkin soup for the first time. It took a lot of strength and perseverance to cut the pumpkin into pieces.

Happy Halloween! Boo!