Anniversary

Today is our three year anniversary. That’s amazing. It’s my longest relationship ever, and I’m more in love with him every day than the day before. But back to our trip…

On Tuesday, we thought our BidVest troubles were over. So we set out to go do our shopping that was cut quite short on Monday, and we’re on our way. We stop by an ATM, and I try to withdraw…But it’s declined again. But this time it says Insufficient Funds…Hmmm. That’s kind of impossible. I know what I have left in the bank. So we come back home, fuming, and call the good ole people at BidVest, and Faul decided to handle it. I’ve never seen him so mad! Turns out, all of my failed attempts to withdraw cash and to swipe my card, was deducted anyway! So they took almost all of my money, and left me with 60 Euro’s. So after a lot of yelling, the lady there got right on it and refunded that moneys, as well as Faul’s. So we set off again to do our shopping, which was successful!

On Wednesday we set our very early to Doetinchem, to visit with some friends of my grandparents. It was such a fun day, I’m so glad we decided to do it. And, when we got to the station, we were given a very nice discount for the summer special they are having, so it turned out even cheaper than we expected! We took at train from Amstel station through Utrecht to Ede-Wageningen, where we had to get on a bus to Arnhem because they are working on the Metro at some parts all over Holland. When we arrived in Arnhem, we had to make a dash for the train to Doetinchem. After about two hours, we found ourselves in Doetinchem, where we met the people. I had no idea really how these people looked, so the night before, I phoned Ria, and she said to look for a man with a big moustache, that would be Willem, her husband. We found them immediately, and so we set off. We drove about 20 minutes to Bronkhorst, which is the smallest city in the Netherlands, with a population of a mere 150 people. There you find the Charles Dickens museum, and the man who runs it, looks exactly like Scrooge. We had lunch in Bronkhorst, where they decided to treat us to Krokette, which is Bitterballe, just bigger. And it’s served with fresh brown bread. Delish! From there we went to Doesburg, where we went to a Mustard museum/ Factory. We saw how they mill yellow and brown mustard seeds the old way until it ends up in yummy mustard. It’s such a small little place, and you don’t expect really that their production is very high… But you’d be wrong, because their Mustard is available right across Europe. We left Doesburg and were driving all along the country-side of Holland, which is beautiful, when suddenly, Willem says “You are now entering Germany”! I went to Germany! We stopped in Anholt at the Wasserburg Castle, which is this beautiful, old castle, surrounded by water. Part of it was turned into a small hotel and restaurant, but there is also a wing of the castle where a duke or someone still lives. I forgot. Oops. But it was so amazing. something I will never forget.

Right before we left for Amsterdam, we went to have a look at Willem’s advertising agency. I hadn’t expected much, because Ulft is not such a big city, but I was very impressed! The photographic studio…Oh my greatness. Amazing. I really would love to work there. So here are some positive thoughts sent into the universe…. “I want to work in Europe!”

Yesterday we slept in a little, because we got home quite late, and the travelling takes it’s toll on you. So when we were ready to go, it was almost time for lunch, and we were invited to go have lunch with Hennie and Janet, as well as Liza, Faul’s mom. We quickly went to Kalver straat, and had a look at a couple of new sales going on, and then went to Stacey’s. I have heard about this coffeeshop/ restaurant for almost 18 months now. Faul had a sandwich there the last time he was here, and had been raving about the mustard-mayo since. So I decided that is what I would have, to see if it was really the bees knees. It was. It is amazing. The sandwich is called Stacey’s All Time Favourite. It has lukewarm pastrami, an aged gouda, pickles and the mustard-mayo on half a ciabatta with plenty of greens.

After that we went for a quick biertje while we waited for time to pass. We booked tickets for the Anne Frank House. It was such a deeply profound experience for me, after just reading her book before I came here. The only this that hindered this experience for me was the small children running around being snotty, noisy little brats. I don’t see the point of parent taking toddlers to such a place. It holds no meaning to them, and it is inconsiderate to the other people who actually want to have an emotional experience. But still, it was immensely touching.

And tonight, I will be making Paella again, but this time at Hennie and Janet’s house. Also, I’m quite nervous because we bought fresh salmon and tuna for the dish, but I haven’t really cooked with fresh fish before. We’ll see how it goes. Hold thumbs!

Much Love

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Update

I am not ill, just not feeling awesome. My skin is taking quite a knock, and I have a very terribly itchy rash on my collarbone. I usually get such a rash on my arms in very humid conditions, but this time it’s nowhere near my arms. It’s weird. And embarrassing. It looks bad. Like leprosy. Yuck. Anyway…

Last time I told you about Utrecht. Let’s continue from there. On Thursday we went to 9 straatjes (9 streets) which is a block of three roads, crossed with 3 smaller roads and going over three canals. It’s known for being a shopping mecca with less commercial chain store type of shops, with more unique shops. Here you can find a shop completely dedicated to toothbrushes. That’s all you can buy there. There are also quite a few vintage shops and I had so much fun there. I must add that (window) shopping every day is very exhausting. On Friday we slept late (very) and got up lazily. We had decided the previous night that we would dedicate the whole day to Albert Cruypt Mark. This is a flea market going down one long street. The stalls stretch down for more than a kilometre, I’m sure. We found a lot of treasures there, but I will also insist that we go to Markplein’s Market. Looks a little more Indie. As we were finishing our way back up Albert Cruypt, Faul and I shared a freshly made Stroopwaffel. It’s so cool to see the man making it right there. I was glad we shared because it turned out to be as big as a dinnerplate.

On Saturday we went back up to Kalver street, right at the top, where it meets with Die Dam. This is a huge square where street performers make their money, and it’s also where the Madame Tussaud’s is as well as the Royal Palace. It was quite disappointing, because they are working on it, and it’s covered with scaffolding, so we couldn’t see anything. Bleh. We also got quite a few bargains at Fame where they sell almost every dvd ever made. Sunday we went to have lunch at Hennie and Janet, who is more of Faul’s family. I had rhubarb pudding for the first time. It is quite interesting. Very aromatic and not too sweet. My grandfather would also be very proud, I had harring. Alas, it was on bread, but we decided we will go to a stall and eat it fresh.

Today was just frustrating. Firstly, after I had a bath, I had gotten very angry at myself for not taking better care of myself. But I got dressed, and dragged my ass out the door. We planned to go to De Bijenkorf, which is like a Harrod’s. It’s huge. As we were walking up Kalver street on our way there, I realised I needed to withdraw money. We stopped at an ATM, where I was denied. We thought it was just that ATM. We stopped at the next ATM, and again, I was denied. So Faul tried. Same story. But no need to panic, it works as a debit card too, so we can just swipe. So we got to De Bijenkorf, and I found my merchandise that I wanted to purchase. I swipe. Declined. So now…I’m pissed. And embarrassed. And we’re tourists in a foreign country, with almost no cash. We finally get a hold of the number to call at BidVest, and after holding forever, we finally got through to a girl whose only answer was that Telkom was down, and that’s what the problem was. And No, she didn’t know when it would be fixed, but she would call as soon as it’s solved. Two hours later, we spent our bus fare on lunch, waiting for the call, but to no avail. We call again. I speak to the same girl, who knows who we are, and she says she’ll have her supervisor phone me back immediately.

I’m still waiting for the call. So not only did I waste my cash and spent all of my airtime on hold, they still haven’t called back. After our looooooooong walk home, as we walk in the door, Faul’s mother sends us a text saying the cards are back on line. So today was a bit of a waste, but we did get to see Museum Plein, where the I Amsterdam sign is and Faul and I had a lot of fun anyway.  

Much Love

Ugh…

I woke up this morning, wanting to blog, but after I had a bath, I’m not feeling great anymore. Will blog tonight. Promise.