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.