Yellow Buses and White Ladies

Unexpected
We’ve been having beautiful weather here the past few days, with temperatures getting up around 18C (around 68/70F) and lots of sunshine. Determined to make the most of it today, we headed out for a walk over to the Streekmarkt today, a monthly market featuring local, mostly bio, foods. It’s up toward the northern end of town, so it meant a pretty walk, as well. I’ll probably save some of those photos for another post or two.

Once we got to the market and did a tour of the offerings on hand, we decided to have a lunch of meat pies and beer. As we were waiting for the pies to be reheated, we did a bit of people watching and just took in the scenery. It was then that I realized that the big yellow bus in front of me was a bit more unusual than I was thinking. I’m so used to these buses, having ridden a few on occasion, that it took me a moment to realize that this is not a sight you see here in the Netherlands!
Grote Gele Bus

In this case, the bus was being used as a children’s book store; a cute idea! Children aren’t bussed to school here, though. They either ride their bike, are dropped off by their parents, or if they do take a bus, it’s a normal bus that everyone else takes. As a result, no school buses, and certainly not the big yellow buses I’m so familiar with from the U.S. Despite not having seen one in a few years now, it’s just such a normal sight to me that it honestly took me a moment to realize that it’s not a normal sight here. It reminds me of when I saw a (NYC) Metrocard lying discarded on the ground in the park near us. It was such a common sight for me once, that it took a moment to realize that while the sight might be normal, the location certainly wasn’t!

Soon our food arrived and we tucked in to our lamb and steak pies. We took turns passing them back and forth, enjoying each one. They were certainly enjoyable, but didn’t taste like the traditional English meat pies they were described as. Maybe it was just the absence of the HP sauce! They went well with the local beer we tried. We’d seen a poster for Witte Vrouwen beer yesterday in the grocery store and were curious, since we live near Wittevrouwenstraat. De Leckere is a local brewery and they have a variety of beers, some with Utrecht-related names, including a Willibrord amber beer I wouldn’t mind trying. Witte Vrouwen, not surprisingly, is a witbeir, and a very nice one, indeed! I see more of them in my future. De Leckere is the first 100% organic special brewery in the Netherlands, and if the Witte Vrouwen is anything to go by, they’re doing an excellent job!

Witte Vrouwen Bier

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11 thoughts on “Yellow Buses and White Ladies

  1. Ooh, I’m noting this down for our beer review panel to try one day 🙂
    The only other place I have ever seen one of these yellow buses is last year there was one as part of one of the “strandtenten” (beach side restaurants) ensembles.
    I definitely did a double take.
    Cool that this one is a children’s book shop!
    I know what you mean about the pies… the stuff touted as “English fish and chips” here also definitely isn’t.

    • Definitely consider some of De Leckere beers for future tastings. We ended up picking up a bottle of Willibrord, a nice amber, yesterday evening and I really enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to trying all the rest of the varieties.

      I knew the subject of these buses had come up before. It was your blog post about the strandtenten and I thought that was such a fun idea! Thanks for the reminder!

      • Korenwolf by Gulpener is a 100% organic witbier as well. It’s brewn in Limburg with all local ingrediënts as well. You should give that one a try as well. (I do prefer it over witte vrouwen)

        • I didn’t realize Korenwolf was an organic beer, as well. That was the first beer I had the day I moved here when we went to enjoy the sunshine and a beer on the terrace of one of the nearby cafés. It really is quite good, too.

  2. NIce idea for a children’s bookshop, original (well, at least here in the NL).
    Those beers sound lekker, I’ve seen De Leckere but not the other one. I like the nuns in the label – they’re all white but are wearing a rather shockingly red lipstick! 😀

    • De Leckere is the manufacturer of the Witte Vrouwen bier. The funny thing is that it’s been sold out at our local grocer for at least the past week — a good excuse to try some of the others. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that the grocery store is just down the street from Wittevrouwenstraat. 😉 And yes, the shocking red lips really make the logo!

    • I love book stores and have since I was a child. I think even when I was little I would have liked the idea of this book store on wheels, even though I was used to the buses.

  3. Pingback: American Influence in Utrecht | A Flamingo in Utrecht

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