I like to eat my oliebollen while standing on a foot stool for added height. It makes me feel more Dutch.
I posted that comment on Twitter yesterday and was surprised to see just how many people retweeted and favourited it. But while reheating some oliebollen in the microwave yesterday, I did, in fact, end up eating the whole thing while standing on the stool that we need in order to reach the microwave, which is on top of the cabinets.
For many Dutch people — they of amazing height — the microwave would not be out of reach. So I enjoyed my oliebollen while pondering the perspective many Dutch people have while eating their fried-dough treat. It’s nice up there! I might start carrying one of those IKEA stools around with me everywhere.
Today, while G reheated the last of the oliebollen, he decided to take advantage of the perspective, as well. He thinks I might be on to something. For fun, I took a photo, while trying for a bit of a Dutch angle. It’s not quite tilted enough, but it will do. I added in a bit of moody, atmospheric shadowing to drive home the “exoticness and disorientation” of the angle and how it relates to eating a tasty foreign treat from such a height. Just as in The Third Man, I wanted “to emphasize the main character’s alienation in a foreign environment.”
Ha! I bet you didn’t expect comparisons between German Expressionism and Dutch fried dough. See how eating oliebollen on a foot stool has changed my view of the world? Of course, this could all be nonsense resulting from the lack of oxygen at such great heights. Madness? Or the birth of a new philosophy?
Saturday afternoon we stopped in briefly at Café De Stad in order to attend the presentation of the 2011 Waar In Utrecht (Where in Utrecht) calendar. Waar In Utrecht is a quiz in which a photo of a location in Utrecht is posted either on Twitter or through the website — or is part of a calendar — and the player has to guess where that spot is located. It’s player-driven, in that the person who guesses correctly via Twitter is then the one to supply the next photo. There’s usually some small prize such as a free ice cream or stamppot for the Twitter version, and a variety of prizes for the calendar version (a new photo each week).
I’ve played — and won — a few times, and now it seems that one of my photos made the final cut for the 2011 calendar. The quizmaster/organizer e-mailed me last month to see if I had any Sinterklaas photos that he could use, and he found one of mine that he thought would work. I was pretty sure the photo had made it in to the calendar, but got my final confirmation this weekend when I saw this photo. That’s my photo of Sinterklaas! (Appropriately, Saturday was also the day that Sinterklaas arrived in the Netherlands. Unfortunately, I missed the arrival this year. Someone else will have to supply the photo for 2012.)
Alas, the calendar presentation party was packed, and we couldn’t stay long, so I didn’t get to buy my copy of the calendar. I’ll just have to order mine online, most likely. But at least I can say I was at the same party as Utrecht’s mayor. Burgemeester Wolfsen was the first recipient of the new calendar.
It seems that all the rain we’ve had recently has been of some benefit after all. The rain washed away the encasing dirt from a long wooden freight ship in the neighborhood of the Leidsche Rijn Park here in Utrecht. According to the archaeologists on hand, the ship seems to be in relatively good shape, all things considered, and even has some of the traces of the shipbuilding process.
It’s all low-key right now, but the full presentation to the press should be made tomorrow (Wednesday 1 September). Included in the press conference will be information as to how old the ship and its cargo are, as well as the full location of where it was found. According to the municipality, there’s a good story behind it all. I’ll try to keep up on it all and post more info when it’s released.
I found out about it all via RTV Utrecht‘s Twitter feed, and it was on Twitter that I also found a photo taken by a resident at the ship’s site.
A slightly different shot from my usual stuff — more people! I went to another TweetUp last night and we started the evening off at Café Olivier, a Belgian beer bar located over by the Hoog Catharijne. I’d seen the outside of the café before, and even taken a few photos, but I had never been inside and didn’t realize it was actually a converted church. It’s lovely inside, as you can see, and they have a massive selection of Belgian beers from which to choose. I really must go back again soon and maybe have a bit more time to focus properly on the large menu of beers.
As it is, I had a great time catching up with people I’ve met before, while finally meeting others. Everyone was lovely and as always, I thoroughly enjoyed the evening and look forward to seeing them all again.
Ribs, glorious ribs!
Hot french fries, and coleslaw …
I had another TweetUp (meet-up with friends from Twitter) last night, meeting with pinkypie, ROtotheD, Pamcakes, and Melissa, a friend of pinkypie’s. We’d gone to Stairway to Heaven last time we all got together, and this time we went to Broadway American Steakhouse Restaurant on the Oudegracht. Our goal? Ribs. Pammy had been before and said the ribs were actually quite good, so we were hopeful. That hope was not in vain. The ribs were surprisingly good! As good as the ones G and I used to make? No, but really, how could they be. 😉 They more than satisfied my rib craving — or maybe they’ve just inflamed my craving. Either way, we’ll definitely be going back, especially once the weather is warmer and drier and we can sit on the terrace right there on the canal.
We probably could have sat outside last night. The day was sunny and surprisingly warm, getting up to 17C! It seemed like all of Utrecht was outside last night, with every restaurant and café’s outdoor seating filled to the brim with people enjoying the warmer temperatures. It really was a gezellig evening — friends enjoying each other’s company, laughter ringing out, and the glow of table candles lighting the evening in a rainbow of colors.
We did eat indoors, but it was still fun and an interesting setting. The restaurant is in one of the canal-level/below street-level spaces where the interior is filled with curved walls creating a cave-like atmosphere, without the dampness or dreariness. They had the walls painted with scenes from Old Hollywood, including a mural of Laurel and Hardy.
The pictures aren’t that great, but that’s because they were a last-minute thought as we were getting ready to leave. The rest of the evening was taken up laughing, eating, and generally have a great time. Most of us also got “doggy bags”, since the portion sizes were also American. What you see in the top picture is the ribs that I had left and brought home for my lunch today. The dinner also came with patat/frites (French fries) and we got some cole slaw to go along with it all. Even the cole slaw was excellent, although we partly attributed that to the use of Dutch mayonnaise. All in all, it was a great night with great food and great company. Can’t wait to do it all again!
Kitschy Jesus statues aren’t limited to US thrift stores or the front yard of that one weird neighbor. Nope. They show up in Dutch hairdresser shop windows, too. This one is in the window of a shop on Voorstraat. I pass it regularly and today I decided to get a shot of it to use in my Project 365.
I’m continuing to love this project, because it’s definitely making me look at my surroundings in a whole new way. I pass this statue all the time, but it never occurred to me to get a shot of it until today. I knew I would be dealing with window reflections, but it turned out to work in my favor. At first glance, when I was looking at the shots I got, I thought this one was going to end up deleted, because the reflections distorted the image too much. But with a simple adjustment of the contrast (ramp it up!), I ended up getting a fun, quirky, psychedelic image.
It almost looks like something that might be hanging in Stairway to Heaven, a local restaurant/bar/club here in Utrecht. I finally went to it on Thursday when I had a Tweetup (a meet up organized on Twitter) with some new friends, including a couple of fellow expat/immigrant bloggers I follow. The service might have been a bit slow, and the burger a bit cold, but it was very tasty and the company was excellent. I really enjoyed getting to meet some new people, especially such a fun and interesting group. I’m looking forward to future Tweetups with them!
Oh, and continuing my habit of injuring myself somehow while G is out of the country, I slipped on a small patch of ice as I was leaving the restaurant that night. I ended up going down hard onto my left knee. That would be the same knee that I injured last spring while trying to stop Lola from making a break for it over the garden wall. The one that had me laid up for three weeks. Fortunately, I was able to walk home and ultimately only suffered some tenderness, bruising and a bit of scraping. Still, I’m glad G’s arriving home this evening!