Monday, April 5, 2010


It's been very interesting to see how "Hagelslag and other charms of Holland" has been read by people from all over the world. I've gotten several comments recently - two of which I am unable to translate into anything that makes sense using free Internet translation tools. :)

Blogger 健康保寶 said...
看看blog調整心 情,又要來繼續工作,大家加油........................................
February 13, 2010 2:19 AM
Blogger 天天影片 said...
閱讀您的BLOG文 章,真是件快樂的事!........................................
March 8, 2010 2:01 AM
(Hopefully these readers liked what they read!)

Having these comments show up recently reminded me (and shamed me) that I never truly did finish this blog enough to a point where I could say THE END. In fact, I did not chronicle any of my last week in Holland. I'm pretty embarrassed about that, especially since the overall experience was so important and so wonderful for me.

My memory is shaky, given that it was two years ago, but here goes nothing!

Wednesday, June 25 -- Anouk and I went to dinner in Haarlem with Ingrid and her husband Frank after visiting Frank's place of work, de Schalm, which is an organization/store that helps people (homeless, addicts, or who have other troubles) learn a job skill and get back on their feet. It was a very neat visit. 

Thursday, June 26 --After work, I went to Anouk's friend's apartment which was in the Red Light District.  It was amazing to see such a vibrant, cute group of young 20-something girls juxtaposed with the windows of the Red Light District right outside! The girls celebrated a birthday. They were very welcoming - we had lots of fun.

My last official work day at Van Luyken was Friday, June 27, 2008. That afternoon, Ingrid escorted me to the Frans Hall Museum in Haarlem. That evening, I treated the partners (Jan Hendrick, Hans, Raoul and Erik) as well as my hosts (Anne; Barbara Wiggers, Jan Hendrik's wife; and Eva Weijel, Hans' wife) to dinner at a fancy restaurant. It was very fun and delicious!

The Restaurant... name escapes me now.
 The lovely group: Jan Hendrik, Barbara, me, Erik, Anne, Hans (barely pictured), Eva and Raoul.

What a great group of people to work for and with!

Saturday, June 28 -- Anne took me on a journey to Delft, the town known for its beautiful porcelain pottery.

We toured the factory and were able to see a demonstration. I bought my mom a darling bud vase in Delft, at the factory.

We also had fun enjoying the touristy parts of Delft.

I fell in love with these miniature paintings.

Then, we took the train to den Haag and met up with Anouk.
We visited the museum there, but I marveled more at the modern day sights: people crowded in a central area building a sand castle (we got a beer and watched with interest) and the parking lots full of bike after bike!
That evening, we cooked and ate dinner at Anne's and had a great time, chatting, just us girls.
Sunday, June 29 -- Anne and I biked around de Jordaan and had lunch, and we also went to the Anne Frank house.

Monday, June 30 -- The bosses at Van Luyken asked me to come back to the office for one more Monday morning meeting. It was a very special meeting... turns out, they wanted me to be there so they could surprise me with a very dear departing gift, the book Still Life and Trade in the Dutch Golden Age, by Julie Berger Hochstrasser. It's a beautiful photo book that still has a prominent place on my bookshelf, and Jan Hendrick inscribed it beautifully, which he read out loud before presenting it to me. I finally got a hug from the stoic Dutchman. :)

That afternoon, Anne and I went to the Rijks Museum, to the Van Gogh Museum and by Vondelpark.

Tuesday, July 1 -- My last full day in Holland was reserved for shopping, which we did in da Pijp in the Albert Cuypmarkt. We had a great time! That night, we met up with Thomas, his friend, and his sister, Nancy, and had dinner.

Now, after nearly two long years of silence on this blog, I can finally say that my chronicles are complete. I will never forget my time in Holland and the friends I made there, and as I told one Van Luyken pal recently over e-mail, I'll always think of Amsterdam as my European home.



Friday, October 3, 2008

So, it's been a while since my last post...

So, it's been a while since my last post. I admit it - I was so thrilled to return home to America in early July and tell everyone my hagelslag tales in person that I let my darling blog fall by the wayside. Well, I am no longer going to be like this:

falling flat on my backside when it comes to my blog. There are still more charms to share from Holland! (By the way, I took this picture on the train that took me from the station near Anne's house to Schiphol Airport. I felt sure that I would meet this awful fate when trying to run down the stairs to get off at my stop!)

So let's test my memory, shall we? Stay tuned to see what else I have to say about the final days of my adventure in Holland...

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Filet Americain

As my readers may recall, the Dutch like to put spreads on their bread in order to make a “sandwich.” One such spread is called Filet Americain, and from what I can figure, it’s basically some sort of raw meat concoction that looks like ground beef so finely mushed up that it’s the consistency of mashed potatoes.
SICK, right!? That’s what I said. I tried a bite upon Anne’s request (well, basically she made me) and while I somehow was able to chew it and swallow it down, the whole time I was thinking, “It’s okay. You can make it through this.” My question is how in the heck can they call something I’ve never seen in my LIFE Filet Americain? I mean, they have given this spread the name American -- which would seem to me means they think it’s quintessential American. And it’s like, so totally not American AT ALL! Duh.
Would you ever eat this?

I wouldn’t recommend it!
Where is the hagelslag?