Monday, May 01, 2006

from Groningen, the Netherlands: love thy neighbor’s food

Sunday. Three trains later we are in Groningen (home of a beautiful old university -- one with which we have an exchange progam, hence my visit here).

How about that weather! Tonight’s low is the average low for midwinter: 1 degree C!
Thanks, young taxi driver, for the message of gloom.

I am reminded of any small Dutch city. There’s a canal. There are barges. There are ornamented buildings. There are bicycles. There is no decent place to get something to eat after 9:30 at night.

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But I was promised Internet at the hotel and that has not happened either. No matter, I am busy working all night Sunday and meeting with people all morning Monday. Later this evening I have an overnight train to catch for Italy. Sitting up and working this night as well. I can put aside blogging for a day, can’t I?

It appears that I cannot. And so I sit at a public library, work through their Internet technical difficulties and post.

As for food last night – I am going to mark the day off as irregular on account of the Queen’s birthday. Who feels like paying attention to cooking on such a special day. Still, I find Dutch menus hard, mostly because I do not understand what is meant by quintessentially Dutch food. Last night, I was stumped yet again and so I opted for the “Flemish special”: when in doubt, get fish and chips. Of course, because this is not Belgium, the chips (aka fries) weren’t extraordinary. But good enough.

Back to work headaches. They will disappear once I leave these northern dark skies and cross the border into Italy. Certo.

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