Anarchist summer delights with charcoal

My barbecuing experiences in the Netherlands

In previous posts I have dealt several times with the culinary differences between Germany and the Netherlands – and they also exist in the case of the greatest of all summer pleasures, barbecuing. However, the differences are not so much culinary, but rather ideological. The Dutch are a people of flat hierarchies, they can’t stand it when one person has a greater say than anyone else. This is true in politics as well as in daily life, and I suspect that the royal family is also so popular because their representatives de facto have quite little to say.

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It’s alive!

Is it because I’ve just had my first vaccination? It wasn’t AstraZeneca, but I swear our robot vacuum cleaner is alive. It’s a brand-name model. Great thing, especially if you have a dog and not many carpets. Works really well, it’s just a bit noisy. But it’s alive. I checked, the software is not from Microsoft – which eliminates the only alternative explanation. The dear thing drives around the whole flat and picks up dog hair, dog toys, dog food, dog biscuits and dog biscuits and nothing else really – except dog chews.

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Let your forehead go all soft…

Since “indoor” group sports are not possible at the moment, I have been obliged to look around for yoga courses on YouTube – and without much enthusiasm at first. I found what I was looking for from a young woman from Berlin who explains really well and clearly indicates what matters in individual exercises. A real happy ending for me – in the meantime, “yoga with tablet” has become an enjoyable (and beneficial) part of my everyday life.

However, after the first few classes, I found that the blocks I had to overcome were less physical than linguistic. I had certain difficulties with prompts like “Let your forehead go all soft”, because whatever I had hoped for from yoga – a soggy noodle it was not.

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Tree Art

I have been a passionate museum visitor for many years and hardly any exhibition is bizarre enough to put me off. Friends with so-called “niche interests” appreciate it very much if they don’t want to go alone, because I enthusiastically agree to go even when the rest of their social environment shake their heads in disgust. “Video installations from the 70s? – But of course!” “The special exhibition at the Microbe Museum? – Of course I’ll come!” “The development of weaving in the socio-political context of the industrial revolution? – Great! When do we go?“

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And for coffee there’s – appeltaart, vlaai and poffertjes!

So far, dear readers, I have presented many savoury (and mostly fried!) variations of Dutch cuisine. Today we’re going to talk about the afternoon – and the nice habit of ordering a piece of cake with your coffee on the way.

My colleague BCO, who in February in his article “Too much bloody choice!” shared with us his traumatic experience of ice cream selection in the Ben & Jerry’s factory, should be delighted in Dutch cafes, because often the selection consists only of “appeltaart with cream” and “appeltaart without cream”. Life can be so simple!

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Snapshots en route

The Harlequin team says goodbye for the summer holidays. We wish you and ourselves a great time – and lots of inspiration for new contributions. Once again this year we‘ll publish a short article every Friday during the holidays, this time with the motto “Snapshots en route”. Here the first one:

When the trees wear surgical masks…

… you stop in fascination when strolling by. I am often out and about in the woods in all seasons, this was my first encounter with this trend in nature.

Apparently nature moves with the times too.

English translation of all snapshot texts: BCO

The sausage without skin – interesting facts about the Dutch “frikandel“

In my series on Dutch “specialities” I have so far owed you the frikandel. That will change today.

The frikandel is the most commonly consumed fried snack in the Netherlands (it even beats croquettes and bitter bal!s) and the first thing you need to know about it is that it has absolutely nothing to do with the German Frikadel!e (For the unitiated: the Frikadelle is a kind of fried meatball) The frikandel is a kind of sausage without skin and for many years it was considered a “guilty pleasure”, because all sorts of questionable ingredients were attributed to it. Among other things, it was said to have cow’s eyes, ears and udders.

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