Thursday, June 07, 2012

Roadtrip to France: Amsterdammerung

English Book Shop, The Jordaan, AmsterdamTwo days of driving and walking is recipe for a long sleep-in and slow day. When I finally emerged onto the street at about 11am, we drifted a few blocks toward central Amsterdam’s Jordaan district, founded 400 years ago. It’s a drizzly grey day, perfect for gravitating toward The English Bookshop even though I haven’t yet even had my first coffee of the day, and more pointedly, I undoubtedly have several packages of books waiting for me when I get home at the end of the week.

Inside the bookshop there was a small stuffed sleeping puppy at the top of the entrance stairs that Munson kept trying to wake up for play. While obviously fake, its creator was at least as skilled as some of the more explicit taxidermy I saw in Jordaan windows:

spectrum of taxidermy today
Circus Treurdier - flaming piano  cold comfort

brunch & sudoku

Shortly thereafter I found a cafe (as distinct from coffee shop) to settle down in, fill up and enjoy the passing spectacle, rather than being the passing spectacle.
Munson's cuppa water (1)  Munson's cuppa water (2)

We moved on to the American Book Shop – Amsterdam is very well served for English language literature – and after loitering there for a time decided to head south towards the Albert Cuyp street markets. Checking back to a blog entry from 2005 I saw that I’d bought Australian dried apricots there, which are drier and tarter than the Turkish style, and figured it was worth a two kilometre walk.
Chipsy Kings
En route I fortified myself with a servings of frites from Chipsy Kings which basically sells three serving sizes of fries with a huge variety of toppings. I’d left Munson tied up outside as it was so crowded indoors, but he caught the attention of the staff at the back at the store, and when we left I could hear everyone calling out “bye-bye, bye-bye”.
Wasabi cheese @ Albert Cuyp market
Munson in his elementlocal street signage
I found the Australian dried apricots I wanted – which they label “sour dry apricots” but after lugging them all the way back home found that I could have bought them as cheaply in the street market around the corner. The Dutch are truly the spice-kings and I’m more than a little jealous of the availability of so many inexpensive spices, sauces, nuts and the like which are not readily available in France.

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