Two Things I Miss Most

I have come back to the Netherlands last Wednesday. Air France decided not to take me (although they were happy to fly my bag, apparently), so I had to go through New York instead of Paris. If it helps me avoid the French, I’ll be happy to. There’s snow everywhere here, which is not my favorite kind of weather. Maybe I’m just spoiled, because the Missouri winter turned out to be sunny and warm. Besides the sun, there’s two things that are missing in this lovely country of mine:

Every time I looked down in the sink, I wondered how my fingers would look if I dared. I bet I'm not the only one.

When visiting Missouri, I never have a drink without ice. Because I can.

It’s the thing that crushes your leftover food and the things that keeps your drinks cold. Whereas the latter might be a pure luxury and could be replaced by the plastic surrogate I have lying around in the freezer, that first thing I will dearly miss.

It’s most obvious when I’m at my parent’s and cooking. After you’re done making a meal, you are left with tips from green beans, the rotten parts of a green pepper, a bit of an avocado and more of the sort. When you have a magical sink, you turn on the faucet and make the sink’s belly roar. When you don’t, you take out the veggie box, walk outside (on wooden shoes in my case), dump the contents in the outside container, walk back in and then scrape the inside with a kitchen roll before you rinse it off. For some reason, this magical sink idea never lifted off in the Netherlands. I cannot imagine someone liking the manual process over the fully automated crushing of leftovers.

Did you see you can officially like me on Facebook now? If so, why haven’t you done that yet?

Is there something else you think I might be missing (miss Missouri not being a thing)? 

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12 thoughts on “Two Things I Miss Most

  1. Ah! I feels like home reading your blog! That’s the biggest thing I miss about being in Missouri.. the crushing of the food (we call it the “garbage disposal”). When I’m in my room in Leiden, I was confused when I didn’t see a switch on the wall. I didn’t know you guys had to throw all the little pieces in the trash can. I guess I was too spoiled back in the states– as well as the ice maker conveniently found on refrigerators. The thing I’m not used to about being here is the dining scenes. Here, you have to pay for your water! And there is no such things as “free refills.” Although, I do like how nice people are from Leiden. That’s comforting.

    • We are nice. I cannot get enough of your blog. It’s really the opposite. I noticed you’re a Webster student (you take the same pictures and seem to have the same room(-ish) as my girlfriend when I met her). As a bit of the last sentence may tell you, I met her through Webster’s global program in her 9 weeks in Leiden. I really like your blog. Please forgive me the amount of comments that will come your way.

      • Well thank you! I’m glad you enjoy reading it. Yes! I am a Webster student. My home campus is the one back in St. Louis and will be here in Leiden til May studying. My guess is we’re probably staying in the exact place as she did (if the LLC rings a bell for her?). This is my first real trip to mainland Europe and I’m honestly glad I picked Leiden. The language barrier is extremely hard for me to get over though, because I feel like I should know some Dutch since I’m staying here for 4 months, but I just can’t get down the harshness of your country’s words. But I like how everything is so compact here and simple. And if you have any recommendations of what to see/ eat/ visit, I would love to know! I’m only here for 4 months so I want to make the best of the trip.

      • I have a lot of recommendations, naturally. You should definitely see more of Europe, too, especially because air flight tickets are fairly cheap if you fly Easyjet or similar companies. My girlfriend loved to see the city of Delft (20 minutes by train). I took her to the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam, but the Corrie ten Boom huis in Haarlem offers a more hands-on experience and will be an excellent introduction in WWII-Holland (also cheaper than the Anne Frank house and if you’re here, that should matter to you;-)) If you’re here in April, you should take a bike ride through the tulip fields as well. Take a bike ride to the beach when the weather gets better and you can always comment here or contact me by Twitter if you’re bored or want travel details (just ask, it is a lot of trouble to figure it all out yourself and not even a minute’s worth of my time, I’m glad you’re visiting).

      • I can’t tell you how much I already appreciate your help. I had some friends recommend that we go visit the beach by the bike since it’d be something we wouldn’t regret. When does it usually get a bit warmer? As in a good time to go? And my other question was… how do you get to the beach? As in, my roommate and I are directionally challenged people (We spent 2 hours in Brussels completely lost trying to find our hotel). Some friends mentioned it was about a 40ish minute bike ride?

  2. You wait for the sun to set, then chase it. Stop when you see the shore. You should go to ‘Katwijk aan zee’. I will give you a more detailed route if you want to, but this replying back and forth might start to deceive people on how popular my blog is. I suggest you use my email, so you can also easily look it up when you need to:
    basboshuizen (@) gmail.com

    I sincerely hope March will have a few nice spring days, April will most likely have good cycling weather. But then again, they promised me snow in Saint Louis this January and all I got was sun. I don’t know, but by April you should be able to cycle. I myself consider it good weather if it’s above 10C, no wind and sunny. You won’t be tanning on the beach (maybe in May if you’re very lucky, but I’ve read about your no-flirting with Dutch guys policy, so you’re not favoring the odds (or have a boyfriend, in which case good for you)). You’re in Holland, so technically I feel you should go cycling in the rain at least once. Do you have a bike?

  3. Hope this works, wp comments go “poof” into the receipients spam file. This is the 2nd try.
    You happened to find my “potshots”; however, the encroachment by a run amok government make my “humor” very limited. Thanks for stopping by. Your statement on Holland’s size was enlightening.
    “The country as a whole is about 20 percent of the size of Missouri” Wow. No wonder bicycles rule. It would work for a small country. I just didn’t know the Netherlands was THAT small!
    The disparity of vehicle size on the American road is staggering.
    There are some “economy cars” I’d never own because if you had a head on collision with a dog you’d lose! But the need for larger vehicles is simply due to distances one might need to travel. A small car would beat you to death (so to speak) if you had to go say, 800 miles before stopping. Larger cars mean much less road fatigue when going long distances.

    • The first line in this one made me think it was spam anyway, but since you’re talking about points I actually bring up, I’ll take the risk ;-). To me, the reason to drive big cars to prevent being crushed in an accident is a self-fulfilling prophecy, but I feel it’s a different culture as a whole and cars are as much a part of American culture as bicyles are of the Dutch culture. Distance is indeed a big part of the choice for a car. I don’t cycle from city to city on my bike, but cities themselves are more dense, making it very hard to get through them by car. Thanks for stopping by!

      • You’re very welcome. I wasn’t joking about WP. Many of the bloggers on my blogroll with whom I have regularlycommunicated with no longer see any comments I try to post. This has been ongoing for the past several weeks. Recent events in our -now belligerent- government, busy ignoring its own Constitution, make me think there is a sort of censoring attempt going on. One of my contacts posted this comment:
        “I have had a couple of fellow patriots contact me stating their blog has been shut down for some reason or another. Anyways, just thought that I would give you guys a tip to make sure that you don’t lose all of your work in case this were to happen to you.” Followed by instructions onb exporting your work to your own computer files in case this were to occur. Not amused!
        I opnly read a few items in your blog, and found the perspective refreshing, Take care, “X” (I always use a pseudonym)
        P.S. I have blogged repeatedly on privacy problems on the internet; notably Facebook. Here is a short link: http://wp.me/p1Qo6Q-9f

      • I’ll check it out in a while. I’m glad you find my perspective refreshing, I’ve gone through your blog and it never hurts to see a new point of view.

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