May 16, 2016
On the Bus Back to Paris
On a grey day in Utrecht, I am now on my jolly bus back to old Parie! I suppose I am lucky to be on this bus because I only had my ticket on my phone instead of a hard copy which annoyed the driver but he begrudgingly let me on.
Utrecht was quiet and quaint; a city that doesn’t do much to demand attention, like a beautiful shy person sitting at the back of the class who you didn’t even know existed until you turned around.
I had two cups of coffee and two pieces of bread (one with cheese and cucumbers, the other with a white chocolate version of Nutella) for breakfast and then Liset and I biked to the city center. The wind blowing in our faces made the ride quite cold and at one point, I even wished I had gloves but once we were off the bike, all was well. We wandered around the town center, saw the majestic Dom, visited a church and some gardens, and marveled at the canals which looked beautiful with the flowers blooming from the trees above them.
We stopped a cafe for some traditional Dutch food: bitterballen, a deep-fried ball stuffed with a gooey filling of chopped beef and dipped in mustard, and a Frikandel which is a long, thin sausage. I think I’ve done pretty well for trying food from their native land in this case – herring, stroofwafels, pancakes, bitterballen, and frikandel! Not half bad!
Last night, I watched some Dutch TV and I’ve decided that the reason I sometimes think Dutch people are speaking English when I first hear them speak is because their voices follow the same intonation as English-speakers. I feel like all countries should adopt the Dutch system of learning English. Really, it seems that everybody – young or old – speaks practically perfect English in Holland. I like how they keep movie trailers in their original language (and simply add Dutch subtitles instead of dubbing over the voices). I always wish Canada was better at making everyone bilingual.
When I arrived in Utrecht, Liset picked me up from the bus station and she was accompanied by a guy…and I later discovered it was their first Tinder date! Well, for what it’s worth, I thought they had known each other for years, so I guess they had a good chemistry!
Anyway, Utrecht was my last stop in Holland. We just had a 30 minutes stop in Brussels and I remember that bus station so well. Sitting on that bench and wishing it wasn’t so windy and paying 50 cents for the dirtiest bathroom in the world…thinking back always make me sentimental. I’m glad I got to see other parts of Holland this time and not just Amsterdam. I would like to come back in the early spring when there’s absolutely no possibility of missing the beautiful tulips and where there is hopefully no rain!