The greeting here doesn't quite get across the fact that we only speak and understand English, but we're doing just fine. Yesterday I got up and made us some breakfast of croissants (they were dark brown but not burnt, maybe wheat of some kind?), bananas, some cheese and our Ikea made press-pot of coffee. CF, the trouper he is, ran our laundry down while I got a shower. Just under 10eur, not bad. The weather was misty, a bit cold but not Zurich freezing, and it sprinkled a little bit a few times during the day. I have to say, the city looks lovely in the mist, I think it's actually the perfect way to see Amsterdam. We wandered through the bloemenmarkt, wondered if we could manage to get some cool bulbs home to mom. Then we decided to trek all the way down to the district called de Pijp, to see the Albert Cuypmarkt. On the way there we stopped for a freshly made doughtnut from a large street stand... and I almost cried it was so good. CF let me eat most of it. I took some photos, at one point I was taking a picture of a quaint little boat with a cool reflection and CF mentioned the bird I was shooting. I had no idea what he was talking about and then oh my goodness, there's a heron on the boat! We knew we needed to round up more groceries so we stopped to look in the window of a cheese shop, as we approached the window we saw a black cat keeping watch over the shop from high atop the counter. He quickly ran down to the door and pawed at the glass between us and I watched his little mouth move. He was really talking to us! Not sure if he was saying, "Let me out!" or "Hey, don't come in here!" or maybe a little bit of both.
The market was a little bit of a disappointment, I think it's because of the season. There's supposed to be more of an emphasis on food but mostly it was cheap clothing and second-hand goods. It was a rather big set up, took a while to walk down the whole way. The neighborhood wasn't as polished as where we are staying. Affordable little cafes were found on all the streets breaking off from the main drag. At the end of the market we found a booth selling frites, and CF decided they would make a good lunch. And he decided to go ahead and try them with mayo. They were pretty darn good! But he was so happy he almost cried and I decided to return the favor and let him eat most of them. Street food has been very good to us since we left Zurich, it must know how much we missed it!
We trekked back up to our apartment, stopping for a coffee to warm us up along the way. Then we went to De Bierkoning, which hadn't been open yet when we left earlier (it's very close to our place). 950 beers are found there, including the rare trappist monk made ale from Belgium that CF didn't think we'd find a way to get our hands on. He was a happy boy! The girl working there sure knew her stuff! Quite an impressive store. We climbed back up to our little hideaway and took a short break, CF got the laundry while I checked out how my photographs were turning out. Misty weather looks charming here but it makes for sort of dreary photos. Then we went back out for a couple more hours, collecting amazing chocolate bonbons from Puccini Bomboni (also very close to our house, we "live" in the perfect location), the croissants we ate just now (Tuesday morning), some cheese from a huge shop that more than just reminded us of Murray's in the Village, and some pork chops from a near by butcher. This is the life!
We had a snack and a round of beer sampling. CF worked on writing his Belgian beer manifesto and I did some Lonely Planet reading. A few hours later we decided to make dinner, CF made the pork chops with sage (herbs from the grocery store, I forgot about that stop) and apples... and more green vegetables. Plus, of course, another round of beer sampling. Followed by the bonbons... which are so amazing, they blew Swiss chocolate out of the water!
I had one of the best nights of sleep yet, we're officially on schedule here. It's raining this morning but the forecast says it's going to get a bit better. I think we might try to get the tram to the van Gogh museum and then we have more charming neighborhoods to explore.