Tag Archives: jonnie boer

De Librije

Consider this a postcard from a town whose name I can’t pronounce. Fifty shades of grey is the weather here, not just an idea book for days like this. And I’ve translated so many words on my phone that I risk exceeding my roaming data plan on the vowels alone.

Welkom in Nederland. I’m in Zwolle.

I arrived yesterday ’round midnight, the only one who got off the train at this station. The only one walking these cold, foggy streets at that hour. Now it’s lunch time and I’m biting my tongue because I want to make a joke about purple drank, but nobody in this country thinks I am funny. So I’ll just sip this fermented cabbage juice in silence. It’s the first serving at a restaurant called De Librije. Continue reading

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The Flemish Primitives 2011

“You owe me, bigtime.”

Those four words appear frequently in conversations between my girlfriend and I. By pure coincidence, I’m always on the receiving end.

Her eyes alone shouted them at me now. Some curious little man, cracked out on Spanish ham and Russian caviar, had just swiped an Italian sparkling water bottle from her hands and flashed it before the Danish gentleman standing next to us while his curious little friend photographed the crime.

The guy next to us was René Redzepi. And those two sneaky bastards were either chef groupies or desperate PR reps, maybe both.  This was my poor girlfriend’s introduction to The Flemish Primitives, a food festival held last month in Ostend, Belgium. It was my introduction to the doghouse. Continue reading

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