Welkom in Nederland

Our first post here has been too long in the making, really, but a crucial packing mistake (a computer charger accidentally shipped with our belongings) combined with the need to cheaply furnish a new apartment meant that our computer’s primary use has been searching Marktplaats (a Dutch hybrid of eBay and Craigslist) for gently used furniture.

That said, Matt has already earned himself a reputation in the local vintage furniture community — we’ll have a post up that details his finds soon.

Already six weeks have ticked by, but the inspiration for this post came about two weeks into our time here. 

View (hardly) of Oude Jan from the Prinsenhof during a torrential downpour. This is the type of weather for a visit to de Kurk.

View (hardly) of Oude Jan from the Prinsenhof during a torrential downpour. This is the type of weather for a visit to de Kurk.

On a sleepy weekday evening, we walked to Proeflokaal de Kurk for a few drinks. De Kurk, located on the wide, eastern side of the Kromstraat, before the bars and restaurants give way to private homes and the street narrows to a lane, is the type of bar that beckons you in on a rainy night. It boasts high tables set behind a front bay window; long, worn wooden benches and candlesticks entombed beneath pyramids of hardened wax. It’s a place to sip a drink while gazing at the poor souls rushing to get out of the rain and the cold. 

But we were there, naturally, on a sunny day in midsummer, when twilight lingers well past 10 o’clock, so most of the charm of the place was lost on us. We’ll have to give it another try in winter.

Not only was the bar low on atmosphere, but Matt and I, having spent every moment of the first two weeks together, were struggling for conversation fodder. So I produced a small notebook and pen and decided we should quiz each other: on our first impressions; what we loved about Holland and the Dutch; what vexed us about them. 

That conversation was meant to provide the skeleton of this first post, but since we’ve let some time slip by since then, our next posts will record both opinions from that night at de Kurk, as well as what’s changed about them in the intervening the month since.

Check back soon.