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Casual Saturday in Maastricht

Chocolate Company cafe

Chocolate Company cafe

After a few weeks of staying in, sickness, frustrating laundry experiences, and just plain business, Dan & I decided to get out on Saturday to run a few errands in town and go see an archaeological exhibit.
 
Actually the archaeology exhibit was my main reason for getting out. I had read about a free exhibit in the Hoofdwacht on the Vrijthof about the archaeological work done when they put in the underground parking. Being a lover of dirt and finding things in it, I didn’t want to pass it up. Unfortunately it didn’t open until noon, so we had some time to kill.
 
I’m very American in the sense that I am most comfortable shopping in a grocery store for all of my food stuffs, but there are occasionally things I can’t find at Aldi and Albert Heijn. The big ones are baking powder and baking soda. Baking powder can be found in a regular grocery store, but so far I’ve only seen it there in little packets. I’ve been told that baking soda (bicarbonaat) can be obtained at a pharmacy but I’m not really comfortable with that. So instead I found both at an Asian grocery store on Markt square. They are products of the UK, but cheap and in decent sized containers. Arm & Hammer, my go-to baking soda in the US, costs over 7,50 euros here. Craziness. I’m not that brand loyal.
 
The other thing we like to get at a specialty store is loose leaf chai tea. Chai is almost always better loose leaf, so we occasionally stroll across the bridge and pick up a bag at Simon Levelt. They have a wide variety of teas, all loose leaf, as well as many sweets, gifts, and coffee beans to boot.

Dan enjoying an oliebol

Dan enjoying an oliebol


Saturday also introduced us to another Dutch snack: oliebollen. Oliebollen are like a puffed donut the size of a man’s hand and deep fried in oil. Sometimes they are filled with fruit or creme. The one we had was from a cart on Markt square and was filled with banana (a banananballen) and dusted with powdered sugar. (I think the Dutch put powdered sugar on nearly everything.) I doubt it’ll take the place of chocolate filled waffles as my favorite Maastricht snack, but it was certainly tasty.
Chocolate fondue

Chocolate fondue


After a quick stop over at T-Mobile for the nth time to get my voicemail fixed we discovered that the Chocolate Company was open. We’ve been trying to get in there for months now, but they’ve always been closed. Today we went in and had coffee with a chocolate fondue for two for lunch. The dark chocolate fondue came with cake, cookies, strawberries, and bananas for dipping and was a fun and tasty lunch; even if it was terribly unhealthy.
 
Of course this all brings us up to noon and my much hyped archaeology exhibit. How disappointing. I had hoped from a through discussion of the history of layers they’d found under the Vrijthof along with some interesting artifacts and maybe a description of the project as a whole. Instead we got a single room with a few small objects, one picture of the dig project, and several photographs of artifacts with little or no description. A real pity after anticipating an exciting exhibit for so long.
 
We whiled away the rest of our afternoon working on a variety of projects as we are wont to do on a Saturday. Dan worked on his comic, I editing his comic and worked on an article about Maastricht. We even managed to avoid the short hailstorm in the afternoon. A nice, casual day in Maastricht.

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