Airplane food is way better than I remember it to be. It wasn’t anything spectacular, just a grilled chicken salad, an assortment of fresh fruit, shrimp with cocktail sauce, and a fudge brownie. You do good things Delta. And on top of that, we got breakfast. Some greek yogurt, orange juice, and a roll with some creamy orange marmalade. The food wasn’t technically “free”, but I didn’t have to pay for it on the plane, so I’ll take it.
I landed in Amsterdam at around 11am. Or what felt like 4am to my midwestern mind. My cousin’s father picked me up and immediately brought me to lunch at a Dutch sandwich shop that couldn’t have sat more than fifteen people. This is where I heard spoken Dutch for the first time. I’m sure its development has some sort of rich history, but to me it sounds like mix between German and English. And a little goofy. Like, goofy in a good way.
The three hour drive to Bielefeld, Germany was probably gorgeous, but I wouldn’t know. I was asleep for its entirety.
I was greeted by my cousin Emma and her younger brother Richie. We’ve all know each other for just over half my life. Then, my senior year of high school Emma lived with us for the first half of it. She became one of my closest friends and stayed so even when we were an ocean and a few countries away. Our plan was to meet up again within five years of her moving back to Germany. We’ve actually been quite fortunate as her family has come over to the states a few times since then, and we were able to meet up in San Francisco this past Summer. Though, this is the first time the roles have been reversed and where I’ve been the visitor.
She showed me around her neighborhood as we walked their dog, Gigi. Tomorrow I’ll be able to see more of the city.
After dinner (goulash and spaetzle), we walked a few blocks to a traditional german restaurant, Vahle Einmalig Anders, so I could have my first taste of real German beer. I’m still not a huge beer person, but I will say that I was a huge fan of the amber ale I got, especially the inch worth of foam on top that reminded me of some sort of foamy, hoppy, whip cream. I also ordered a Bavarian cream with raspberry coulis. Bavarian cream is similar in texture to a mousse, but it is thickened with gelatin to give it a little more of a spongy texture while still keeping it light and airy. It was so smooth and the coulis’ acidity cut the sweetness perfectly. The only thing that made my experience in Vahle better was the fact that there were so many dogs inside. I guess it’s common in Germany for restaurants to allow dogs inside with their owners.
After that, I thought our night was coming to a close when a large dog with a beautiful white coat made an appearance on our walk home. Their owner was nowhere to be found and it’s collar lacked any sort of tag. Emma, Richie, and I made quick friends with the doggo. After asking anyone on the street if they’d seen the dog before, I realized that I know almost no German, and that we probably weren’t going to find this poocher’s home like this. We walked back to my cousins’ house and they took the dog to the nearest animal shelter. I didn’t go with them, so I don’t know all of what happened, but I do know that the pooch was happily returned home.
Thank you for reading all these random thoughts of mine. Like I said in my last post, I don’t really know where this blog is going, but now I think it’s really just going to be an unedited travel journal of sorts. You’re all the greatest and I hope you get to pet a super cute dog in your near future.