Posted by: patriciamar | May 23, 2010

Summerly Fun

Summer has finally arrived in Leiden!  I may have said this before, but I was wrong, it was only trickery then, and now, it’s full sunshine and over 70 degrees for more than two days!  (Sigh.)

Yesterday, I headed to the market with the idea that it would be a nice quick trip, stopping at the grocery store on the way home.   Fortunately, the sun, the people, and the cruising boats took me captive and I instead chose to wander among the crowds for an hour, eating a Super Stroop (the big stroopwafels you can get fresh at the market for one Euro) and bought flowers and fresh bread and asparagus (it’s the season) and rhubarb and strawberries… Enough wonderful things that soon my bags were too full and I would definitely have to stop home before going to the supermarket.

The crowds of people at the market were amazing, not the usual rush to be the first in the cheese line, but a wandering and almost sedated form of happiness that can only be induced by wandering with a melting ice cream cone or sitting on the canal drinking wine or cappuccino and watching the dozens of boats drift by.  Some boats were tied up to the edge of the canal next to the cafe, an old man still there, shirt off and working on the start of what- by the end of the summer- will be a large, dark brown belly.  There were wine glasses next to him, half full of a nice summer Riesling from a few hundred kilometers away across the German border and his wife was missing, probably picking up broodjes (sandwiches) or haring or some old Gouda. 

As I walked down the stretch past the fish men, regretting my decision to buy a bouquet of roses first thing (they were so nice!  20 for only 3.50!), I passed a cellist and an acoustic guitarist, and later, a violin-playing puppet.  On market days like this, it’s all so much like a dream, living here in lovely Leiden.  I wonder, if I leave, if I will remember that I actually did it, or if I will forget that this is how life can be.

This morning, I am just sitting outside my house in a brightly striped green and blue sundress, drinking green tea (which I didn’t think I liked until just now) and hearing the church bells ring in the distance.  My street is completely peaceful, even the cats are having a lie-in (that’s how the British say sleeping in, did you know that!?  Love it.) 

Best of all… in two hours I am picking up my friend Melissa from the airport.


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