niedziela, 13 listopada 2011

Dutch highlanders and quest for the cheese

What is Holland famous for? Depends on who you'd ask, but in general we could say that typical symbols of the country are tulips, windmills and cheese. The long tradition of cheese production in the Netherlands gave us a big variety of this food product and is well known for some brands. After all, show me a person who doesn't like gouda! And here comes the irony... being here I miss the cheese. Not their cheese. I miss our nice, fresh, white, fluffy cottage cheese. Problem is, that here in Holland they just don't have this kind of cheese (by the way we have a never-ending fight about that, because Maurice stubbornly repeats that it's not a cheese! What does he know about cheese).

I did some search on the Internet and I found that typical cottage cheese is possible to buy here only in polish (and russian) stores. Thank God I also found there is one in Nijmegen. Quite away from our henhouse, so I had to convince Maurice to go there on the weekend (it was actually very easy... he can't resist the idea of polish dumplings). I admit that the store was big. It was rather an international supermarket run by very friendly older Middle-Easter man. You could find there all kind of products from Turkey, Egypt, Iran, India, Poland and other exotic places ;) They also had the dumpling. Cottage cheese? My bad luck... they just run out of it! To make me feel better I bought some other polish stuff (instant borsch, pickled cucumbers, horseradish and Prince Polo).

On the way back (detour way back) Maurice wanted to show me something remarkable in Holland. Mountains!... This is another never-ending topic, since he stubbornly claims that there are mountains around Nijmegen. Sure... in a land flat as a pancake, where typical form of the terrain is a depresion, what he calls a mountains is a barely 400-meters hill.
- So what is the hill according to you if what you call a mountain is lower that avarage height of polish upland? - I asked on day.
- Do you remember how we were going to the center lately? - he started quite seriously.
- I do.
- And do you remember this speed bump on a street?
-That's exactly what we would call a hill in Holland!
I'm speechless. To end up this ridiculous nonsense once for good I agreed to go and see this wonder of nature. The road to Berg en Dal (seriously, what a poetic name of the town... it literally means "mountain and valley") goes through picturesque forrest and small hills. Not that I'm skeptic, but my idea of the "mountain" is far far away from these hills. Somewhere behind the village the road startd to go down a bit more steepy. And down, and down, and down... OK... This one big hill covered with forrest was quite impressive as for the Dutch landmark and gave a slight aesthetic impression of the piedmont slope. If it's gonna make him happy than ok... here's the mountain!

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