we spent the WHOLE day together! it was wonderful! we woke up, as usual on a saturday, to the sounds of the market setting up outside our window -- the smells of the mixed-nut vendor roasting and frying cashews and pistachios and walnuts and pecans, the singing voices of the textile sellers as they rock out to some song on the radio, the clanging poles and boards as everyone sets up their stands, the produce trucks escaping the pedestrian-only zone before the shoppers make their way down to the stalls... and after our usual cup of tea and checking our email, we got dressed and went to the bakery in the market square for our traditional "anniversary donut." (and though the donut was good, i think next year i'd rather take the train to germany to get a donut. i think those germans know how to do an amazing donut.) we ate at the bakkerij bart, a chain bakery, which sits right in the market square. we ordered our food and took it to an outside table so that we could watch the people on their bicycles maneuver their way through the market, laden with fruit and bread and children. it's always a treat to be here on market day!
as we were sitting down to our table, there was an elderly gentleman who said something to us which we didn't quite understand. so, we asked him in our best dutch, "i'm sorry, i didn't understand that. can you please say it again in english?" to which he replied, also in his best dutch, "i'm sorry i don't speak dutch. i only speak german." which adam and i understand well enough, but when we're used to thinking all in dutch all the time, it's difficult to make that transition to german in an instant. we can do it, but for me it usually takes a day in germany before i feel comfortable speaking in german again. anyway, adam understood a lot more than me, but we both understood basically that he was kinda' hitting on me. which was hilarious, given that adam was standing right there. it got us wondering at what age a man feels comfortable hitting on another man's wife with the husband right there, without looking like a total jerk doing it. i was trying really hard to understand what he was saying, but then i gave up and just started laughing at the ridiculousness of the situation because it was pretty funny. well, the german seemed to think that was just great because i think he thought i was laughing at his jokes, but mostly i was just laughing at all of us. it was so funny! he totally made my day!
okay after our delicious donuts and tea, we did our usual shopping at the market: potatoes, tomatoes, lots and lots of fruit, a tiny bit of cheese, free-range eggs (always my most difficult dutch word: scharreleiren -- ouch!), peppers, and a half-kilo of brussels sprouts since they looked especially beautiful this week. adam even bought me a beautiful bouquet of sunflowers and some yellow calla lilies. topped it all off with our favorite market lunch, a big piece of fried fish! lekker! we sat on a bench in the sunshine, just enjoying the lunch and each others' company. all in the midst of our bustling, friendly, lovely market.
after putting all our groceries away we went into enschede to visit the rijksmuseum twenthe which we have known about for a whole year and which we have never explored. we've seen soooo much of holland, but have hardly spent any time checking out enschede, which is too bad because it really does have a lot to offer. anyway, the museum was virtually empty so we had the whole place to ourselves to wander through the beautiful pantings and gaze at the delicate delft pottery. there was this really neat exhibit of 18th century dutch paintings with this fabulous work by wybrand hendriks interior with a sleeping man and a woman with needlework, which totally made it worth the price of admission. it reminded me much of a vermeer, with the attention to light and the wrinkles of the woman's dress, the smoke from the sleeping man's pipe gently curling up towards his nose. it was really quite lovely. i could have stood there all day. the dutch painters surely do know how to work with light and paint. it's amazing.
we spent some time resting in the courtyard of the museum before we walked several kilometers to a dinner with friends. one of adam's friends and colleagues, stu, is moving back to the usa in just a few days. stu got here at about the same time as us and was working on a different project in adam's department. adam got pretty close to him and i know he's sad to see stu go, so it was important to us to see him off in style. there was a dinner party at a really cozy and delicious restaurant in enschede, and we ate and drank and toasted stu and hugged him goodbye and it was all very sad, but the party was sweet and the weather was fine.
then we took the bus home and slept in on sunday. this time, instead of being awoken by the sounds of the market vendors, we were gently rustled from our sleep by the singing bells of st. lambertus church, whose steeple is only maybe 50 meters away from the windows in front of our house. it was a great weekend.
oh! and before i forget! adam started working on the baby's room this weekend too! my awesome friend, debbie, let us borrow her wallpaper steamer (thanks, debbie! you rock!), so adam steamed and tore down wallpaper for about 6 hours on sunday. he's just about done and soon we'll start painting. we're thinking about a pretty butter-yellow color to accent the beautiful morning light that we get in that room. one wall is entirely windows and it has the best view in the house, so it will be just amazing when it's done. i'll share pictures of the progression of that process in a later blog...