I am pleased to say that Leïla and I have safely arrived in our new home in Amsterdam. It wasn't without difficulty, though. Three years ago, Leïla hired a van to move her stuff from Paris to London. She hired the same man for the London to Amsterdam. When the van arrived, Leïla looked at it and said "it's smaller than I remember". I was thinking "I know that, honey, because there's no way you would have hired it if you remembered."
That being said, after playing a nifty game of real-life Tetris in the van (and leaving half our goods in London to be picked up next week), we managed to work things out and we're sitting in our three bedroom house in De Baarsjes, an area in west Amsterdam. We're a block away from Rembrandtpark.
Now that we're finally settled in a bit, I inexplicably had a craving for popcorn. A strong craving. A powerful, Will Not Be Denied craving. Powerful food cravings in foreign countries often leave you very disappointed, but I headed down to the store and found a bag of "Popcorn Mais, No 1, Type Butterfly".
Looked like popcorn to me, so I bought the damned thing and made popcorn for Leïla and myself. And that's when one of life's delightful treats sprung on me: Leïla had only had popcorn a couple of times before, both sweetened crap in a bag. She had never had anyone make popcorn before and seemed surprised I was going to do so. Well I did, she liked it, and I'm glad the instructions on the bag were not followed.
You see, this bag is clearly labeled an "imported product". As such, it's exported to a number of European countries and therefore has preparation instructions in several languages. Here are the English instructions for making popcorn (no, there are no typos in this):
Wash the legumes and leave to soak in water for 8 hours. Bring to the boil (add salt as desired) and cook slowly for 60 to 90 minuts. Strain and serve.
It's good to be back in Amsterdam and it's great to be reminded what a foreign country is really like because iks spreek geen Nederlands.