Just before dinner I took them to a little teahouse. It had black and white pictures on the wall, old KODAK slides were scattered on the tables where different kinds of chairs were placed around. The people were a pleasant mix of tourists and locals. It smelled like the heavy apple pie displayed on the counter. – I loved it. I had not been there before but somebody pointed it out to me during the summer. Telling me they have the best pies and cakes in the city. I didn’t try any (because dinner was already knocking on the door) but I’m determined to come back and do so.
Sitting there sipping our drinks I asked my friends how they liked the place and more importantly how they liked the city. Their wrinkled noses and short silence already said enough. The teahouse was too scruffy with all its scraped together old stuff. The city was too crowded with tourist, vintage shops (“Where are the normal shops?”) and store staff that could only speak English. They thought it all a little too unusual and un-Dutch I guess. The things they didn’t like are exactly the things I love so much about this city. The international dispositions, the normality of the unusual, the vintage, the ‘scruffy’ interiors that make a place breathe with its own individual character. This city lives! And I am proud to be part of it. I hope I never have to leave.