“Travels to a Different Time” : 2August2006: Amsterdam After 30 Years: Pig Slop on Air Transat

Finished packing in the midst of terrible heat and humidity that has been blanketing Toronto. Basically, all you had to do was move and you’d be soaked. Off to Toronto Pearson Airport rewarded with being crammed in an Air Transat plane where my body type and seat configuration clashed. My old trick of ordering a diabetic meal which has been well rewarded with fresh fruit and vegetables was a disgusting mess this time. I must try Kosher next! A piece of fish (I think) with diced mushrooms in a greasy tomato sauce, a few shreds of Iceberg lettuce and the usual gross stale roll with rank tasting kiwis and melon. Oh the insults airline passengers face! Andrew had macaroni and cheese looking very greasy and unappealing with a piece of that obligatory soup kitchen chocolate cake. Airline travel has hit the skids which is a shame as being cooped up on a transatlantic flight passengers should look forward to a culinary diversion not pig slop. The first movie was with Jennifer Aniston was ho hum then some Disney film about a Tibetan dog. The plot was so simplistic audio was not required.

Arrived a few minutes early in Amsterdam and took a whopping $65 taxi ride to our hotel. The train was 4 Euros but with two children and luggage that would have been difficult. By 9 a.m. we were in our Apollo Meridien Hotel upgraded to executive class. Desperate to conquer the time zone yet numbed out and in a mental fog I took a walk. While the gang was sound asleep at 10 in the morning a walk along tree lined streets with a canal never too far from sight. Amsterdam after 30 years! I stopped and had a Dutch favourite of raw kippers and onions. Some vodka would have matched that silky smooth fish. So I settled for a couple of small Heineken drafts enjoying the cool damp breeze after that horrific Toronto heat and humidity. Managed to make it back in the hotel in a light rain just in time as the Heineken kicked in! What comes in must come out. I crashed and slept from 2-5 waking up groggy. Headed out at 18:50 to a local restaurant La Falote with not a tourist in sight. Some of the tasty dishes had were cod with rhubarb, schnitzel and mussel stew. Andrew and Alexandra had a Dutch waffle with crystalized cinnamon and ice cream. A complimentary jenever liqueur as sent our way. In bed at midnight setting the alarm for 04:30 for our flight to Samos.

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food ,drink, travel, film, and lifestyle issues. He also has published serialized novels "Life at Megacorp", "Virus # 26, "Reggie the Egyptian Rescue Dog" and "The Penniless Pensioner" Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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