I’m sitting at my kitchen counter looking through travel photos and contemplating several blogs. I usually write by the fire. But today I’m accompanied by chips and salsa. I eat all the time. Did you ever notice that Brad Pitt in the Ocean’s Eleven (and twelve…and thirteen) movies eats in practically every scene? He’s planning grand theft walking through the streets of Amsterdam eating and eating. That was me a couple of weeks ago. All except the planning grand theft bit.
The best thing I ate in Amsterdam was Proffertjes. They are puffy pancakes about the size of a sliced orange that are covered in butter and powdered sugar. I loved them so much that one of the presents I brought back to my husband was a bag of the mix so he can make me them again. Slightly self-serving present. I neglected to bring back the special pan required to cook the proffetjes so he may have another present coming soon. Although, I’m sure if I searched on Pinterest I could find a way to make them using only dental floss and aluminum foil.
The best drink I had was actually a water. Glass bottle of water. Separate cup. It came with utensils. Straws and a muddler. Lemon. Very impressive water. My friend Nicole who I was traveling with ordered coffee at almost every meal because she said it was a mini event all in itself. The best coffee she had came with a cookie, a mini creme brule, wrapped sugar cubes, a tin of cream and a small glass with fresh whipped cream. It was all served on a platter. Just a cup of coffee. Those in Amsterdam know how to serve the treats.
We walked, we froze, we sampled cheese and looked at art of cheese. We looked at art of all forms dealing with Cannibas and did not sample. We wandered through the flower district and admired all the tulip bulbs. We walked past the three different museums dedicated to various forms of medieval torture and several museums to more unmentionable subjects.
We stood outside the Old Church. Its situated right on the edge of the Red Light District. Directly across the street from this mammoth church was a brothel. Large glass window. Scantily clad woman. I wondered at the juxtaposition of the two. I was curious if the church had an outreach program to its neighbors.
We wandered across cannel bridges and dodged all the bicycles. None of them were wearing helmets. We stood in line and worked our way up tiny narrow stairs to tour the Anne Frank House. She and her family hid for over two years in a flat at the back of her father’s pectin factory. The factory workers did not know they were there. The windows were blacked out and there was very little to do. And so Anne wrote.
“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” Anne Frank.
Part of incredible heartbreak is that just outside the factory and hidden home, directly across the street in fact, is another large church.
Walking through the streets of Amsterdam I thought about large churches and hurting people. It made me wonder today how many spiritually naked people who are selling themselves short are standing just outside the doors of a church. How many hidden victims are waiting to be saved just steps away from a savior? It made me want to go on a search and rescue mission. People are hungry. They are eating everywhere and everything trying to get their fill. I know the living water and the bread of life. Do you? Who lives across your street? Are they hungry, naked, or hiding?
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25: 35-40