Altogether I rode forty kilometres today on a bike. It all began with a need for razor refills; it ended among thousands of people and a scene of mass carnage (those sensitive to the demise of our little friends from the ocean floor may wish to stop reading here).
First I rode to Goes, the next nearest large town. I picked up shaving supplies to eliminate the grubby look I’ve at the moment and a book on blogging (to, hopefully, diminish any electronic grubbiness evident here). Was not able to eat at favourite Greek restaurant as said Greek restaurant would not open for an hour past my peak hungriness (those of you who know me well also know that I become rather terse if this point is passed). Had Vietnamese chicken roll from street vendor while watching a bunch of grey parrots pick leaves off branches and entertain on-looking children with painted faces (the children). One of the parrots kept eyeing the chicken roll and calling out to me; however, I thought to slip him cooked bird would be rather perverse.
Got a call from a co-worker who wanted to know if I’d join her at Yerseke, another nearby village. Today is the mussel festival. I ride back to Kruiningen.
We ride to Yerseke. There were thousands and thousands of people packing this little village. There were stalls selling batteries, scarves, grooming supplies, sparkly indescribable objects, fluorescent road-worker jackets. Groups of Japanese tourists wandered freely about among strangely dressed Dutch people (I’m not saying that in a culturally insensitive way; there were just a lot of oddly outfitted people there). And then we came to it—rows of boiling pots cooking mussels. Giant piles of black shells and the smell of the ocean over flame. For the mere sum of a couple Euro, one may obtain a clear plastic bin filled with steaming black shells. Ah! There is no comparison to the taste of fresh sea creatures cooked on the dock next to the ships which so recently brought them live from the deep waters.
Unfortunately I’m allergic to shellfish, so I had a tropical fruit cocktail.