Amsterdam City Blog restaurants, shops, people and life in Amsterdam


“Your money is no good here”

My mum was visiting me in De Baarsjes. We went grocery shopping (Levi and I are doing rehearsal Christmas dinner today) and our last stop was the Turkish corner market. I walked around, gathering things and putting them on the counter, to be paid in one go when I was ready. My mum got a bunch of spring onions and put them in a separate place on the counter.

I said: "Mum, don't be ridiculous, just put it with mine!" And she said: "No no, you don't have to pay for me, I'll get it myself." Incredulous, I looked at Yusuf, the proprietor, who had been following this exchange with interest. I walked back to the counter, put her onions with my fruit and veg and moved her away from the counter. She struggled, making to move to pay for her onions herself. I looked at Yusuf and said: "Yusuf! Say something!"

And Yusuf, my trusty friend, friendly but firmly told my mother: "I'm sorry madam, but your money is not valid here."


Summer in a glass

Living in De Baarsjes in Amsterdam has its perks. Like our Turkish corner market. We had one near our old place, and we have one right opposite our flat now.

Where it took me four years to coax even the slightest smile from the proprietor of our old Turkish store, the man from our new store I are on a first name basis already. We wave, we smile, we talk about the weather, he sells me fruit and veg. And he gives me tips.

"You should try the water melon, it's delicious." Me: "Neh... I don't really like water melon..." But I did get a piece for Levi, because Yusuf said it was good. And man, am I convinced! Juicy, sweet, refreshing, amazing!

I buy a new piece every few days now. Yusuf cuts me an eighth if I ask, and at around 1 euro a kilo, it's really cheap.

So it's chilled watermelon after dinner, and my best discovery of the Summer: watermelon smoothie. Works well with a banana and anything that has a little tartness to it, like peaches, strawberries or (gold) kiwis. When I told Yusuf about my newfound love for watermelon, thanks to him, he put me onto passion fruit for my smoothie. Summer in a glass, I tell you.

So if the weather is dreary, like it is today, and you need a shot of Summer, make a smoothie!
- 2 slices of watermelon, deseeded
- 1 banana
- 1 peach, gold kiwi, green kiwi or handfull of strawberries
- A big dollop of good Greek yogurt
Blend well. Drink with straw and umbrella!


Life is like a bunch of cherries

sweet black cherries from the turkish corner storeThe tv is on, but the sound is off, because there are commercials on. I am eating some delicious black cherries that I bought from our neighbourhood Turkish store. They are juicy and sweet and they taste as good as cherries do in your dreams.

I love our Turkish corner store. It is one of the best things about our neighbourhood in West. His fruit and veg are fresh and cheaper than at the supermarket.

Through the open window Spanish guitar music softly drifts up to our apartment on the fourth floor. It's a mystery to me where it might possibly come from. It's beautiful. As I pop another cherry in my mouth life suddenly feels very good.