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Arno
One of the issues on which Beedoo! and I need to Compromise regularly is food. This is not merely about whether waitors are part of the food being served or not; this is really about going out or not.

Me, I am not used to going out. By myself I never went out, and this is not really surprising. Until recently people could happily smoke in restaurants, for instance (ugh!). That problem has been solved by now, but another remains: going out in The Netherlands is expensive and takes all evening. I think this is because the notion of 'fast food' has never really taken hold here beyond fried foods. Every restaurant visit is supposed to be an evening out, talking, being served, buying hideously expensive, non-refillable drinks... Going out is a CHORE, and an expensive one at that!

Beedoo!, on the other hand, loves going out. That is, she loves going out for fast food (though not so fast that it can get away, obviously). Since fast food basically means McDonalds around here, you can see that she is obviously in a bind.

I do my best to remember to ask her out from time to time, but it goes against the grain of my brain so I tend to be neglectful in that field. Sorry, Beedoo!.

But hey, think of all the waitors this saved!


Beedoo!
As Arno says, fast food hasn't really gained much of a foothold here in the Netherlands... mainly because there's no place to put drive-thrus. They obviously did not plan for such a thing back in the 1200s when buildings were being crammed into all available space. I imagine they had to widen some roads just to make them wide enough for a single lane of traffic. The McDonald's and Burger King have taken up good locations in the Great Market and in the train station, respectively, but I don't imagine they get the same (foot) traffic a drive thru in America would get. These also don't carry the full menu you would expect at local American McDOnaldses and Burger Kings... those "not available in all locations" notes? I think they mean HERE. (Note from Arno: we have only been to the small ones so far. The bigger ones have bigger menues)

Aside of restaurants here being hellishly slow and monstrously expensive, there's also the issue of eating out on warm summer weekend evenings, as Arno and I discovered this past Friday, when we ended up roaming around the selection of restaurants on the Great Market and surrounding streets. All were packed, most with waiting lists, and outside seating was quite quite popular. We attempted to wait for a table at an Italian place a bit off the beaten track, but after waiting for a while to be seated, gave up and went to McDonalds, which thankfully wasn't as busy. (How unlikely for me to put "thankfully" and "McDonald's" in the same sentence!)

Another interesting phenomenon of the local restaurants is their random hours... De Smikkel, a local pancake shop we like to frequent, says they open at noon... but we have yet to figure out what time they close, when they're open on weekends, etc. It seems completely at the owners' discretion. o.0 Nothing has been posted about these odd hours, but I assume there must be some logic to them... or not.

Meanwhile, I'm looking forward to getting some Del Taco when I'm back in the States for three months. ;p