Because of our extensive three-day trip to Billund, our family needed a day to recover from the trip. Our friend managed to take me on a morning excursion to a massive flower distribution center called Flora Holland.
When you enter the large multi-level corrugated metal facility, you are immediately hit with a strong aromatic smells of flowers by the thousands– from roses and tulips to orchids and plenty of other exotic flowers.
Watching workers drive pallet forklifts filled with flowers from all over the world was like watching worker bees making honey. It was organized chaos. You could see designated demarcations on the ground floor, but the workers knew which lines to cross and which ones to stay in between the lanes to keep the line moving.
We walked to the next section in the facility – where all the bidding action took place. Men, no women, were on the bidding floor. This too also reminded me of something like the New York Stock Exchange. The bidders reviewed a specific flower for sale, and they would either bid or pass on the product for their distributors.
It was fascinating to watch how flowers from all over the world were sent through this monstrous-sized facility to people’s doorsteps in the States and other parts of the world.
We tried to go to Rijks Museum, but it was too busy and Linus desperately needed a nap. So I opted to go home, while Prof went to an archeological museum. We took it easy during the afternoon, knowing that we needed a break from weekend travel to Billund.
Later that day, our friend needed to pick up some groceries for a dinner party the next day, so we planned a little biking trip to the grocery stores. I can’t remember the last time I really rode on a bike, 5th grade perhaps? Or was it that 10-minute bike ride in the chateaus of northern France with my college cohort?
Well, bikes rule in the Netherlands, and this was how my friend makes her grocery runs. I thought I should at least give it the old college try and ride my friend’s eight-year old son’s bike. She captured this moment when I finally found my bearings and was able to follow her to the stores.
A Korean Grocery Store in Amsterdam’s Suburbs
Walking into this tiny Korean grocery store space was glorious!!!!! I had not seen a Korean grocery store since August 2012 – a whole nine months. The usual smells from prepackaged red chili peppers, roasted sesame seeds, and marinated meats brought back wonderful memories of meals at home. I relished seeing the familiar brands of various dried goods and even our beloved Korean Maxim coffee.
They even had ceramic plates, tea cups and pots, and our beloved rice cooker at home. Although I would have to say I don’t remember the price of our rice cooker being that expensive as the prices at the Korean market. (€648! Yikes!)
Nevertheless, it was a beautiful sight to see. I had to restrain myself from buying too much.
Store Review: Albert Heijn
Our next stop was to the very large Albert Heijn. It’s like your Albertsons in the south, Meijer in the Midwest, Vons in California, and Harris Teeter on the east coast.
It was everything that I remembered from back home – precut and prepackaged veggies, crisp fresh fruit, clean butcher station, and more. The place even had prepackaged apple sauce to go! Oh, it was heavenly.
The store was packed on a Saturday afternoon as any other grocery store would on a weekend. They even offered scanners to Albert Heijn customers. When you scan your card, you can take it with you while you shop.
I can’t tell you how awesome I felt walking through the Albert Heijn. The sheer options were too much to take in.
Our second day may seem mundane to some, but for others with kids, it was heavenly.