Going Dutch

After traveling to Pella, IA for the day, instead of coming back motivated to push the long haul into summer past the final two weeks of university, I came back exhausted. Not to say drinking Voodoo Chai in the downtown coffeeshop after sampling recreated authentic Dutch meats, imported basil&garlic cheese, and some really delectable pastries wasn’t rejuvenating. Yet, I found myself having finally lost the urge to do any more work.

Relaxation.

That’s the killer of my motivation.

I know I may complain on  here about my constant pushing and uphill struggle to get work done, but let me tell you. As soon as I take an unscheduled break, boom! I’m back to lazily meandering through the internets and laying on my bed wishing I had the strength to do simple tasks and workings. Oh no. ‘Tis not “burning out” necessarily, so much as I need recuperation time from my recuperation time. <<; What a life I live when I need to learn to relax from learning to relax.

On that note, imagine walking into a Dutch village from 200 years ago that has been pulled from a postcard. Oddly stuck in the center of Iowa, Pella is a quaint and friendly town. The small population of 10,000 people boasts a huge economic event the last week in April/first week in May called “The Tulip Festival.” Strangely enough, The Netherlands may be known for its tulips; but its really economic strength is tourism and Shell Oil.

Even so, The Pellicans (as they called themselves) adorn the town in bright tulip petals, traditional Dutch garb and wooden shoes, and offer authentic baked goods to everyone! I did not come during this time. Which explains why it was so easy to get a parking place in the center of town. The cloudy sky was still too bright for my eyes. Leaving my sunglasses behind was not the smartest idea; the long raincoat flicking in the wind behind me was. It was typical Netherlands’ spring weather: windy, offshoot clouds, but thankfully–no rain.

I peered into the different sandwich shops. Each serving and catering to a different crowd of age and dynamic. Skipping the elderly crowd at a Bologna Cafe and the high school student crowd at the Brew, I meandered into a corner side venue. The Coffee and Soda Fountain knew what I wanted before I had ordered it. My tired eyes and overexerted effort to get to the counter may have tipped them off more than my  appearance. Then again, going with three foreign looking men and carrying various baked good bags probably didn’t help.

Voodoo Chai + 1 espresso shot, how I adore your spicy kick and smoothe aftertaste on the roof of my mouth that had been previously burnt by a creamy, rich Tomato Basil Soup @ 2:30 in the morning two days/nights/24 periods ago. Another wonderful treat to tease my taste buds and make me wish for more free samples? Basil&Garlic Gouda with Dried Beef. I know, it’s not my usual fare when I go to different ethnic locations. Don’t fret; the baked good sweets will come soon. But in all honesty, nothing tasted more savory and more palatable than that combination right there. I didn’t know Dried Beef existed (not jerky), much less that it was slow-smoked, lightly-salted, and it was JUST the flavour of the beef begging me to eat it. Small portions was just enough? AMEN! This means that everything I buy is just enough.

Despite the restaurant my Professor took us to being a complete and utter flop, I thoroughly enjoyed my time talking linguistics with a Dubian (Dubai, get it? Haha….ohkay, sorry), ballroom dancing with a Dutchman, and  lamenting on the bitter taste of Netherlands’ licorice with a Mexican Des Moines native. If only I had been awake for the 6 hours I spent with them, rather than the 2 after the espresso shots, then maybe they would have had a better time with me. At least I know I had a fantastic time with them!

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