Monday 28 September 2009

Chocolates and the art of queuing...

Amsterdam is far, far, far from being my favorite European capital... being it so dirty does not help me love it... but, as fate wanted me residing in The Netherlands, and a shoe fan, I visit it every now and then to check what the shops there have to offer to my spoiled feet. Usually it's not much I'm afraid, so if you ever find yourselves in this part of the world, well, don't expect cleanness and a dissent selection of signature red sole foot candy :)

So, a couple of weeks ago, I did take the train to the north and 50' later I was there. Passing quickly the tourist-flooded part between the Centraal (not a typing mistake, the Dutch like lots of vowels in a row..) Station and the Dam, went bravely into the always crowded shopping district and headed to the "better end" of it, in search for a new pair of shoes... which obviously I NEEDED!!

But... at some point... and for reasons unknown to me and surely known to (and controlled by) some sort of higher force, I went off my tracks and ended up into a different part of the city... the part where the best chocolates I have ever tried in my whole life have their little house. Little indeed is the house and big the queue!! Now, don't take this the wrong way but... I don't queue! I come from a society where when people see that there is queue waiting to do what they set out to do... they leave it for another day :)

But, culture and mentality set aside and already captured by the smells, I did queue... patiently, breathing in and out, singing Sting's classics in my head... and when my turn came, I was rewarded!! As I sank my teeth in the soft, creamy chocolate exterior, filled with cranberries and more chocolate... and more chocolate... I got lost in the taste! Sheer pleasure!!! Feelings of completeness and warmth hugged me and put a smile on my face. Better than shoes?.. you bet!! In fact, I forgot all about anything else and I came home without my new pair of pumps... this time ;)

ps. The name of the chocolate temple will only be revealed on request ;)

Friday 25 September 2009


...are they really shoes??... technically yes (in my humble opinion). You put them on your feet, they protect them from dust, injuries and the occasional dog pooh on the pavement that went unnoticed (until stepped upon...) and you take them out for sleep... surely these are the universally acknowledged characteristics of shoes...

So, what am I here talking that shoes are better than shoes?? Would be insane... No, dearests. I'm not saying that... and will immediately (and finally) say what I'm saying!

Imagine this.... white sandy beach, clean as can be, leading your steps to an ocean so blue you think that God painted it herself with her watercolours. Sun above, so bright and warm and friendly you just want to start chatting with him. Light breeze, so tender, caressing your body like a lover who is actually into you... (I know... I know... my romantic moment will pass any second now...)

And after a long walk on the sea shore, under the lovely sun, after having enjoyed the blue view and the sound of the waves... then a little restaurant by the beach (well... ON the beach), serving you with the best caipirinha in the world (as I know it...) and sea food to die for!! And then you dig into the plate with the fresh shrimp (that is "medium" in size but almost as big as the havaianas you have on your feet) and savour the taste of the ocean!

And if all that does not sound better than shoes to you, better even than a pair of colour-of-the-rainbow Jimmy Choo sandals, than add a nap on the beach after lunch... falling gently asleep by the sounds of the ocean... That, my friends IS better than shoes! That is life in its best...