On Day 4, we were determined to go to Anne Frank House and we woke up bright early in the morning.
We left apartment at 7.15am, and arrived at Anne Frank House 8.25am, without a glitch. ZE, my niece is really amazing, that one she sets her mind to do something, she will accomplish her mission, no matter how hard it is.
On our way to Anne Frank House, I kept a lookout for Stubbe’s Harring, and was disappointed that it was closed. And it seemed that it is closed for good. I really, really want to try Hollandse Nieuwe Haring, a Dutch delicacy. Read here if you would like to find out more about this.
Weather was perfect, without a drop of rain, until after we finished our visit.
Perhaps because fellow visitors (like us) had to wake up bright early to beat the crowd, we encountered few grumpy and sour face people. Quite a few self-appointed ‘tourist police’ too.
Anne Frank House has a ‘No camera‘ policy. At one point, I was adjusting my camera strap, and one fellow visitor gave me a ‘no camera’ sign, complete with a killer glaze. I couldn’t help it, but cursed. Sorry, ZE.
Chill people, chill. Take a chill pill.
ZE also encountered rude people. Someone pushed her, when I was at the toilet. Wtf. At one point, she was also told off when she was standing near the moveable bookcase, which conceals the door to the infamous secret annex.
Relax, people. You can spend as long as you want once you have paid for the ticket. Unless if you have a plane to catch, there is no need to rush. And chill, CHILL please.
We started our tour at 9.15am and took slightly more than one hour inside the museum. I paid € 9, whilst ZE paid €4.50 for admission fee.
After Anne Frank House, we stumbled upon a local eatery at No 2, Prinsengracht. There was no English menu, but I just had to eat there! ZE was rather shy, but I was in my element. Bring it on!
If not wrong, it is a family business. Old pa’ speaks no English, but his son does. I ordered meatball-that-doesn’t-look-like-meatball for myself, a cheese toast for ZE and a tortilla chips and Dutch appeltaart for sharing. Costs us €13.25 altogether.
After lunch, we walked past Stubbe’s Haring again, and they were opened. I had the best €3.50 herring ever! You must try this, especially if you are a sashimi lover.
My nature-and-animal lover niece had a ball feeding pigeons with expired breads left behind by previous guests on our Airbnb lodging, whilst I finish my herring.
Again, we went back to Haarlem early, as it was raining cats and dogs.
I managed to catch a nap, whilst ZE skyped with her family. We then head out to Haarlem city.
I felt that ZE was fixated with renting a bicycle, or taking a tram, as I said perhaps we can do so.
We rented bicycles at Fietspoint at Haarlem Centraal station. We were given two bicycles, and the bicycle for ZE was rather big in size. But ZE confidently said “it is the same size as my mom’s bike, and I ride the bike at home.”
So, I relently agreed to it.
We went to try out Eet/Biercafe Bruxelles, at Lange Wijngaardstraat, a local eetcafe (similar to a small diner or a bistro) and met a drunk man, aka ‘crazy man’ in front of the eetcafe.
I wasn’t scared, knowing that he can do no harm. Furthermore, I am confident that we’ll be protected by eetcafe’s staff, if anything happens. Basically, he just kept on talking to us. Just need to ignore. But ZE was scared.
It was a good dinner. I had the ‘daghap‘ (dish of the day): Kalfszwezerik mat groene aspergese €8.00 and to-date, I still have no idea what I have eaten. ZE ordered Groentaart (vegetable pie) €12.50.
After dinner, I asked her to cycle, for me to take her photograph. The restaurant is inside a lane without traffic, so I figured it is safe. I told her to cycle away from me (for back shot), and then u-turn in for front shot.
I was caught by surprise when she cycled all the way out to main street, and I couldn’t stop her. I jogged following her, but it was too late.
She got banged by a cyclist, and fell down to the floor. And my heart dropped.
I ran all the way to her.
Poor girl was okay (I mean, yes, she fell down, but she was okay). The other cyclist looked and must have felt tormented.
ZE said she laughed when she fell, because she didn’t want the man to feel bad. Forever considerate of others, my little angel. She said the man must have thought that she banged on her head. She made sure that she fell on her butt, smart girl.
She thereafter explained it was because she had trouble u-turning in the small lane, that she chose to cycle all the way to main street to make her u-turn.
Needless to say, I felt like a piece of *%^#%. And this was one of the moments that I feel the weight upon my shoulders.
It was an emotional day for both ZE and I. We also had another moment, but it’s too private to share.
We then pushed our bicycles to De Adriaan, a windmill in Haarlem. On our way back to Haarlem Centraal station, we cycled slowly.
When we reflect back, perhas it was the right-size of bike for ZE. But, we neglected thr fact Dutch cyclist can be pretty fast, and heavy traffic too. And I told ZE that she could have stopped in the lane, when she has difficulties u-turning, and pushed her bicyle around.
All-in-all, she was very brave. And overcoming her emotions when she was homesick was no easy feat. I am extremely proud of her, and this is a roadtrip that I shall remember for a long, long time.
The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress, and grows brave by reflection. Thomas Paine, US patriot