Thursday, December 23, 2010

Tourist guide

the tallest buildings in a US city are skyscrapers, in the Netherlands it is the church... above the st. bavochurch or "grote kerk" (large church) in haarlem, where we were yesterday. it is truly enormous and placed on a large square.
if i were to write a tourist guide, this would be my advice: for lunch or breakfast, goto the V&D warehouse, dont be fooled by the ground floor small dining area, but goto the uppermost floor, where you will find a large dining area with nice seats and a magnificent view of the city. i before showed you utrecht, and here is haarlem, as mentioned. the other advantage is that the food will be cheaper, and you will loose less time than in a restaurant or cafe, where the service, especially in larger cities, really is not that good (usually); at the V&D you yourself take what you want and bring it to your seat. ok.. maybe we got used to the service in the US; much faster! and now became too impatient for the dutch waiters. on tuesday we went out to dinner in utrecht, and we had to wait over an hour for the main course! even after asking the waiter he did not show any effort or compassion... dessert; same story, even so the cook just had to slice some applepie and put it on a plate. although the food was good, they did not once ask whether it all was fine and whether it was enough (probably it was enough... but i would have liked a bit more fries, im here only a few days!! and they were soooo good!). he forgot to bring the drinks several times... etc etc. thats because in the netherlands waiters get a decent salary and do not depend on tips (like in the us); you thus are not at all obliged to give a tip, and defenitely not 20% as is common in the US. in utrecht most waiters are students that have this job on the side and they just do not care at all! so... that would be the next point in my travel guide; if you find the service bad; do not tip! maybe then they will finally learn....... and you will save money; dont forget; you are in the netherlands, so why not behave as a dutch?! :)