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The other thing I like about the Netherlands

2 min read February 11, 2018 at 12:06pm on expat

I guess there's more than one thing I like about the Netherlands after all. Although this one kinda applies to all of Europe, not just the Netherlands: the markets.

Or farmers markets as they're called in North America. On Tuesdays and Saturdays the streets around Rotterdam Blaak turn into a giant street market where you can find anything from vegetables and fruits, to meats and cheeses, to fish and seafood, to antiques and garbage that people had collecting dust around their house, to cheap quality clothes and Chinese knock-off electronics.

Unlike in Toronto, where Ontario farmers are trying to sell their generally extremely bland produce at obscene prices under the somewhat false pretense of supporting the local economy, the stuff you can find at these markets is of higher quality and more affordable than what you can find in supermarkets.

And the best thing about it? It's surprisingly quiet. While sellers will occasionally shout  out the prices of their goods (which in my opinion actually adds to the atmosphere of the market), nobody else seems to have to yell when talking. Not having to listen to complete strangers sharing their conversations with everybody whether they like it or not is a breath of fresh air, especially after having to deal with Torontonians and their broken volume dials for so long.

If you ever visit a street market in the Netherlands I highly recommend trying smoked eel (gerookte paling), or as I like to call it, the pork of the sea.

Fish jerky on display