Where On Earth (Week 11): Amsterdam

There were lots of good guesses in this week’s Where on Earth, but only one person got it right: Richblackmon was correct in thinking that this fruit stall resides in Amsterdam. In fact, this image was captured near the Leidseplein, a popular square in the vibrant city.

In December 2000, I was traveling from Africa to the US for a month-long home leave. I hadn’t been since I’d left, in July 1998.

We decided to arrange a 3-day layover in Amsterdam in the middle of the return trip. Western enough to feel like home, but foreign enough to feel like I was “transitioning,” Amsterdam served as a brilliant stop-over. We visited the Van Gogh Museum. We toured Anne Frank’s House. We drank beer from those funny little glasses the Dutch serve beer in. But the thing that sticks out most in my mind was the fruit. Maybe it was because I had been living in rural Africa for 2.5 years, but the fruit sold in Amsterdam seemed to me the best in the world.

We ate strawberries the size of Roma tomatoes. The raspberries were the size of ping pong balls. The colors of the fruit were so vibrant, so dazzling, and so rich that I inspected each one carefully before devouring its sweet juiciness. We ate some traditional Dutch meals, but most of the time, we ate from street vendors and fruit stalls. It was amazing. And this picture perfectly captures that.

If you ever visit Amsterdam, be certain to buy some of the fruit and sample it. You’ll remember it forever.