tales from the provinces.

You probably know this, Hypothetical Reader. I spend a lot of time up north these days, in the "lively university city" of Groningen, confusingly also the capital city of the province named Groningen. Or: not confusing at all, it's probably just simpler that way. Like "New York, New York". Easier to remember.

Occasionally, or possibly "often", I come across something in my northern travels which really says to me, "Sir, you are truly not in Amsterdam anymore, are you," which sounds like a question, but the tone of voice in which it is usually "asked" is more that of a self-directed annoyingly ironic and unfunny rhetorical question. Like what an asshole, I already know I'm not in Amsterdam, don't I. Ugh, so hard to stop.

Annnnnnyway, this whole tone of voice I'm using right now reminds me quite favorably (or, yes, unfavorably) of one of my least favorite living food writers. Or mmm OK *lots* of my least favorite etc, because I have a shneeeeeaky feeling it's becoming sort of accepted as a default style but my point is holy fucking jeez, it riles me up. Always has I guess.

Why, then, you may hypothetically ask your hypothetical selves, is the usually eminently more relaxed and readable VDuck aping (sp? always a tricky one) this narcissistic, passive-aggressive, entitled, and otherwise severely off-putting drecktone? WHO FUCKING CARES, J. KENJI, OR HOWEVER MUCH OF YOUR PRETENTIOUS AS FUCK NAME I NEED TO USE IN ORDER TO CLEARLY REFER TO YOU???


Yeah OK. Last weekend while Nelson was fighting with her optometrist about whether or not she needed to be taught how to insert contact lenses into her eyes, I ate an egg inside of a deep-fried ball of curry-flavored goo. It's called an eierbal (eh, "egg ball"). It was...thought-provoking. Not something I'd order at the same place again, but I could see trying another one somewhere for comparison.

Maybe at Cafetaria Friet van Piet: it's right across the street from one of my favorite bars in Groningen, I pass by it most weekends, and there's always a line out the door and everything I ogle on other people's plates looks proper. It's going to happen. They also have something called the shoarmaloempia, an unholy matrimony of two quintessential Dutch snack bar foods...Americans, imagine a cross between a gyro and a fried spring roll.


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