Because Shogatsu vacation for the Japanese is still one week away, and most people are still hard at work and not traveling, barely half the seats on the plane were filled. Just after boarding I had a Japanese couple sitting next to me, but they moved to an empty row of seats next to a window even before the plane took off, and I suddenly found myself sitting next to two empty seats! As soon as the captain turned the seatbelt sign off, I moved to the middle seat, and designated the left seat as official pillow-and-remote-control-holder and the right seat as official blanket-and-purse-holder, which are really crucial when you’re flying intercontinental.
Needless to say the flight was extremely comfortable, even if it was economy. At one point I even used my three seats as a bed and really tried to get some sleep, and even though the improvised bed wasn’t bad at all and I didn’t sleep much last night, I didn’t sleep more than 20 minutes. After the best 12 hours I ever spent on a plane I finally arrived in Amsterdam and found a patiently waiting but happy Moem and Gui, after a customs officer analyzed each and every inch of both my suitcases. After a nice hugging session we headed to the same airport snackbar we always go to after I land at Schiphol Airport for some fries and frikandellen.
I’ve missed these Dutch snacks a lot and really enjoy their special versions, meaning they’re served with mayonnaise, curry ketchup and chopped onions. And I was really looking forward to eating these fried snacks, especially after all that not particularly tasty plane-food. The Dutch fries were scrumptious, but the frikandel was shockingly unpleasant. After the other two experts also had a taste, we decided that this wasn’t a regular frikandel, but some new kind which could have been good if you’ve never had a real frikandel before, and if you haven’t spent months thinking about the original taste. But I’ll be here for two more weeks, I’m sure I’m going to get my hands on a genuine frikandel before I leave. And after a couple of hours on the Dutch highway, they fed me delicious Dutch mussels, which made me totally forget the frikandel fiasco and the nasty chicken carbonara the stewardesses served me earlier today. Anyway, I’m happy to be home!