No, this is not a love story. It is not a documentary about a squirrel’s fight for survival in the midst of an early October storm. Instead, it is a story about a Heart Warrior’s travels to Amsterdam (NL), as in Europe, and how he struggled to find a snack.
On my recent business trip, I had forgotten to bring an extra supply of trail mix, which is my daily go-to energy.
I normally snack on trail mix throughout the day to keep a healthy diet, and it also helps me have energy during a busy workday.
It is apparently not easy to find healthy snacks in central Amsterdam, although they have wonderful healthy food options, it is hard to locate nuts unless you have an intimate knowledge of the grocery options.
You can find boobs, cheese, and pot in plentiful supply, on any corner in Amsterdam – especially along the canals and late afternoons. Most boobs are home during the day, but the “coffee shops” are from midday onwards, so the streets have a light aroma and haze.
But you can’t find nuts!
As I was walking around Amsterdam with my sister and her family, clocking up 1000s of steps on both Fitbit and Apple Watch, I could also feel that my body was craving energy. The energy I would normally replenish by dipping into my nut supply.
Without my nuts, my energy was dropping like my iPhone’s battery, and I was getting slightly desperate. Time to seek alternative energy options. I felt like in a video game where every little fruit, health bar or juice could restore my levels.
After a few hours in Nemo science museum, we decided to take a snack/lunch break. Finally! Time to recharge.
I frantically looked for some snacks and was almost caving into the less desirable alternative, a sandwich. Not an option my dietician would have approved of.
But, out of the corner of my eye, I spotted peanuts in a large red dispenser. It wasn’t too obvious how to get to the nuts, so I calmly asked one of the kitchen staff for assistance.
Most Dutch people are great at English, but I guess my Irish/Danish inspired English made it a little more complicated for him to understand.
In the end, I gave him a small plastic bowl and asked if I could have some peanuts.
He nodded and moved the bowl to a funny little nozzle on the red machine. Then he pulled a lever on the site. His movement reminded me of the slot machines in Las Vegas, and suddenly the machine made a noise.
From the nozzle poured a thick light brown mass, and then it dawned on me. It was a machine that made fresh peanut butter, and he filled the little bowl.
I wasn’t too sure how to actually react.
Should I refuse the bowl or would the be impolite?
The Danish politeness freak side in me took over and I grabbed the bowl of fresh peanut butter and expressed gratitude … perhaps a little fake gratitude.
I swallowed my pride and dug into the peanut butter. I couldn’t disappoint the kitchen guy, so slowly emptied the bowl of fresh peanut butter.
The moral of the story. Never forget your snacks or speak to the locals about getting access to some healthy snacks.