Maastricht Part 2

Lunch in the Markt… What to eat? Tough choice between McDonalds, Burger King, KFC, Subway and several overpriced cafes. A-ha! Spotted a local fast food joint. Although there is a counter behind which a young woman looks enthralled to be serving chips and soft drinks, there is this odd looking wall of glass-faced ovens and a screen above each, indicating the culinary delights in the heated spaces below. Just pop your coins in the slot, press a button and a little oven door opens to reveal the snack. The contents look horribly overfried, but I’m game. I select a ‘Bami’ for €1.50, which looks like some sort of curried vegetable and rice croquette. Yup, this is good! And my detective skills were spot in. Insert giggles from a family with two gorgeous little girls as I photograph my lunch. I need something else. I wonder what a ‘Frikadel’ is? In goes my €2 coin and I wait for my 50 cents change. Right then. I guess ‘Gepast betalen’ means ‘Use exact coins’. Nevermind. The first bite of my frikadel reveals it is a sausage of sorts. It’s not that impressive. Ooh, hang on, yes it is. Wow, those spices are coming through quickly. Lucky somebody just bought the last one. I could eat lots of these! More giggles from the table next to me. I look up and give them a grin.

Prior to lunch I’ve managed to walk the breadth of the city as it’s actually quite small. I followed a local’s instructions to the tourist information centre but couldn’t find it. Seems my homemade map courtesy of Google will suffice after all 🙂

Unlike London and Ghent, I’ve managed to see everything I’d planned, and more. Even with my late arrival and now my departure one hour earlier than expected, I feel I’ve walked the streets of Maastricht for long enough. I even had plenty of time to browse in the shop at Bonnefanten Museum and to purchase some clog-inspired slippers. Thanks Imran for the heads-up on those. Can’t wait to wear them!

As I returned to the train station, I realised I hadn’t really eaten very much and was now both hungry and thirsty. Not having a carton of Oak nearby (I hate that ad!), I entered one of the city’s three McDonalds and figured it may be good to try my hand at speaking Dutch. Before you laugh, I’d thought this through, looked at the menu board and taken a very deep breath. OK. Here goes… “Een klein milkshake caramel.” Not hard, is it?! My request was met with a surprised “Very good!” and the prompt arrival of said milkshake. I’m not about to claim that I’m multi-lingual or even a quick learner, but I’ll be honest – I’m pretty proud of myself 😛

I’ve had a really nice day. Maastricht is a beautiful place and definitely worth a one-day visit if you happen to be in the neighbourhood.

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