Wednesday, June 29, 2011

. . . pregnant and thirsty!

Today was a typical day in the NL -- drizzly and overcast for half a day, clear and cool for the other half. I am really getting accustomed to most thing Dutch nowadays, but there is one little thing that I am beginning to get pretty annoyed with living in the Netherlands . . . more on that later.

This morning I was able to have breakfast at Bagels & Beans (haven't been there in over a week!) with Deena, and she brought along a friend for me to meet -- she's really good at trying to help me make more contacts here. : ) So her friend is Mexican, and through her husband's job has lived in New Jersey, Shanghai, Georgia, back to Mexico, and now here in the Netherlands. I never realized how many expats are out there, but it's very cool! So we had a great long breakfast and talked about all things Dutch, pregnancies, husbands, etc. -- it felt very "girlfriends," and like maybe (maybe?) this would all work out just fine. But nothing compares to my friends back home -- best in the world, no doubt about it.

Speaking of those friends, I was able to "see" several today via video chat, so that was awesome. AND (big news here!) Keith got my texting set up, so I can now send and receive texts from my American number, which is HUGE. 

Anyway, moving on  . . .  tonight Keith and I went to this tapas place down the street for dinner (El Senor), and everything we had was delish (see pics below). We sat in the back "garden" at the restaurant which felt like a little Spanish oasis in the middle of the city. There were plants, flowers, candles, wrought iron, clothesline and even a little faux balcony . . . it was all very quaint and nice. Keith and I talked about our day and also about Liam and what qualities and characteristics we hope he inherits from each of us. It was definitely a nice dinner. : )

Round One: tomato soup with chorizo,
stuffed jalepenos, and patatas bravas
Round Two: spare ribs in Spanish syrup, pork medallion
skewers, and salmon with breadcrumbs and nuts 

Round Three: (at our hotel)
amazing passion fruit ice cream
Keith is happy : )

Read my face : not happy

So, there's been something nagging me ever since we got here and I was pretty much letting it go until last night, when it really came to a head . . .

The Dutch are stingy with their water.

I am not kidding.

And it is expensive. Gone are the days of large glasses, free refills, and ice. When you order water (which costs about the same as a beer, no joke), they bring you a small bottle (see right), and a glass with no ice. I can literally drink that entire bottle in about 5 big gulps. But when you're paying over 2 euros for a tiny bottle of water (which is about $3 USD), you try to drink sparingly. Hard to do when you're pregnant, I'm just saying.

So last night, we're at dinner with that big group I was telling you about, and as soon as we sit down Keith and I each order a bottle of water. Then we order an appetizer. Our appetizer comes, no water. We ask for water again, and this time one bottle shows up. We ask for another bottle. We get our food. The second bottle arrives. Then, the other end of the table apparently ordered a large bottle of water to share, because my next conversation with the waitress went something like this:

Me: "May I have another bottle of water?"

Waitress: "They've already ordered some for the table." [ pointing to the other end of the table ]

Me: [ confused ] "Okay...."

[ large bottle arrives at table 5 minutes later, they pass it around and everyone gets about a glass full. I finish my water a few minutes later and stop her again . . . ]

Me: "Excuse me, can I please have another bottle of water?"

Waitress: [ looking at the other end of the table and pointing ] "They already got some."

Me: "Yes, I know, I got one glass, but I'd like some more and there is no more . . ." 

Waitress: "Hmmmm . . . Okayyyyy . . ."

Me: "I'M PREGNANT AND THIRSTY!!!" ( Ok, I didn't really say that, but I was thinking it! )

So while the food we've had has been good, I sure have had to get used to pacing myself during meals when it comes to drinking. From now on, I think I am just going to ask if they have any BIG bottles of water (like the restaurant last night obviously did), and order one for myself that way I can drink as much as I want, whenever I want during my meal. You live, you learn.


PS -- That water never came.


  1. That is so crazy about the water. I can't believe it....but the food looked good!! :)

  2. We had a similar water problem when we were in Germany. I wasn't pregnant and thirsty, but hungover and thirsty! We were at Octoberfest for three days and all we wanted every morning was lots and lots of water. All we got was a glass, and it was usually mineral water (which I love, but Kevin dislikes!) I always thought it was funny that a glass of coke was more expensive than a pint of beer! :)

  3. I hear ya!!! A tip: usually I just bring my own Sig bottle of water with me, and I order a single spa-blaw (still water, 2euro style). Once it is gone I refill the glass with my own bottle that was in my purse. They never notice, or if they do, they don't care. I've ordered the customary single 5 gulps that everyone else does! Good luck! - Meredith

  4. Why don't you ask for a glass or caraffe of tap water? The tapwater in the Netherlands - unlike that in some aereas in the States - is very, very clean and you can drink it with abandon. Don't go in Ugly Amerian Mode and scream "I can't drink TAP water! I'm PREGNANT and it might have LEAD in it! Or BUGS! Or space aliens from MARS!!" Dutch tapwater is clean. And free. Bottled water is not and foul up the environment. You either pay for a bottle of water or, when one bottle is (very graciously) included in the meal and you want more water, ask for tapwater and be thirsty no more.