As I grow (
older and )wiser, I realise that there is so much truth in the simple & common phrase:”your perspective shall determine your experience”.
Every incident I bump into – or bumps into me- I breathe, contemplate its consequences, and try to look at it in a positive way.
What I learned over the years is simple- bordering embarrassing to share -and yet I will share nonetheless:
If I get myself worked up about something unpleasant that happened , things will generally deteriorate quickly into “a situation” that needs “handling” , “getting over”, and “stop obsessing about”.
whereas if I breathe, try to see the situation from the other person’s perspective- or simply from another perspective- I can mitigate my disappointment-anger-frustration, to minimum, and sometimes- (has happened)- even end up laughing at the whole thing .
Traveling to Guatemala last month, I decided to book all my flights with KLM, a trust-worthy and reliable company, that had the best mixture of :minimum travel time- best price- yet reliable company .
The flights to Guatemala were set in perfect order and timeline: 3 flights with a 1.5-2 hour wait between each flight -just long enough to make sure a slight delay won’t leave you at the next airport and short enough to let you get to your destination in reasonable time. ( by the way many travel companies advise not to book ongoing flights that are less than 2-3 hours from your previous flight, and some airports are so big and confusing- that you thank yourself for following this advice..)
But- the flights back home- from Guatemala- had a 10 hour layover in Amsterdam.
My first reaction was- “what??are they serious? I will be tired, anxious, homesick, unwashed, wearing the same clothes for over 24 hours and crunched up from the previous flights!”
But then I decided to let go of my fixations and try a different angle:
Why not change scenery and enjoy what Amsterdam has to offer? 10 hours is enough to leave the airport , get to the city and see some interesting things!
So I searched on line, and found out that the well-known Rijksmuseum has an interesting new exhibition featuring a talented photographer called stacii Samidin, who photographed many typical coffee shops -a place of refuge, culture and relaxation.exhibition open until january 20, 2019.(entrance fee 17.5 euros fod adults) .
(this picture is from the rijksmuseum site-wanted you to get a glimpse )
The rijks itself is a very interesting museum, and I spent about 3 hours wandering around and totally enjoying myself.
Then I went to get myself something to eat.
Amsterdam has many options for vegans, and this lovely place is a 7 min walk from the museums. cosy and inviting vegetarian &vegan soups&salads place. reasonable price I believe (I paid 5.60 € for this bowl of very filling tasty hot soup).
*The easiest ( and frugal, of course) way to get to the museumplein (where the major museums are conveniently located very close to each other):
Step out of Schiphol, turn right, and you will see many bus stops. look for platform B 15-19, (bus 397 to the museums), and apparently right there next to the relevant bus stop (B17) there is a small red van- with a nice ticket vendor- you ask for a round trip to the city( museums), pay 10 euros -(please don’t throw your ticket- you will need it for the trip back) and wait maybe a minute or two- and the very convenient bus arrives…
It is a 30 min ride, and the stop is right on the threshold of the museums. now this is why I think taking this bus is better than taking the train.
While I love the idea of a 30 min walk from the train station to the museums, some days are rainy and cold for a 30 min walk, and sometimes you don’t have the extra time for the walk. (and sometimes you are simply not up for a walk).
But what about my luggage???
How can you wander around with all your stuff ? well you don’t have to.
I paid 6 € and left my now 10 kilos duffel at the baggage storage at schiphol, and enjoyed my luggage free 6 hours in Amsterdam .
The baggage storage is located at the bottom floor -go to the Information booth between arrivals 1 and arrivals 2- and in front of you -there is a staircase. go down and see the very organized baggage storage. just don’t lose your ticket- this is how you claim your baggage back- take a photo of it just in case. (as you can see I follow my own advice as a way to promote my advice).
I returned to the airport tired but very pleased with the unexpected gift I gave myself- a totally different culture from the one I just had the pleasure of visiting, which made it super fun to visit especially on this connecting flight!
People- life has many surprises up our allies. it’s up to us to either reject them- and get upset and angry -or embrace the unexpected change of plans- maybe you’ll end up getting a great day!
*Ok -I simply couldn’t let you all leave without sharing my version of that super tasty soup I ate at “soup &zo” in Amsterdam.
I have no idea if my version is the way they prepare this soup at the restaurant- but it turned out great and easy to make- so go ahead and try it:
*4 sweet potatoes-peeled , diced and boiled till tender.
*400 ml coconut cream . or coconut milk. or soy milk.
*curry paste- to taste- I like it spicy- taste and decide -but the curry is a must!
*2 large onions -diced
*3 or more garlic cloves- the more the merrier
*4-6(or more- to taste) cups of vegetable stock /water -you can add some soy milk if you like
*100 gram bag of peanuts: I didn’t have peanuts, so I substituted for plain natural peanut butter (yes I did- and it turned out great!)
*3-4 ripe bananas! yessssss bananas
*coconut oil -a few tsp. or canola oil. or vegan butter.
*salt , pepper, fresh ginger, fresh turmeric- use your favourite condiments- add to taste
Start- like all soups start- with frying the onions +garlic+”opening” the curry in the few tsp of coconut oil .add the peanuts and immerse- then add the liquids( veggie stock and coconut cream). after a few minutes- add the boiled sweet potatoes and the rest of the condiments.
Blend everything together with a hand blender- (I have the brown hand blender and I love it- I blend soup while on the stove!).
let simmer -all the while tasting and correcting and blending with a wooden spoon.
when you are satisfied with the taste- give it that extra thing- with adding your smashed bananas. simmer for a few minutes more- and turn off the gas.
If the soup thickens too much while cooling down – add more liquid- water or soy milk if you wish. or vegetable stock.
This freezes really well- just label it or you will find yourself in front of the freezer wondering what that orange thing is.
enjoy and happy holidays!