Tuesday, October 30, 2007

French fries, patates, and frites

If you are an American, reading this, when you think French fries, you think McDonald's.
Oh you poor, deprived people. I don't say this because I spent a lot of time in France—mais non, I have never tasted a fry a la Francaise.
I say this because I spent my childhood in Holland, where fries are a national treasure.
Known as "patat," Dutch fries are prepared fresh—not frozen!—at a variety of fries stands that, much like hot-dog stands in the Yankee New York, appear on street corners, in shopping malls, and anywhere else the fry urge could strike.
Perhaps it is not surprising that in Holland, where the potato is given almost as much reverence as the Dutch royal family, the number-one snack food would be crafted from the sleepy spud, while you there in the New World, who prefer to worship red meat, have made hot-dogs and hamburgers your fast food staples.
Whatever the case, you can be certain that if you are traveling to the Netherlands (or Holland, it's the same..) you will come upon the tantalizing scent of frying potatoes wafting around a corner and forcing you to follow your nose to its source. The fries you order there will be the thick, steak fry variety, and they'll be served to you in a paper cone and topped with a dollop of creamy mayonnaise (a distant relative of your Yankee globby mayo).

Fries are so commonly served this way that to order them one simply asks for patat "met", or "with." The fry stand will also have a menu of other toppings, including sate sauce, a chunky peanut sauce that we the Dutch discovered during our colonization of Indonesia and promptly incorporated into their fry culture.
French fries? Called frites in Northern Belgium (part of the Netherlands until 1873), the homeland of all this confusion.
And the British named it chips...food barbarians...a culture which they exported to your USA so easily....))

My little driver licence

Getting a driver licence is much easier to obtain in the USA than in the Netherlands, where you have take endless lessons to even get the 'right' to ask for an examination. Average time in the Netherlands from day 1 (you first lesson) and your first examination (don't think they let pass you the first time) is 9 months...ufff.
So, I got my driver licence, now in a cute credit card form, last time in Florida.
The problem now, I don't live in the USA anymore, nor in the Netherlands or any other EU country. And my driver licence is expired. And I as a Dutch with an Americam driver licence resides in Turkey, can not renew my American driver licence in a Dutch or American one.
I need a Turkish one! First task is to get my cute little driver licence credit card formmat translated into Turkish...
And I think I have to do a test as well: curious how the instructor drives..))

Day Opening - October 30

Praque, the Castle.