Friday, September 28, 2012

Vrijdagmarkt Bilthoven

"Goedendag, Mevrouw! Ga je mee naar de markt?" (Good Day, Madame! Are you going to join us to the market?) , these are the questions of my father-in-law when it's going to be Friday.

My answer is "Yes!", when the weather is fine (especially when it's not raining), when we don't have anymore potatoes in the house, and of course if I have rest day from my work.

It is not just an ordinary friday, when we go to the market.  For me it is a "day out" with my parents-in-law. I like cycling with them and make fun. From their house we have to ride about 6 kilometers to Bilthoven. 

Dutch have a nice market place. Not just an ordinary "Palengke" in the Philippines or in any other land in Asia. One thing that makes them different from Asian market is that you are not going to find fishes still swimming in a flat basin, waiting for their awaited death. For them it is cruelty to animals. They have a law that protects the animal rights. Vendors are not allowed to sell alive fishes in the market. All fishes they are selling in the market are already frozen, yet they called it fresh.

The market in Bilthoven is always on friday. That is why it is called, "Vrijdagmarkt" (Vrijdag - Friday / markt - market) in Dutch. This market is very nice. There are many people visiting this market every week. I don't know how old is this market now, but my father-in-law said that it was located earlier nearby the KNMI (Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute), but it was relocated more or less 10 years ago to its present location at Planetenbaan, Bilthoven. 

Through the years my 83-year old neighbor and her man also do their weekly groceries in this market. Obviously, this market is already old. Because they come here every week, in fact, she told me once that they have met someone here and later became their very close friends.

This market is little but very cozy. No wonder why people keep coming back every week, because it it not just a market, but a meeting place to make social with other people. One reason also is because most of the vendors here don't have to make many talks in order to sell their products. The customers and the vendors trust each other. You meet the same customers and vendors every week.

Here are the stalls where we always buy what we needed.

1. A middle aged man owning the one and only potato stall in this market is very kind and honest. Their potatoes are really good and they have assortments. We always get a discount because we are loyal customers (we get not only discount but also free sauerkraut when it's available). They always ask about me when I am not with my parents-in-law.

2. The Vietnamese stall selling delicious lumpia, bapao (siopao) and pastei (pie) has already win the heart of the people and their stomach too! I always order  two hot pastei's, it's really yummy!

3. The vegetable stall, in the same row, one stall away from the potato stall is also very nice. They are selling fresh fruits and vegetables. They have very good quality oranges, so we don't forget buy it in this stall.

4. The Holland Kaascentrum is the best stall where you can buy cheeses. They sell also Italian cheese, but most of all the very known Dutch cheese. Holland Kaascentrum has a point system, so if you buy cheese here, you can ask for zegels (stamps) and a book. Once the book is full, you can exchange it for discount.

You can also find stalls in the market selling fishes, nuts, flowers, RTW clothes, bicycle accessories, leather products, hobby articles, spices, kebab, chicken and many more.

There are also nice treats for children and themes for adults when it's holiday like Easter, Sinterklaas and Christmas.

Last year they have got the title "De Beste Kleine Markt in Nederland 2011" (The Best Small Market in the Netherlands 2011). It's worth it. I have been here many times. It is them who made it possible that we keep coming back every week (Winter, spring, summer, and fall!). So keep up the good work!


Farida said...

Thank you for visiting my blog and linking me to yours. I wonder how you found my site? Your comment is very inspiring. You are so kind. I just try to live the way I want to despite of the seeming negative things in my surrounding which cannot be changed.

I look forward to visiting your site again soon. Happy weekend :)

Kulengkleng said...

Hoi (Hello) Farida!

I saw your blog name via Friends Connect by Pinay Travel Junkie's blog. Thanks for your compliment. It's because your posts are very heartwarming. I love to read it especially your newest adventure. Always cheer up! :-)

Groeten uit (Greetings from) NL