Sunday, November 30, 2008

De Bazaar Beverwijk

Beverwijk in North Holland province is widely known for its bazaar, the biggest free or open market in the Netherlands. The Dutch national traffic signage on the highway even has Bazaar on it to guide visitors. That’s how popular this market is. And on its website, it says that the fete attracts about 60,000 visitors every weekend.

Website: De Bazaar Beverwijk

Dutchman took a souvenir shot of me, of course. That black plastic weave shopping bag on my arm, I bought it for only €3,50.

It was Dutchman’s idea to visit the Bazaar (2 weeks ago). We’ve been to the Utrechtse Bazaar in Vleuten twice before, which for me was so and so. He swears though that the one in Beverwijk is nothing comparable; it is big, HUGE. He is trying to convince me to go. Ok, alright, we are going!
Entrance fee to the Bazaar is €2 per person and car parking is a flat €3 for the whole day. The parking area reminds me of the shopping mall parking areas in the Philippines. This is a very rare thing in Holland, but this Bazaar massive parking lot is of course an exception.

The weather was a bit cold. It also showered and I was glad I had my hat with me otherwise my hair will be all over the place.

Tempting smell of stroopwafels were wafting outside in the air... I am not a big fan of stroopwafels though (or any sweet stuff for that matter) but I do eat this sometimes. Next foto seems to be a stall selling alternative - herb medicine, like methol candies for colds and cough or something like that.

Indonesian fares were on sale... I did some sampling of their rice cakes... I go crazy with dried sausages so Dutchman and I did some sampling too. We did not buy as we just bought some Italian Salami that morning at the supermarket... products from the east called wierook - aromatic incense.

Poffertjes, Dutch mini pancakes. Next is the main food market hall with an interesting hodgepodge wall collection of anything.

So what are my impressions? Well, I was not really awed with the bazaar. There were a lot of rubbish being sold, stall after stall, shop after shop, hall after hall. The clothes on display took me back to time when I strolled along the shopping stands of Patpong Night Market in Bangkok, Mongkok in Hongkong, and Greenhills Shopping Center near where I live in Manila. Low-cost shoddy clothing on sale here. There was really nothing exciting that caught my eye.

Here are some of the items that we bought that were value for money and are good to OK quality: CD’s, DVD’s, socks, maillots, bristles for our electric toothbrushes, cotton bodysuit underwear, and the black plastic shopping weave bag of course.

As for ease of paying, there were a couple of ATM’s in the Bazaar but the queue was amazingly long! We didn’t have much choice as we didn’t have cash with us and in bazaar’s like this (read: free market), you need cash. Some stores have pin, usually the bigger ones, but the small stalls don’t.

Fish vendor and next is a typical fish fast food vendor selling haring, kibbeling, makreel, yummy... by the way, I had fresh raw herring with chopped onions and pickled gherkins last week Friday for lunch.

China Town Hall, mostly food stalls in here. Mid foto - public toilets are NEVER EVER free in the Netherlands. Hey, a fortune teller cabin! Come on right in, lol. You know, anyone can pretend to read palms and minds. I can ;-).

On a Sunday, it was relatively busy at the Bazaar, and as you can see in the foto, they already decorate the halls with colorful party lights, or are they actually Christmas lights? Next foto inside the China hall.

We finished the day with a quick dinner in China Town Hall. We were serviced by a middle-aged soft spoken Chinese woman who repeatedly asked us, “Wat wil je dlinken?” and she looked at me and asked again for the nth time, “Dlinken?” her eyes very inquisitive and I think a bit annoyed, “Dlinken?”

For a moment there Dutchman and I were baffled. We looked at each other our foreheads wrinkling – what did she just say? And then after some careful thought we realized what she said, haha. How could we not possibly know? So stupid of us, she actually meant DRINKEN (drinks, in her words, dlinken) , LOL.


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