I have promised myself to give it a little break, talking about all the challenges I have faced the past couple years in Holland. There have also been many positive things to happen since I made the decision to expatriate that I could talk about. But, I just can’t help it. Not this week. Because this is something very near and dear to my heart– brunch.
If you know me, you know I loooove a good brunch. I might have even had a sweatshirt that said, “Turn Down For Brunch.” I definitely did. I kid you not. It’s not my fault though, I was raised this way. I have many memories of my family shutting down brunch spots. We got there when it opened and stayed until they asked us to leave. It’s obviously genetic, this love for a good brunch.
By eliminating the need to get up early on Sunday, brunch would make life brighter for Saturday-night carousers. It would promote human happiness in other ways as well. “Brunch is cheerful, sociable and inciting.” [Guy] Beringer wrote. “It is talk-compelling. It puts you in a good temper, it makes you satisfied with yourself and your fellow beings, it sweeps away the worries and cobwebs of the week.”— William Grimes, “At Brunch, The More Bizarre The Better” New York Times, 1998
This brings me to the negative bit, the first strike against the Netherlands. I read other blogs that talk about being an expat here but I believe I am the first to address this topic. The first time I was celebrating my birthday here I was obviously so excited to plan a brunch with my new, fellow expat friends. But I couldn’t find any brunch spots. I asked friends that had been here longer. Nope. Local restaurants. Nothing. I even took to an expat message board for help. Nada. The definition of brunch is a combination of breakfast and lunch, and regularly has some form of alcoholic drink (most usually champagne or a cocktail) served with it. Wikipedia says so, so I know it’s true. And for the record, breakfast at a restaurant that also has a wine menu is NOT brunch, people. There is a place here like that and they have the nerve to call themselves an all-day brunch spot. No.
I whole-heartedly agree with Guy Beringer’s 1895 invention of brunch. Can one trust people who do not promote cheerful, sociable and inciting meals? I think not. Fortunately I was eventually able to find something akin to brunch for my birthday. It’s actually more like Vegas… But on a Sunday. From 12-5 pm. Black-out curtains, live dj + music, dancers dancing on the bar top, Champagne bottle service (everything from cavabottles that come with sparklers to Dom Perignon with full costuming, of course). In a pinch it suffices. But it’s not the leisurely Sunday meal with bubbles and buddies. This may seem like a minor issue to some but, honestly, I struggle to trust a society that doesn’t properly promote human happiness, aka brunch.