If you read my blog you would know that I love food. And open spaces. And sunny days. So when I got to know about the food truck festival at ProefPark in Haarlem in August end, it was a proposition I just could not resist. Haarlem where? You may ask. And rightly so, cause I doubt that anyone who visits Netherlands, makes a stop at any city other than Amsterdam. But if you do have time on your next trip, I strongly recommend that you go beyond Amsterdam for a day trip into these charming little cities like Haarlem, Leiden, Hague etc. which are even more compact and slower but full of many interesting gigs and festivals.
My experience of this food truck festival brought back childhood memories of picnics at India Gate in Delhi, which I think was quite a staple family outing for all kids born in the 80’s and early 90’s. I remember that we used to go in big groups of 20-30 people, tightly squeezed into cars, with bed sheets and rugs to sit on, lots of Indian food in casseroles, colas, chips and a lot more junk. We kids would go hysterical on the grass, running around, playing frisbee, and eating way too many ice-creams. Somewhere along the way, this form of family outing died down, we grew up, became busier and had a lot more cooler sources of entertainment (the TV, internet and malls). A family picnic just didn’t fit in.
In Haarlem, all I could see around were big groups, families, friends and lots(and lots) of kids. People just lazing around, eating, drinking, chatting, sleeping. And spending the whole day like that. I found myself enjoying the slowness of it all, so different from life back in Delhi, where the weekend comes and goes in the blink of an eye, and there isn’t ever enough time to relax. There is always something to get to, some work to do, someone to meet, and I find the pace a bit exhausting at times. Like a half baked dish or a half finished book. Somewhat there but incomplete.
Now let me talk about the food, it was top notch! From wraps to sea food burgers, endless varieties of beer, waffles, ice-creams, pastas, pizzas, steaks, Surinamese food to even Indian chicken curry with rice, the variety and quality was mind blowing. We tried the spelt wrap with raspberry, avocado, almond and goat’s cheese; chicken curry with rice; lobster and crab blue cheese burger; and a dark colored very strong beer(can’t recall the name). What I missed trying were the waffles and crepes since there was such a huge waiting line, but definitely next time.
Do you have fond memories of family picnics from your childhood? And do you have picnics with friends and family in your city ? Share your story in the comments section.