24 August 2008

... and all that jazz

For everybody who abides by the english grammar rules (I wish to envisage your presence ), any city is a she.

Amsterdam is a city. Hence, it is she? Hm, I like to think of Amsterdam – my Amsterdam at least - as He. He is…

An old friend. Who speaks a different language but, nonetheless, greets me in English. An old artist. Who observes the people and paints his sketches in the wind. A skillful musician. Who plays a snow-white piano on a podium set on one of the canals and fills the air with crystal sounds of music. A sleepless clubber. Who so vehemently enjoys and makes the most out of each passing moment. An old flame that’s my Amsterdam. Who still holds my heart , inspires me, gives me a cheek to stand up and lock eye with challenges (and there are many of the latter, I’d love you to believe).

I seem to be talking romance here. And reasonably so as I have a few. First and foremost, this is my romance with life, otherwise I become defunct. And the other first and foremost (in my world, it’s pretty much possible), my romance with chocolate (of course you saw it coming, didn't you?). Romance, love, penchant, obsession, physocological issue, you name it. On my part, I’ll only tell – with the utmost excitement – I found ze place in Amsterdam where I can step in, anxiously touch and sniff everything, make humming noises that are typical for a neurotic person, get a look of deep appreciation and complete understanding from my fellow-comrades, and feel myself at home.

Before I utter the password combination into THE world, I find it crucial to underscore I wasn’t on the hunt for my daily choco fix when I chanced upon the place. And as I’m saying this, I’m holding my hands crossed on my chest as a sign of being honest and sincere to the core. I merely walked along the streets minding my own business. Ahem. But you know, how it usually happens. You just live calmly, plan your days as you’re used to, and then something comes along your way. And you are not you anymore. Your life changes. You become a different person. A better person. With a bigger supply of chocolate. That’s grand, people. Simply smashing.

Puccini Bomboni. In my vocabulary also known as 'ze place'.

What do you normally say when you discover another place to satiate your longings for things chocolate? Oh la la. Blah blah blah. And all that jazz (I like how it sounds). I think if I paraphrase Aldous Huxley’s words* and say, ‘for every chocolate lover who has any taste of their own, the only memorable taste will be the one they themselves have tasted’, I’d then pursue my intention to urge you, once in Amsterdam, take an action and go there. Go there, you should!

As to me, my natural shyness won’t prevent me from presenting myself on the spot every now and then, and sample every of a few dozens bonbons which are the forte in this place: filled with liquors, spices (thyme, nutmeg, cinnamon or anise, to name a few) and other heart-pulsation elevating combinations. I have yet to eat my way through love-inducing cornucopia that’s so serenely residing at Pucchini Bomboni. One at a time though. One at a time.

For now I’ll run a risk to seem obsessed, and yet I’ll mumble something, hopefully profound and comprehensible. It is about Amaretto Bonbon I gifted myself with the other day: how it sensuously enveloped my palate, how I loved that soft, feathery sensation when cocoa powder that constitutes the toppping landed itself on my lips and how I might as well liken it to a kiss. Now is it normal or what?

*I wasn’t familiar with those either. Untill I got myself a small Moleskine city notebook (I just needed to show off a little bit. Thank you for your genuine understanding.) where the original expression printed on the facing page says, ‘For every traveller who has any taste of his own, the only useful guidebook will be the one which he himself has written’.

Puccini Bomboni (several locations)
Staalstraat 17, tel: 31 (0) 20 6265474
Singel 154, tel: 31 (0) 20 4278341


Astra Libris said...

Anya, congratulations on your move, and your new field of studies! Having attended an English literature graduate program myself, I am SO excited for all the delights that await you! Congratulations on your huge accomplishment and brave new adventures! I can't wait to hear more about your studies and your new city! (and if you ever decide to study here in the States, and find yourself in the Southern corner of the US, you'll have a very warm welcome and a slice of chocolate pecan pie awaiting you! :-)

anya said...

Dear Astrid, having undertaken my move to Holland I feel as equally thrilled about my studies as about the getting-to-know-who-I-really-am experience.

I don't think my 'wagabondism' will bring me to the States in the nearest future (if any), but I so heartfully appreciate your warm 'welcome' offer with a subsequent pecan pie treat. I'm smitten. :)

Michelle J said...

Anya, you say your smitten? So am I! With your writing and with the way you make me want to run to Pucchini Bomboni right now! I mean right now!!!!