Subject: Netherlands and rijsttafel
Indonesia used to be a Dutch colony and despite all the turmoils and checkered history, the Dutch have kept a craving for Indonesian food. And rijsttafel is the piece de resistance. It's a meal with 10-20 dishes, depending on the restaurant and its offerings. You take a bit of everything with your rice. If done right, there are fish, meat and vegetable dishes, some spicier than others. On the side you have sambal, a spicy condiment, kroepoek (fried shrimp chips) and ketjap (sweet soy sauce). Indonesian cooking is very aromatic and varied, depending on whether it's a dish from Java, Sumatra, Bali and other islands. It's not like Chinese cooking. Many of the cheaper Indonesian restaurants are run by Chinese and, although they approximate the taste, it's not always the same thing. A true Indonesian restaurant can be expensive. The best ones are in the Hague, where the old colonists tended to return to after the decolonisation. I can't give you specific addresses, because I haven't been there in a while. The best you can do is ask your hotel or B&B for an address. Everyone in Holland has their favorite. A suggestion: you can also order a Nasi Rames, a sort of mini rijsttafel on one plate. Not the same by far, but a lot less expensive.

I also noted that you plan to visit Apeldoorn. Close by is the Hoge Veluwe, a national park with a treasure: the Kroller Muller museum, the place to see van Goghs and contemporary artists, before they opened the van Gogh museum in Amsterdam. It's one of my favorite museums, because of its natural setting, the paintings, the light, and its sculpture garden. In my opinion, it's an absolute must. There's a web site (http://www.hogeveluwe.nl) which just told me that they have reopened the park after a precautionary closure because of the hoof and mouth disease, no problem it seems. Alas, the site is only in Dutch, but it may give you an idea of the park. Beyond the museum, you can explore the park on foot, by car, or rented bikes. They even have bicycles-for-two.

Veel plezier in Nederland (= lots of fun in Holland)

Frieda