A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
Do you have plans for this Monday?
Yes, you read it right, I did say Monday and by plans I did not mean sleep (or lack of it). Some might think of it as the dreadful day following Sunday (which in many times it is, I will not pretend I am especially fond of them and wake up with a huge smile on my face), but Mondays in the Netherlands have a special treat for those brave enough to venture out of their beds and make their way to Amsterdam, all the way to the Noordermarkt.
There, past all the hassle of the city center, the Noordermarkt holds a little oasis of cool in the shape of a very interesting flea-market, where you can find all sorts of relics, books, posters, clothes and my personal favorites, kitsch objects. The sole walk across the market is itself a unique experience, as one can observe not only all the most diverse goods on display, but also all of the people walking around, representing a small sample of the Amsterdammer urban jungle.
Interested? Curious? Want to see it for yourself? Come prepared to scavenge and use your elbows to dig and search through the heaps of clothes and shoes and hopefully, you’ll come upon a nice bargain that suits your shape. And in the end, even if that record you wanted so bad was taken away from your hands or the book you saw last week is gone, do not despair. You can always enjoy a coffee and a gebak in one of the neighboring cafés. Winkel is almost a unanimity when it comes to these post-shop-snacks (meaning an APPLE PIE that must be described in capital letters), but other gezellig cafés offer a well-deserved break.
So if in the Netherlands, do as the Dutch, who really love a good bargain. I mean, most people do like to get the most out of the least of money, but the number of flea markets, second-hand and vintage shops around do show that locals do have a flair for a goede koop. And who could enjoy this the most, if not us empty-pocketed students? So next time you think of Monday, think of Noordermarkt. It will make your week start just right, I promise by these flying pigs I saw there.