I'm sure other expat bloggers have written about culinary adventures that come about when you suddenly find yourself halfway through a cheese sauce and discover there's no cheese in the fridge (not that I recommend making a cheese sauce with Gouda, unless your boyfriend likes that sort of thing). But besides having learned how to deal with such setbacks--by having a freezer full of kroketten and buns--one must wonder: just what, exactly, do the Dutch do on Sundays?
If the weather is nice--if the sun is shining and not a drop of rain is in the forecast--then they lace up their walking shoes and wandelen. A few crazy sods drag out their mountain bikes and don the full Spandex regalia. Wandelen is not quite hiking--though there are some hills in this country, the terrain isn't nearly so rugged, and the paths are quite easy to follow. You have to work hard to sprain an ankle, and there's always a small cafe somewhere nearby. But it's not a stroll around the block, either, as you're in the middle of the woods/heather patch and the only sign of civilization is the whisper of a distant train. That being said, it is difficult to get too lost, and in any event, cell phone coverage is universal.
It's hard to pinpoint the Dutch attitude towards wandelen; they approach the activity with too much intensity for just enjoying nature, but not quite enough effort to qualify it for fitnessen (what you do at the gym). Unless there are small children around, they stomp away with a purpose, but the end they pursue is a mystery. Perhaps it is to burn off enough calories to justify the beer at the cafe. Or perhaps there is a collective subconscious effort to flatten out the hills even more. Or perhaps they don't quite understand how to enjoy the sunlight. God knows, it's a rare sight in the Netherlands.