The things, they are changing, faster than I can keep up with. This week the weather took a distinct turn for the autumnal: highs in the low 60’s, wind, and rain rain rain. As further proof, I bought the season’s first brussels sprouts at the market this afternoon, always my first personal fall milestone. With fall comes our home stretch. We’ve been here a little over six months, and if all goes well, we’ll be here a little less than six more months. Nate’s starting to troll for employment in earnest, and we’re having a lot of conversations about the relative merits of (for example only, don’t no one get excited) Ann Arbor, MI and Ipswich, MA. I’m starting to make tentative career-pathing decisions of my own, and by the spring/summer, lots will change for me.
There’s still no accounting for sudden changes in taste. The photo above is Nathan’s favored dessert of late. I don’t like dessert so he indulges on his own–and he’s developed quite a fondness for Dutch drop, or (of course with the diminutive) dropjes. Drop is an umbrella term for licorice-flavored candy, and it can be either soft or hard, salty or sweet. So you can buy hard salty; soft sweet; soft salty; or a package containing a combination. Sometimes they’re fruity too. Sometimes they’re minty, or honey-y. They come in shapes ranging from coins (munt) to angry housewives in traditional dress. The salt kind sometimes gets its salty from salmiac, which is ammonium chloride. Sounds positively poisonous, huh?
The thing is, before we even decided to move here, Nathan went to great lengths to describe just how gross drop is. He told this story about eating a piece of the salty that his boss brought back to the lab–and it was apparently SO GROSS that he spit it out and kept the partly-chewed piece in his pocket. In Dutch class, he declared loudly, “Drop is vies,” or nasty, and our teacher looked at him, puzzled and sad. “Nee, Nathan, drop is lekker–tasty.” He’d screw up his face and shake his head no, no. Now we spend a significant amount of time every week in Jumbo’s drop aisle, as Nate considers the relative merits of different brands and shapes.
Even if the only cultural learning that’s taken place has been Nate’s developed affinity for drop, I think this year’s been a success. He adds that tomorrow he’s graduating from the sweet soft mix to the salty soft mix. The makings of a real Dutch old man.
The smell still makes my stomach lurch just a little.
(I promise I’ll get over my post-vacation blog ennui approximately next week. There’s only so much napping one can do.)