Beverwijk

It’s no secret what my thoughts are regarding supermarkets and food in this country. I’m still surprised that for a developed country, the stores are tiny, the variety limited and the prices sky-high. It’s a shame, really. Given that scenario, it’s easy to get excited about simply going to an oriental store. Apparently, the largest oriental store in the country is in Beverwijk, 22 kilometers northwest of Amsterdam. Could this be any different from the rinky-dink mom-and-pop stores that I’ve seen in the past several years? It was time to find out.

Beverwijk is famous for its bazaar reminiscent of Cash & Carry in the Philippines (circa 1980s). It’s a large covered shopping area with stalls that sell clothes, electronics, and everything else. It took a bit of circling around but once we were past the kitschy David statues and into the right warehouse, we finally found our target.

Here it was! The largest oriental store in the entire country! Really, anything with more than one aisle would qualify as the biggest but I still felt a bit of excitement as we walked around the well-stocked rows searching for stuff to take home.

I was hoping for some nice desserts only there were none. Lots of instant noodles but I can live without the hypertension. About half an hour later, despite the expanded variety, the only things that caught my eye (and found familiar) were a box of coconut juice and a small sack of jasmine rice. Good enough at least for a first-ever visit, and a promising intro to another side of Dutch shopping.

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