DE BIJENKORF | Amsterdam

It’s only going to get busier.

The last weekend before Christmas is usually the time when panic sets in for some people. I remember the Christmas rush when I was growing up in the Philippines and the words ‘crazy’, ‘chaotic’, and ‘madness’ come to mind. Looking back, I’m glad we had a car or two to get around as it surely would have been close to impossible to get from one place to another – we bought regular groceries in Makati Supermarket, bought the imported stuff like grapes and chocolates from Cash & Carry, and even went as far as Greenhills for the other stuff. Traffic was already terrible back then but reading up nowadays on how much of it there is to endure, I’d surely be bald from ripping my hair out in frustration.

Fast forward to the present, and I am thinking all of this while seated for coffee at my favorite Amsterdam shopping wasteland. It was chaos outside the store, but the crowd inside was as I wanted it – like night and day, it was just as crowded but a lot more civilized – and it was even more festive due to a minstrel group singing Christmas songs while they strolled around the store. How classy is that. After coffee, my partner indulged me by letting me do some window-shopping and, even if I saw one or two things that would be perfect for our flat, I was determined not to get anything at least until after the holidays. All the better to get the same thing at – fingers crossed – half the price!


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