My first real job in The Netherlands was about nine years ago, for an embarrassingly low wage, fantastically located, poor excuse of a company on Rembrandtplein. In those early days, as I commuted day in and day out from Rotterdam – a two-hour, door-to-door trek each way – it was hard not to notice the attractive interiors of this Brasserie that, like in the movies, at first seemed unreachable. Always busy with well-off, healthy-faced diners, after looking aghast at the door menu out of curiosity I decided it would be a while before I’d set foot there. Whether or not I’ve reached the middle – or the end – of this movie in my mind is unclear but after nine years I’ve finally made my way inside this curious restaurant.
Our Christmas Day dinner At Brasserie Flo could have been better – less pretentiously affected diners please and a bit more warmth from the female waitstaff – but the chance to exorcise old ghosts – like Scrooge in A Christmas Carol – is a feeling that though hard to explain can be quite fulfilling. And while I’ve been Oliver from time to time asking if I can have some more, and for fleeting moments lived like a Gatsby, life’s unpredictability shows almost anything in life can be possible. When toasts gain more and more meaning as we go along, more than just clinking of glasses, with my glass of bubbly and Teko’s cassis we offered a toast to another milestone in both our lives.
Another Christmas for the ages has passed.