Last night finished up with a bit of a gastronomic faux pas!
We were feeling cold and hungry by the time we'd washed our cycling gear in the hotel bath and dried it, ready to put back on next day, with the hair drier.
We walked into the centre of Zwolle and found a 'Chinese Fusion' place. Looked ok.
The waiter came over to explain the system:-
You pay a fixed price. About €30
There are five 'rounds' of food
You fill in this form (which looked like a pools coupon) with ticks
You can tick up to 3 dishes each per 'round'
Then you hand in the coupon and wait for the grub. Sounded good! We were starving.
We guessed that the size of the plates would be small. Rather like oriental tapas. Fixed price! 5 rounds! 6 dishes (3 each) per round! This was going to be fun. So we spent the next few minutes ticking lots of boxes, until we had our 2x3x5 = 30 boxes ticked. Then, with a flourish, we gave the order in.
A short time later our first two plates of round 1 arrived: chicken with cashew nuts with hoi sin sauce and squid Thai Green Curry. But! - Both seemed 'normal' size dishes! Then the rest of round one arrived. The table was full.
"Take your time" said the waiter as he served us.
Then I happened to read something at the bottom of the menu,
'In order to avoid over ordering, customers will be fined €2 for each uncleared plate. Fined!! We'd ordered 30 plates of food!
Next thing I noticed was the start of Round 2 coming our way. The waiter moved an additional table up to ours, to accommodate the steaming mounds of new dishes (all of which looked delicious). Panic was beginning to set in. What had we done. Between the two of us, we'd ordered virtually the entire menu. We were hungry but this was ridiculous. We considered where we could hide some food. Jackie started compressing some for the food on her plate into a smaller piles. We checked our pockets for plastic bags.
It was no good, we had to sort this out.
I called the waiter back and asked whether Round 3 had been prepared; it had! What about Round 4 I enquired: it had not. Phew!
I said that we were new to the area and hoped to bring all of my friends, family and work colleagues here over the coming weeks but, right now, we were feeling rather a little full and, please, could we cancel the last 10 dishes, Rounds 4 and 5. Luckily he agreed and all was well.
Before We left Zwolle I bought some warmer clothing: a fleece and some long trousers. Clothing more appropriate to the weather we have, as opposed to the (warmer) weather we'd anticipated.
We left Zwolle and bashed out 50 miles east until we were stopped by the increasingly inclement weather. The rain got progressively worse. Taking refuge under a tree, in someone's garden, I managed to find a room not too far away in the town of Emmen.
Sorted for the night.
Hoping for better weather tomorrow.
The pic is of me, under a plastic sheet. Trying to protect my iPhone from water, whilst I try to locate a room for the night. Somewhere in NE Holland.