The honeymoon is over

Okay, so it’s not over, exactly. We still love it here in Amsterdam, are still enjoying every minute. But now that the newness has settled, I find myself thinking more and more often of things about America that I miss. Here are my top five:

5. Garbage disposals. Remember back in the day, when all the food and gunk in the sink would turn to chunky sludge in the drain, and you’d have to actually reach in there and pull everything out with your fingers? Yeah. That’s what I’m dealing with. There are no garbage disposals in the Netherlands; apparently, they jack up the sewage system.

4. Whole Foods. I miss everything about that place. The sushi bar. The salad bar. The burrito and soup and prepared foods bar. Of course I can find the ingredients for all those things here, and there are more restaurants in Amsterdam than there are people, but nothing beats one-stop shopping that’s a) delicious, b) good for you, and c) keeps me out of the kitchen. And before you start wondering, I can actually cook. I just really don’t like to.

3. Grocery baggers. It seems a given, that somebody is actually waiting at the end of that belt, their sole purpose to pack up your groceries for you, but not so here. Here, your groceries fly across the scanner and down the belt to the end, where your bags of gourmet lettuces get squished by milk cartons, your fluffy breads get steamrolled by water bottles, your fresh berries jammed into the wall by cereal boxes. And then, once everything is one giant mess at the end of the belt, you get to pack it all up and lug it home.

2. Walk-in mani and pedi salons. There are a few, but they’re expensive, and they do a crappy job. And by now, I’m Dutch (thus frugal) enough to turn my nose up at their prices. Why pay, when I can do the crappy job myself?

1. The people. My son, all the way over in Denver. My parents and friends. My BFFs and girlfriends and yoga sisters. I miss all of them, most of all.

About Kimberly S. Belle

Kimberly Belle grew up in Eastern Tennessee, in a small town nestled in the foothills of the Appalachians. A graduate of Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia, Kimberly lived for over a decade in the Netherlands and has worked in marketing and fundraising for various nonprofits. She's the author of two novels, THE LAST BREATH and THE ONES WE TRUST (August 2015). She divides her time between Atlanta and Amsterdam. Keep up with Kimberly on Facebook (, Twitter (@KimberlySBelle), or via her website at

Posted on March 6, 2015, in Blog Posts and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. We’ll be glad to have you back in America, Kimberly. Maybe you should make a list of all things you’ll miss in Amsterdam once you’re gone to help you appreciate the time you have left. I, personally, would hate to bag my groceries!

    • Thanks, Christy! I’m sure I’ll think of plenty more by the time we return in June, as well as a long list of things I’ll miss about Amsterdam. 😉

  2. Life is always about trade-offs, isn’t it? With every choice we make, we gain something, and we lose something.

    I guess I need to find out where the nearest Whole Foods store is, since I’ve decided to give up cooking. But when it comes to other people bagging my groceries, I can’t stand that. They do it wrong. They put the perishables in with the non-perishables. They pack some bags too heavy and some too light. Am I a control freak? Maybe. But it’s easier to unpack the bags when I get home if I packed them myself.

    Kimberly, enjoy the rest of your trip! I’m sure you’ll be happy to see your son and your friends again when you return.

    • Totally right, Andrea, about the trade-offs. One of the grocery stores here has a system you’d LOVE. You can apply to get a scanner, scan ~ and pack ~ your groceries as they’re going in the cart, then pay when you turn in your scanner. Your groceries don’t have to go on the band, and you get to pack them yourself, exactly like you want them packed. Too bad they don’t have it everywhere, bc it’s pretty awesome! xo


  3. Very cool that you have the experience!

  4. I’d be feeling homesick, for sure, having never lived out of my home state of Missouri. But yet, what an amazing experience! I’m so thrilled for you.

    I hope the nostalgia for the things you’re missing lessens to a dull hum, not too much an ache.

%d bloggers like this: