I have to say, I love this time of year in the Netherlands. Yes, it’s a bit miserable, rainy and starting to get cold. But there’s one thing I love every year – the oliebollen!
Oliebollen are traditional eaten at New Year, but from the first of October stalls pop up everywhere selling the delicious, hot Dutch-style donuts. The smell is amazing!
My favourite oliebollen stand is in Leiden, next to the train station. I think the oliebol from here are the best – although it’s probably tied to memories rather than anything.
October marks the month we got our diagnosis of TTTS (later changed to TAPS), and marks the start of my relationship with the LUMC. During the early routine testing (every 2-3 days in Leiden for scans and dopplers and consultations), the oliebol stand was there, and I would treat myself to one oliebol for the trip home (it’s a little over an hour by train from my home to the hospital).
Later, after the girls were born, my fantastic in laws brought me some oliebollen in hospital. Still somewhat high on drugs (let’s not forget, I also had just had that placenta encounter, so the next part probably won’t surprise you), I opened the bag and pulled one out – looked at it, and thought ‘This is as big as Emilie’s head!” and actually told this to Marius. Emilie became known as the Emmy-bol after this.
Throughout the trips to Leiden, around this time of year, this oliebol stand has been a regular part of my life. It’s a stop for a memory, and a fantastic oliebol.
So here’s to the oliebol stand outside Leiden Station. You probably won’t know what kind of impact you made on my memories of all the time we’ve spent in Leiden, but I’m so glad you’re there!