Hello stampers and happy Monday. What do you think of when you here “the least of these”? I chose this phrase rather than the longer version: “Whatever you do for the least of these my brothers, you do for Me.” This is a loose paraphrase of the Scripture verse Matthew 25:40. Perhaps it is a bit of an odd topic for a stamping blog, but let me tell you why I chose it.
A Visit to the Market
There is a famous market in the Hague that Gerard has been meaning to take me to for a long time. Last Saturday we finally made it. What makes this market so famous is its size and popularity. More than 100,000 people visit each week and it is the largest market in Europe. It is open on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Saturday alone has between 35 and 40 thousand visitors!
This market is not “kitchy” with great Instagram photo opportunities. Instead it has down to earth fruit and vegetable stands, lots of fish mongers, some butchers, a few cheese stalls and a lot of clothing stalls and even drugstore items like shaving cream and toothpaste.
Who We Met
The highlight of our market trip was not a thing but a person. We met Samse there and it is his story that I want to tell. As soon as he saw us his face was transformed with delight. Before we knew it he had ushered us to his only table outside of his stall and was telling us to wait, he would bring food. Boy, did he bring food!! We started with Turkish pizzas that are more like a burrito. They are thin and topped with a mixture of spices, herbs and a wee bit of sauce. Then you add chicken schwarma meat, chopped tomatoes, red onions and lettuce. Add some garlic sauce and sambal sauce and roll it up or fold it and eat. Delicious.
There was more! More spinach and cheese filled phyllo pastries, some sort of beef croquette and then dessert which was assorted baklava, walnut and pistachio. Why all this food? Why the effusive welcome?
The Least of These
You see, Semsi came from Turkey with nothing. He was an illegal immigrant and had to rely on the mercy of the Dutch people to find employment. He ended up working for Gerard’s dad in the greenhouses. Semsi tells the story of how he was working and got injured with a pitchfork. Gerard’s dad took him to the doctor and arranged things so that his care was covered and that he even received sick pay. This sick pay was unheard of in Turkey and Samse was delighted to be able to send this money home to his family.
Semsi also told us how lonely it was for them in a new country with most of their family still in Turkey. He spoke fondly of Gerard’s mother who used to bring coffee to the greenhouse twice a day. Semsi told us that she was like a mother figure to them. Later Gerard told me that his mom brought coffee since there wasn’t a coffee machine in the greenhouse. She didn’t even stay to drink coffee with them and I am sure she did not realize what this simple gesture meant to those workers.
A few years later Semsi and his brother wanted to invest in a restaurant but they were short a few thousand guilders. When they explained to Gerard’s father, he didn’t hesitate. He loaned them all the money they needed. Because of this generosity and trust, Semsi has now built a successful business that employs his entire family. What a joy to see.
As we were walking away Gerard says, I think he is seeing things with rose-coloured glasses. This could be, but how wonderful when the little things you do for another person can have such significance.
A Few More Glimpses of the Market
Even though this was an outdoor market, it was far more crowded than I was comfortable with, so I didn’t take many pictures. There were at least five huge fish stalls like this one. You could even buy fish heads, which I assume you would use to make fish stock.
Seeing the butcher walk through the crowds with a fresh carcass on his back made me want to become vegetarian!
The person in the blue jacket was a “pedestrian” control person making sure that people followed the arrows for one way traffic.
Perhaps a Card Now??
Since this is supposed to be a stamping blog I suppose I should at least share one card with you!! I am only going to show you a little sneak peek of a beautiful and unique card that I made using the Pansy Patch bundle. If you love pansies you will also love this suite. My card really capitalized on the pretty paper. Did you know that the dies cut out two whole sheets of pansies as well as over 100 leaves? My card is part of the new Create With Us International Tutorial Bundle team and the theme this month is Pansy Patch.
Here you get a better glimpse of what you will get in this amazing 15 tutorial bundle. Many of our team members are Artisan Design team members so you are getting the best of the best!!
If you want to purchase this tutorial is is $25, but you can also get it for free with a $60 order in June. It will be released later today and then I will put it on my tutorials page for you to purchase.
On Wednesday I will share some cards using the Peach suite as this will most likely be my theme for July virtual coffee and a card class.
Thanks so much for joining me today. Tomorrow will be the first day for the Sweet Strawberry and Berry Blessings virtual coffee and a card class. If you are interested in this kit in the mail, let me know, I think I have a couple of extra ones! Have a super day!!