The instant I stepped through the threshold of Bagels & Beans, I felt like I was entering someone’s home. Floor-to-ceiling bookshelves stood proudly on the left side, while quaint little wooden tables and chairs were placed on the right. The bookshelves were filled with books, and the long table in front of the shelves had Dutch newspapers casually placed at the far end. It was how I would decorate my reading room. The coffee machines and cashier were located on the left further inside, and we were greeted with a torrent of “Hello!’s” and “Good morning!’s” from the friendly baristas and workers there. Suddenly, everyone was hit by a burst of sunlight as the sun rose above the clouds and shone through the huge windows directly in front is us. It was excruciatingly bright, but it was also one of the best experiences I’ve had with the sun.
Trying to adjust to the sudden brightness, I hastily shielded my eyes with my hand and looked around me, hoping to find a less glaring spot to look at. It was then that I noticed that the tables were prepared with glasses of orange juice and shots of yogurt with muesli. It was very different from what I usually have for breakfast, and I eagerly anticipated what else would be served. My mum, my sister and I joined a man by the name of Mr. Kee at his table, making a party of four. A beaming waitress came over to our table, greeted us, took some time to explain the menu to us, and took our orders as we responded with “thank you’s”.
By now, the sun was really no longer holding back its shine, and our table was flooded with sunlight, occasionally shimmering as the glasses reflected the sunlight. After a few tries, I gave up adjusting my position every few seconds to avoid the sun piercing my eyes and slipped on my shades instead. While my mum and Mr. Kee talked business and insurance, my sister and I snapped photographs, exchanged our food (bagels with cream cheese and bagels with jam) and admired the striking view. Sunlight danced on the water, clouds paraded through the sky, and boats of all shapes and sizes made their way across the water. I thoroughly enjoyed my first breakfast in Amsterdam.