It was unusual night for us, something special happened last weekend, on Saturday August 9, 2014, we had a Dutch Pancake Night. Me and some other friends got an invitation from a Dutch traveler who came to Indonesia for vacation, to gather together for a Dutch Pancake night. The event was almost canceled because the reaction of Jakarta’s Couchsurfers about the invitation was so huge. The event expected to be a small event in the beginning, but later on, almost 100 person say yes to come. The house can not handle such a big amount of people to come and the idea to cancel the event was already in the air. We were a bit disappointed since we wonder how it is to cook and eat Dutch pancake and it will be great to meet new people, right?
But good news come just few days before the event planned to be started. Robin, the Dutch traveler and host of that event got the house to use as the meeting place for the event. We were excited again to come to the event! Robin, who made the invitation through Couchsurfing website and Facebook, able to make people also involved in the preparation of the event. When he shouted about the need of pan, mixer or other stuff since the house doesn’t have it, I can see many Couchsurfers response and promise to help by bringing those equipment.
My first impression when I entered the house that night, “Oh whoaaa! So many people come!” I attended few of Couchsurfing gathering in Jakarta and know some people, but still, I only know about 20% people in the house. People who came maybe around 100-120 people. Yeah, the house is really big! And it was really a good crowd ever! I was expecting someone will welcome us or host us, but no one seem to greet us since everyone were busy with their own things. But that was also a good reason to force me to start to introduce myself to others and try to find the guy who invite everyone to come, Robin. I found him going around from here and there and try to talk with everyone as much as he can. He is naturally a great host, friendly man and love to entertain people. After introduced myself a bit to him, I went to the kitchen, eager to see how the cooking and want to eat the pancake too of course.
In the kitchen, two of my friends already there to help cook the pancake. They put some nice topping on the top of the pancake and give it to everyone. The kitchen was so busy, everyone was helping to make the pancake done. It was kind of new for me to see it. Normally, people who invited to come to a dinner will expect to be served. But here, everyone really involved and help to each other. Not just in preparation. People bring some local food, put that on the plate and just offer it to others. I also tried to cook the pancake and glad because I can make some good ones, even I can’t flip it like a Pancake pro maker, as Robin did, haha.
When I cooked the pancake, I can see through the kitchen’s window, some people enjoying music by dancing and swimming. Yes, the house has a pool, it is so big and looks like a palace!
Thanks to Jared for the house! People can fill the house in everywhere and still can breathe perfectly. When they danced following the rhytm of the music, some people busy chit chat enjoying food everyone bring as the pot luck, some people trying their capability of singing by karaoke-ing. Karaoke-ing itself was fantastic! You can really see how Indonesians love to sing. Just in a minute, everyone gathered together, jump or just singing without hesitate.
Look at our happy face!
I was thinking why Robin wanted to do this event. Why he wants to pay the effort to invite everyone he doesn’t know to eat pancake for freely. Not many who care enough to make an event and invite everyone to come! So I asked him…
The idea of making a pancake night came to his mind when he invited his friends over dinner in Amsterdam almost two years ago. He worked really many hours per week, around 60-70 hours per week and hardly able to see his friends. Bringing them all together once per-week over a dinner was the easiest way to see his friends. It started with 10 people, then in the end almost 100 people in his house. Until he need to sold his house in Amsterdan and couldn’t host dinners in Amsterdam anymore. Later on, since he didn’t find the big place yet, he decide to organize also outside of Netherlands. Since this year, he is trying to make a pancake night in every places he visit. Up to now, he already done for 70 pancakes night in 20-25 cities, such as Tokyo, Milan, Barcelona, Hong Kong, Zurich, Madrid, Berlin, Paris, etc.
With Robin, yeah, he is so tall – 2 meters! Can’t compare with us, Indonesians, who are so short 😛
As one of the purpose of joining Couchsurfing is to having new friends, but some people are very shy to make a first move. His purpose to make the pancake night is to bring people together who did not know each other before. He wanted to invite people from different source, so they are all unfamiliar (that’s why I don’t really know anyone that night! – or only know few of them). With the pancake it is easier to start speaking to each other. He said, some people are shy by nature, but will be very friendly when knowing others better. Seeing that makes him very happy.
Yeah yeah, the other reason is because he is a Dutch. Holland is very famous with their pancake, right? 😉 But other than that, because it’s a children food that everyone likes. It’s also cheap. Robin spent around 500.000 rupiah (USD 40) for the ingredients last night. That cost was nothing to compare for such a big party and able to make around 120 people happy. He said, it was the largest Dutch pancake night so far!
Another good news, he shared his recipe to make the pancake, so you can invite your friends over a pancake night too. Why not?
Recipe (for about 10 pancakes)
- 2 liters of milk
- 1 kg of flour
- 4 spoons of sugar
- 8 eggs
- ½ apple
- 250 gram of raisin
For making the Dutch pancake, you first put in the milk in a big bowl, then the 8 eggs and then you put in flour until it gets more solid. After that you put in the sugar, eggs and raisins. To make the pancake you need a frying pan. Put some butter in it and then the pancake mix until it is a pancake. Wait for the pancake to be gold brown.
Do you keen to join his next Dutch Pancake night? If you are in Frankfurt, then you are lucky! The next Dutch Pancake will be held at September 6, 7 pm. Place not decided yet, but you can contact Robin (+31622690651) or Angela (+4915773740365). Or add his couchsurfing profile here : https://www.couchsurfing.org/people/robin.vogelaar/
Hope your event will be huge again, dude! I want more of the pancakeeees!!! Hahaha.
“If you really want to make a friend, go to someone’s house and eat with him… the people who give you their food, give you their heart.” – Cesar Chavez.
PS : Forgive my blurry pictures – either we were so excited that night so can’t take picture properly or simply because it was taken from phone 😛