Author Archives: Niki

About Niki

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Gardens (Or: MCH Westeinde, hospital)

Today I went with my mother-in-law to the hospital for her scheduled eye operation. It went well, but feel free to leave her well wishes here or on Facebook. ;) Betenschap!

It was in total about 90 minutes (as there were a few folks before her) and a bit of time in the cafeteria afterwards. I took the time to read a bit. I had charged up the phone and tablet but ended up not needing them at all. Go paper books!

On the way out I took a moment to take a picture of the indoor garden. It is near the entrance, a level below you, but visible as you cross over the bridge.



Pretty! It was just missing the small waterfall…

Categories: The Hague | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Graffiti of Delft (Or: On the way to Ikea)

A few weeks ago, Marco and I went to Ikea in Delft to see if we could buy a bookshelf for me. I originally wanted the narrow, but tall version, in dark wood – but it was way too heavy to carry back on the tram. So we settled for the shorter version which still stores a fair amount.

Of course, I still need to populate it with more than junk (there’s a lot of random papers that I threw in there simply to clear off the nightstand) but it did mean that I was able to set up the earring holder I got for Christmas. Which made me realize I have a lot of blue earrings, but could use some more of other colors…

Some other random news: I started the second half of the B2-C1 Dutch course at Volksuniversiteit. Like the last one, it is 10 weeks and should be done around the third week of March. After that, my Dutch is good enough to sign up for courses (in general, not just at this school) with native speakers. Hmmm…

I’ll leave you with a few pictures of graffiti that I took on the ride over to Ikea. The owl has already made an appearance on this blog, but this picture is a bit better. The other is new.

Owl graffiti in The Hague

Random graffiti in The Hague

The graffiti is always more interesting on this side of the pond!

Categories: Daily Dutch living, Delft | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Cheese and crackers (Or: With tea please!)

A reader of my blog could say that my blog is mostly about random food and snacks.

And they would be right.

Yesterday Marco and I had cheese and crackers, with tea.

Cheddar cheese with crackers (and tea)

The cheese (not pictured) was a cheddar easily purchased at Albert Heijn, the local grocery store. Tophat 48+. The crackers, well, those came from Kelly’s expat store. Ritz crackers from America. Deliciously buttery with perhaps a bit too much salt (tastes good to me). Of course this particular box came from the UK, so a bit easier to transport.

The tea holder is a Christmas gift from Roger, from the Dutch version of Amazon: The cups are from my brother and sister-in-law (thanks!). They say “We go together like” and “peanut butter and jelly” with our names personalized on them.

And the little hat – that is from a promotion; this time of year they can be found on Innocent juice bottles. See more at The Big Knit project. Cute! And useful, since the top is hot when we need to remove the tea holder.

Categories: Food | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Naga Thai (Or: Ice cream tasting)

Over the weekend Marco and I went to Naga Thai (you guessed it, a Thai restaurant). I have been there a few times but this was Marco’s first time. We were there for lunch so he was able to try out the lunch menu. I was torn between the two appetizers: a fish cake and a loempia/egg roll — or chicken served in coconut milk with mushrooms. Both are quite good! This time I went for the soup.

For the main course we both had finely chopped chicken with basiculum and red peppers. It was pretty good, but not as good as the non-chopped version in my opinion.

Dessert was three types of ice cream: lycee, coconut and mango ice cream, with a sliver of chocolate on top. Yum! We rounded that off with a small (Dutch size) cup of coffee.

ice cream at Naga Thai in The Hague

And for randomness’ sake, here is a photo of a discount Christmas item that they were selling at V&D last week. I like it enough to upload it in a larger size, even if I didn’t buy it!

Christmas ornament at V&D

Categories: The Hague | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Saturday morning experiments (Or: Waffle making)

Yesterday morning Marco and I tried out the waffle maker we got for Christmas from Marco’s dad and his wife. It is a Bestron “Sweet Dreams” waffle maker. It was an experiment – the dough might have needed to be slightly runnier in future attempts.

Bestron "Sweet a Dreams" waffle maker

Bestron “Sweet a Dreams” waffle maker

Marco modeling an almost finished set of waffles. This dough was sweet, however we also received a receipe from that described how to make a more savory version with ham and cheese. We also received a sample while at their house – it was delish (lekker)!


Some attempts above. It can be difficult getting the amount of dough you need to add just right – too little and it is not completely filled in, but too much and it runs over the sides. Messy business that!

I suspect our next attempt will be something savory. Yum.

Categories: Food | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

On the move again (Or: Paagman’s moving to Lange Poten 41)

Tonight I visited Paagman’s (a bookstore) on Spuistraat. Before 2014, there was a different bookstore at this location — read my post about what happened to Selexyz. Before that, it was De Slegte, yet another bookstore. Marco tells me that De Slegte was there for ages…

So imagine my surprise when I walk in and see that Paagman’s didn’t last long either!

Paagman's moving to Lange Poten 41

They are moving as well. Not that Lange Poten is that far away; it’s only a few streets from Spuistraat. But we are beginning to think that this particular location might be cursed.

The sign reads: “Paagman’s is opening a new store on Lange Poten 41. We are also bringing the second hand books with! 700 square meters reading, listening and discovering. Books, music, film and coffee.”

Categories: Everyday purchases | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Upside down delicacy (Or: Port infused Stilton cheese)

Okay, I can assume that this is one put Roger will not “like”! (He is not a cheese person.)

Earlier in December one of our friends visited from England. We showed him around The Hague and a little bit of Amsterdam. One of our stops while in Amsterdam was Albert Heijn of all places. It is one of the many Dutch grocery store chains. This one was close to Central Station so it was interesting to see just how many items on offer were geared towards tourists. Things like drop (black licorice), stoopwafels (syrup waffles) and more. All of it was offered in pretty touristy bins.

Another unexpected thing we saw was cheese being infused with port.

Infusing cheese with port

In this case the bottle was simply turned upside down into the partially scooped out cheese. I found what looks to be a pretty decent link on how to accomplish it by doing a Google search.

I was never a big cheese eater growing up (at least nothing that definitely had visible fungus growing on it) so I am not sure if I would be adventurous enough to try this one. Maybe another day!

Categories: Food | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

Cloud Gate sculpture (Or: Chicago’s skyline)

If you have ever been to Chicago, chances are you have been to the Cloud Gate. The locals call it “The bean”. It is a huge metallic sculpture which has impressive reflective qualities. This was my favorite “tourist” photo from the Chicago trip. (You can get an idea of the size if you look underneath to see the shadows of people taking pictures.)

Cloud Gate in Chicago

You can see the skyline at nighttime, reflected on its surface.

Funny story – we actually went there to listen to a choir singing Christmas songs. This was supposed to happen every Friday in December from 6:00-7:00pm. By the time we got there at 6:45pm, people were leaving. Hmph. I know the website says that it might be shortened due to extreme cold, but it wasn’t that cold! Oh well. Maybe the next time we are in Chicago for Christmas.

Categories: Holidays | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Crib puppies (Or: At the Fox Valley Mall)

One of the places that we visited during our trip to Chicago was the Fox Valley Mall, which is in one of the suburbs.

There is a store to buy… puppies! Of course all of the puppies are showcased in baby cribs. Can’t have it any other way.

Puppies at the Fox Valley Mall 3

The one big rule is that you do not reach in to pet the puppies – although when we were there, there were two girls who oooh’d and ahhh’d as they reached in. The puppy calmly rolled over and let its belly get scratched. (A few seconds later a worker came over and politely asked them to stop.)

Puppies in the Fox Valley Mall 2

A bundle of cuteness, though who knows how long they have to wait in the crib before being taken back to the backroom and allowed to rest away from the prying gaze of people. I’ve also always found it a bit odd that there isn’t much of a blanket for them to lay on, though I am sure accidents are frequent in this line of business.

Puppies at the Fox Valley Mall 1

But they sure are cute.

Christmas tree at the Fox Valley Mall

And one picture of the mall’s Christmas tree to close things off. :)

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Patio chair destruction (Or: Squirrel entertainment)

While Marco, Roger and I were staying with family in Chicago, we encountered a most peculiar sight. A very hungry squirrel!

Enter Mr. Patio chair killer:

Squirrel patio chair killer 1

Squirrel patio chair killer 2How is that fluff tasting Mr. Squirrel? You’ve got quite the appetite there.

Squirrel patio chair killer 3

Yep, that’s right. Pose for the camera now!

Actually in all honesty he was gathering materials for a nest probably, not eating it. But he took so much he must have been eating it on the side…

Final destruction of patio chairs

Here is a final look at the damage. You can see the top of the chair being molested, but it is nothing compared to the bottom of the chair where the guy really dug in. At some points he was actually *inside* the chair. We watched the cushion bounce around a bit as he dug into it.

Unfortunately I missed out on the opportunity to get the best picture of all — at some point he was on the sliding glass door itself, hanging upside down on the screen showing his furry chest at us.

It goes without saying that after the screen incident, the chair cushions were removed and thrown in the trash. And of course they filled up a large trash can all by themselves…

Categories: News | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

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