A garden for the pharmacists (Or: Behind open gates)

On Alexanderstraat, a street in The Hague, you have the Koninklijke Nederlandse Maatschappij ter bevordering der Pharmacie. Oh, what a mouthful. Translated that is the Royal Dutch Society for the Promotion of Pharmacy, an organization for pharmacists.

But what I always notice is the lovely garden outside the front door:

Their name is so long you can’t even properly fit it into one photo:

Marco and I watched the opening ceremony for the Olympics on yesterday. I can definitely say that the time difference isn’t ideal. It started at 13:00, so good luck watching that properly and while trying to work. Most of the action happens after 02:00 and ends in the early afternoon. It definitely doesn’t feel like a true Olympics (also because there are a lot less fans attending). C’est la vie.

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Fully vaccinated (Or: Yay!)

I am now fully vaccinated. I received my second shot (Pfizer) this afternoon. The location was less busy than when I received my first vaccination on 21 June, but that week the Netherlands vaccinated just under 1.5 million people and this week there are around 1 million appointments. I think the main difference is that there are less people getting their first shot and more getting their second, but vaccine deliveries could also be playing a small part.

We still have at least 3-4 weeks to go at this rate, if you consider that the Netherlands opened vaccinations to the general population based on birth year. I’m 38, so there’s still at least 20 years behind me waiting for their second shot. If you also consider that vaccinations were only recently opened to 12-17 year olds, you could imagine this going on for another 2-3 months at a reduced rate.

Above is the sign by the vaccination location, the Broodfabriek in Rijswijk. Literally translated as “the bread factory”, which it used to be years ago. In recent years it is an event center and this year it is rented out to The Hague’s Public Health department for the vaccination program.

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Mosaic tile benches (Or: By the Peace Palace)

Here are some photos from benches by the Peace Palace:

Usually the area in front of the Peace Palace is teeming with tourists, but it has obviously been quiet in the last year.

In other news: Flash floods cause havoc across Europe – in pictures from theguardian.com. Most of the pictures are from Germany, where over 150 have died, although the southeast part of the Netherlands has also had flooded areas and evacuations. Most residents have been allowed to go back home, though.

Cow survives 100 kilometre swim downstream in river flood waters from dutchnews.nl. Thanks to her fame, the owner has promised she won’t be slaughtered (source from nos.nl in Dutch).

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World Peace Flame (Or: Monument by the Peace Palace in The Hague)

Here is a photo I took of the World Peace Flame and the World Peace Pathway (around the flame) by the Peace Palace in The Hague:

(if you look closely, you can just see the flame within the blue stone)

The flame was created by seven nations and brought together in Wales, before being returned to the original countries. In that way there is more than one world peace flame. Here is a list of monuments at the official website.

The pathway was created by every country and region of the world (each one donated stones to create the pathway.

The plaque reads: The World Peace Flame: In July 1999 seven flames from five continents were united to create the World Peace Flame. The World Peace Pathway: 196 nations joined together in cooperation and unity to create the World Peace Path. Opened 27 April 2004. Please add your prayer for peace as you walk around.

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On the rooftop (Or: View from Bleyenberg)

Recently I visited Bleyenberg, a restaurant/rooftop bar/meeting spaces/office type combination. Oh, and apparently they have small, private karaoke spaces as well. Very Japanese like.

Here is a look at the city centre of The Hague from Bleyenberg’s rooftop:

Off in the distance is the Grote Markt terrace. The wide street below is the Grote Markt itself, and just under the glass railing you can see the statue of Haagse Harry.

In other news:

For the next two weeks there is a pop-up store at Leiden Centraal train station, featuring products made from recycled materials from NS, the national train service. The linked article is in Dutch from omroepwest.nl. Think of things like shoes or bags made from seat material or a bird cage made from an information board.

A fan of HTM (The Hague’s public transportation company) has purchased an old HTM bus (also in Dutch from omroepwest.nl). He doesn’t live in The Hague, but he remembers taking the bus often to see his grandmother. The bus now sits in his backyard and he is working on renovating it. Apparently his wife was less than thrilled when he said he wanted to purchase it…

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Awww (Or: Cute little bikes)

Apparently even the littlest bikes can be left out on the street. It is very Dutch, although I don’t see usually bikes this small on the street:

And in other news, the Netherlands have managed to mess things up again yet. Even with the delta variant starting to hit Europe, they decided to relax more measures than expected in late June, including only requiring face maks on public transportation and opening dance clubs without social distancing restrictions. To enter the dance club one needed to either be vaccinated or take a test that was not older than 40 hours. But one could be considered “vaccinated” if they received the J&J vaccine earlier in the day and went clubbing that night. And as you know, it takes a bit of time to build up some protection, especially against the Delta variant…

Check it out:

And really, I think the only reason today is lower is that it is Sunday. If we continue at this rate testing numbers will look like they have stabilized but in reality we have merely hit the maximum number of tests we can analyze per day.

See also: Misuse of access testing may be behind Covid outbreak at Enschede club from nltimes.nl. Out of 600 visitors, 180 of them got corona. This was the first weekend dance clubs were open again.

Note: I don’t think it was the fault of anyone who visited dance clubs, especially not in the first weekend. Clubs have been closed for over a year, so of course people will be desperate to go there, especially with the carrot of not needing to social distance. And yes, the Dutch government is following the UK model where a higher amount of cases is okay provided the number of hospital admissions or deaths does not increase drastically. But it would have been a bit better if they could have waited an extra 4-6 weeks so that more people could get fully vaccinated.

It just means I am counting down the days until my second vaccine even more than before. Almost there!

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Loot! (Or: Kelly’s expat store)

What does one do when they have a day off? They go to Kelly’s expat store, of course!

Here is my loot:

We have:

  • 4 bottles of Cholula’s chipotle hot sauce
  • 2 bottles of Cholula’s sweet haberno hot sauce
  • 1 bottle of Cholula’s chili garlic hot sauce
  • 2 bottles of Red’s devil wing barbecue sauce
  • 1 bottle of French’s yellow mustard
  • 3 bottles of Coffee-mate, French Vanilla flavor (liquid, of course… the powdered version is not worth it)
  • 2 boxes of Ritz crackers (best eaten with Fabi Lobi peanut butter… that is peanut butter made with Madam Jeanette pepper. So spicy, but oh so tasty!)
  • 2 boxes of Old El Paso’s “stand ‘n’ stuff” taco boats
  • Taki’s (Mexican chips), blue heat flavor – impulse buy #1
  • Mini baking marshmallows – impulse buy #2
  • 1 box of sultana raisin scones – impulse buy #3

That is way more than I expected to buy, but it was worth it.

Categories: Everyday purchases | 4 Comments

Through the fences (Or: Amare cultural complex)

The Amare cultural complex is looking pretty good indeed. Most of the construction walls are down, making it much easier to see the progress. Here is a photo I took last weekend:

Officially the building was supposed to be turned over to its tenants on 1 July, however the tenants refused to receive it yet (article from omroepwest.nl in Dutch). However, the following day they clarified and said there was no panic and that they just needed to get the final details ready (also from omroepwest.nl).

Almost there…

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Bikes and canals (Or: Canal by Denneweg)

Happy Saturday, everyone!

I took a few photos of the canal by the Dennewegbrug. “Denneweg” is the street name and “brug” is Dutch for bridge.

And in other news, there was a demonstration today at Malieveld, not far from The Hague’s Centraal station. The name is Blijf van onze kinderen af, or “Stay away from our kids”. The article is from regio15.nl in Dutch, with lots of photos. including a photo at the end of one very smart ice cream seller who knows he will do good business here.

The reason for the demonstration? The Netherlands recently decided that 12 – 17 year olds can be vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine if they wanted. 16 and 17 year olds can independently choose for the vaccine, while younger kids need their parents’ permission. The first shot would be given now and the second shot would follow during the first month of school. Appointments for anyone born in 2004 could be made since yesterday, with 2005, 2006 and so forth following next week.

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Another world (Or: Flash flooding in southeast Netherlands)

It has been quite rainy in the Netherlands this week. Today was no different – highs were around 16C/60F with showers off and on the whole day. And nearby Scheveningen was host to one of the most dangerous forms of lightning strikes this past Saturday (article from nltimes.nl). It was indeed rather loud.

Last night there was a storm hanging over Germany, the southeast part of the Netherlands and Belgium. And it decided to just sit there for hours, pouring down rain. See this tweet:

And another tweet can be found here.

In other news:

[Dutch] Broadcaster apologizes for Nazi subtitle reference during Euro’s Germany anthem from nltimes.nl. Opps?

Video of 15 year old driving Limburg train under investigation from nltimes.nl. I want to say “Opps?” here too, except that this one was actually deliberate…

Click here if you want to see what an exploded work/service bus looks like (regio15.nl). The police are working on the theory that it was due to a gas canister inside the bus exploding. The driver was seriously injured (rumor is he was getting into the vehicle when it happened) and 20 houses have exploded windows, but it could have been worse.

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