Monthly Archives: July 2015

Spanish ham (Or: Lunch at Ibericus in The Hague)

Recently I had lunch at a new restaurant in The Hague: Ibericus. It is on Frederik Hendriklaan, close to Scheveningen and best reached with tram 17. Ibericus is a Spanish restaurant and ham bar which serves tapas as well as many different kinds of sandwiches. I had a ham focaccia and it was delicious.

Their ham is imported from Spain and comes from the native Iberian pig. Some of the ham shoulders are sold for over €400 euros.

Ham choices at Ibericus

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Marco’s birthday (Or: Friday festivities and stormy Saturdays)

Saturday was Marco’s birthday. Fijne verjaardag! We had a few parties to celebrate. The first was at Eten en zo (a buffet type restaurant) with Marco’s father and his wife. They made a really awesome birthday card for Marco. As Marco says: first she made awesome cards. Then she made awesome 3D cards. And now… Well now she made this:

Birthday card box

It’s a box. Go on, open it. I dare you.

(When you open it the four sides fall outward.) Echt gaaf, zeg!

Opened birthday card boxThey also gave him this really cool “money plant” proving once and for all that money does grow on trees (het is bewijs dat geld wél aan bomen groeit). Two cucumbers as plants, with many 50 cent pieces stuck in them, and a few 10 euro bills fastened together like flower blooms.

Saturday Roger and Marco’s mom came over. Originally Marco wanted to barbecue but we heard on Friday that the coast areas were going to see some storm action (up to 55-70mph winds). We went to see Ant-Man with Roger in the afternoon and it was already pretty windy with a lot of rain at times. The only thing that kept my Wrigley Field hat on was that I put my ponytail through it. Okay, and it’s not my hat. I borrowed it from Marco. 😉

Around 6pm we got a call from Marco’s mom that her tram wasn’t running and that she was going to try the bus. Until then I hadn’t thought to check public transportation – though HTM only had general warnings placed across all lines versus any specific warnings. Fallen trams on the tracks or lines above were the main issues. But she eventually made it!

Dinner was pulled chicken (cooked for hours in the slow cooker), potato bits and bourbon glazed carrots. Birthday presents were mainly cooking related this year, with a barbecue tong, thermometer, and skewers unwrapped. Other presents included an Xbox game (Witcher), a few t-shirts and a tea timer (like an hourglass but with gel).

Luckily by the time things wrapped up the storm had died down. Now we can start scheming for Roger’s birthday in a month!

Categories: Friends&Family | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Leisurely nights (Or: A quiet Tuesday in July)

It’s a relaxing night here over in The Hague. Marco is currently playing Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag (a free game offered recently on Xbox One) and I am writing this blog post. While preparing for this blog post I came across another post I had done only the second day after moving to the Netherlands: Second day (Or: Settling in and unpacking). It was interesting to re-read all of the little things we did that day to get me settled in. One of the benefits of keeping a blog I guess!

Here is a random photo I took in the So Low in the centrum of The Hague. Sometimes you see the randomst things from American culture make it over to Europe (due to being used in films or TV shows mainly).

American style red cups for drinking

These cups are world famous for alcohol consumption at frat (fraternity) parties. Just to make sure the customer knows the connection, they are called “American cups”. My favorite, though? When you see something marketed as American or with an American flag which is most decidedly not American. I do not have any examples at the moment unfortunately.

And that puzzle that I blogged about a few days ago? Done!

Folded up puzzle

The lady at the bottom (in the pink bikini) is looking a bit concerned at the destruction of her world…

The next one I have to put together has a car garage theme. Body paint to be exact.

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Flags at half staff (Or: MH17)

Marco and I had a date night tonight – we chose to go see Inside Out at the Pathé movie theater at the Buitenhof. But beforehand I snapped a picture of the flags at half staff at the Buitenhof, commemorating the one year anniversary of the MH17 downing.

Flags at half staff for MH17 (Buitenhof, The Hague)

Hard to believe it has been a year already.

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Tram advertisements (Or: Anyone want to go to Scheveningen?)

As a side note I must say that I am proud to be able to spell Scheveningen without having to look it up. It definitely has to do with the weekly visits to Scheveningen to practice my Dutch with my taalcoach from SamenSpraak.

When riding around in a tram this summer I noticed an advertisement for taking the tram to Scheveningen:

Advertisement for Scheveningen in the tram

The tag line reads: “Have fun at the coast of The Hague”. The two lines underneath say:

  • Strolling on the boulevard and lounging at the beach pavilions
  • Fun events? Look at “Discover it with HTM” at (the tram website)

What caught my eye was the verb flaneren. I hadn’t seen it before so I had to look it up. There’s a few different English translations like to stroll, to amble, to saunter – all relaxed way of walking. But the Dutch definition suggests a bit more: lopen om gezien te worden, or walking to be seen.  There is no compact verb to express the two parts together in English (I think). Maybe “to strut” but that isn’t quite the same.

I thought it was pretty cool. Flaneren!

Categories: Scheveningen, The Hague | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Camping chaos (Or: Another Jan van Haasteren puzzle)

This week I have a new puzzle, again from the cartoonist Jan van Haasteren (read a previous puzzle post about him here). This week’s puzzle is called “Camping chaos”:

Camping chaos puzzle Jan van Haasteren

In the lower right you have a panicked mass of people trying to escape the man on the diving board. Well, actually, trying to escape the shark underneath the man on the diving board… There’s also a lot of people with cameras in this puzzle, occasionally filming scantily dressed women. That’s the Dutch humor for you.

And of course the usual random floating hand coming out of unexpected places, a trademark of his. No Sinterklaas in this puzzle, though.

Puzzle progressLet’s see how long it takes to finish all of the paths and green areas…

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Huge pans (Or: Would you like paella with that?)

A while ago Marco and I were at DOK, a cooking store in The Hague. I could not resist taking a picture of this…

Four foot paella pan

The tag read 120cm (about four feet). Yeesh!

Categories: Food, The Hague | Tags: | 2 Comments

End of the school year cards (Or: One of these doesn’t quite belong…)

I made a quick trip to Albert Heijn to pick up some broccoli. (If you had told me five years ago that I would willingly buy broccoli, I would have laughed. Hard.) Anyway, it was rather busy when I went so I had plenty of time to stare at the items for sale around the cash register, especially the “Congrats! You survived the hell that is school!” cards.

And then I noticed one of them isn’t quite the same as the others. You don’t even need to know Dutch to guess which.

End of year school cards at Albert Heijn

For your information, geslaagd means that you passed. Gezakt, with the sad looking smiley above on the right? Bummer. You failed. I took a peek inside – blank.

Categories: Amersfoort, Everyday purchases | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Summer! (Or: Friday night in Scheveningen)

Friday night was the annual summer party at work. Like last year, it was held at a beach restaurant in Scheveningen (about 20 minutes by tram from the city center). Coincidentally summer arrived this week with the pastures consistently higher. Some days were around 33-34C (90F+). Perfect beach weather to sit in the sun for a few hours and work on your tan…

Summer drinks at the Scheveningen beach

Summer drinks at the Scheveningen beach


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Blue and green (Or: Greetings from the Irish countryside)

On Saturday Marco and I visited a friend who lives in the Wicklow Mountains, just south of Dublin. It was nice to see another side of Dublin, rather than just the city center…

Irish countryside - Wicklow Mountains 2

Apparently the lake is man-made, having been filled in the 1930s or thereabouts.

Irish countryside - Wicklow Mountains

The lake through the trees…

And a bonus photo of the Samuel Beckett bridge (designed to look like a harp lying on its side, an iconic Irish icon) and behind it the Dublin convention center with its tilted glass atrium (54 meters high).

Samuel Beckett bridge in Dublin

Samuel Beckett bridge, with the Dublin convention center directly behind it.

And this (probably) concludes my Dublin related posts. Probably. I hope you enjoyed them!

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