Monthly Archives: October 2015

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas (Or: Wait, what? Really?)

Marco and I went to Marks and Spencer for coffee and noticed along the way that the Christmas items were out. It’s not November yet, but I am sure Christmas items have been out by American stores for at least a few weeks. Halloween and Thanksgiving be damned, of course.

I have to admit that the Christmas tree cookie by the coffee was a nice, cute touch:

Christmas tree cookie and coffee, Marks and Spencer

And the Christmas section included ornaments, Christmas cards and wrapping paper and snow globes and…

Christmas items by Marks and Spencer in The Hague 2015

I didn’t buy anything. But I do like looking. Marco, the good husband that he is, rolled his eyes politely but came along.

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

Dutch painting trivia (Or: Next to ‘Girl with a pearl earring’)

I am sure a lot of you know the painting ‘Girl with a pearl earring’ in The Hague, painted by Vermeer.

Girl with a pearl earring

But do you know what painting is next to it in the room?

It’s a head scratcher.

Mother combing her child's hair

‘Mother combing her child’s hair’. Not too noteworthy, right?

Except she is not holding a comb.

The sub title is ‘Hunting for Lice’.

Yep.

I wonder if that was deliberate to keep the line moving after you study the Girl with a pearl earring. Though the painting is beautiful in its own right.

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It’s all in the label (Or: Homemade jalapeno hot sauce)

Marco made his special jalapeno hot sauce again this weekend (to accompany tonight’s dinner of soft-shelled tacos). I especially liked the label he made:

homemade jalapeno hot sauce bottle

Death to the drinker. Well, not really, but it looks cool!

However I think the skull and swords would be more apt for the ghost pepper hot sauce, but unfortunately we don’t have the ingredients to make that at home (but we do have two store-bought versions).

Maybe next time he will take it up a notch and make habanero sauce!

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At the water’s edge (Or: Gemeentemuseum in The Hague)

Some time ago I was walking past the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague. As you might be able to guess from the name, it’s an art museum. I’ve only been inside once so far, to see a Delfts blauw exhibit. That is blue and white pottery made in the Delft area since the 16th century.

Gemeentemuseum in The Hague

Pretty, huh?

The weather is turning colder this week. About 50 degrees Fahrenheit, when it should be closer to 60 for this time of year. It’s hard to believe it will be Christmas in a few months!

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

Guide dogs (Or: Superheroes at the tram stop

Marco noticed this advertisement when we got off the tram a few days ago. I figured I had to take a picture for my mom, since Spiderman is played by a papillon (the breed our last two dogs were). Papillon translates to “butterfly”, referencing the butterfly shape of their ears.

Guide dogs advertisement at tram stop in The Hague

It’s actually an advertisements for guide dogs. The text translates to “You can recognize the real superhero by their outfit”. The campaign is run by KNGF Geleidehonden

The other photo we took was of the uurnet card dispenser machine – €3.50 for a 1 hour card. A bit expensive, but that’s the point – they prefer that you have an OV-chip card instead. You can find these machines on the randstad rail trams (2, 3, and 4). The other tram types require you to buy a ticket from the driver at the front of the tram.

HTM uurnet kaartapparaat buiten dienst

Of course, the joke is that the machines on the randstad rail trams are almost always out of order. As it is in this photo. It’s a bit hard to read but the main text says “Apparaat buiten dienst”, or Machine out of order, with the line translated into various languages below that.

Categories: Transportation | Tags: | 1 Comment

Mr. Clean versus Mr. Proper (Or: Brand name differences)

A few days ago I was at Albert Heijn. I thought this would be a fun topic for the blog:

Bottles of Mr Proper, Albert Heijn, The Hague

I did not post the picture to show how tall the shelves are/how short I am. I already know that! Usually Marco is around when I need something from a tall shelf so it works out, thankfully.

The photo is actually of a cleaner called “Mr. Proper”. If you’re American you’ll probably more easily recognize it as “Mr. Clean”. But like most things, names are translated into local languages. And that doesn’t stop at everyday purchases – for example Hermione in the Harry Potter books is named Hermelien in Dutch. Hmm.

I read the Wikipedia article for “Mr. Clean” before writing this blog post. My favorite random fact was the following: “make mrproper is a command in the Linux kernel build system, used to “clean up” all files from past builds and restore the build directory to its original clean state.” And of course proper was used in place from clean because the creator of Linux was from Europe.

Finally, I am also amused by the simplest thing: the pronunciation of “Mr. Proper”. Mr. is actually an abbreviation for Meneer (which still translates to Mister). You would pronounce it something like: Meh-neer Pro-per, with emphasis on “pro”. The syllable splitting of proper gets me; in Dutch if you have one consonant it always attaches itself to the second syllable, not the first. Prop-er would be incorrect in Dutch. (If you have two consonants one goes with the first syllable and the other with the second syllable: kap-per.)

And thus ends our random Dutch supermarket lesson.

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

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