Monthly Archives: December 2015

New Year’s Eve (Or: Waiting in line for oliebollen)

Similar to a post I did last year – here’s a look at the line of people waiting for oliebollen on New Year’s Eve. Oliebollen is a sort of doughnut covered in powdered sugar.

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Waiting for Godot (and oliebollen)

And be a look at the stand itself (voted #1 this year in The Hague):

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This was around 12pm – Marco said the line was about twice as long (by the library) around 2pm. Crazy. This year they even had a street organ playing music for those waiting, which was a nice touch.

Fine jaarwisseling! Happy New Year!

Categories: Food, Holidays, News, The Hague | Tags: , | 3 Comments

Holiday trams (Or: Tram 1 in The Hague, 2015)

This year HTM in The Hague decked out a tram for the holidays. Here is another look at the tram, showing off the lights at night (a picture in the daylight can found in this blog post). Tram 1 runs between Scheveningen and Delft.

2015 holiday tram 1 in The Hague

Last year HTM placed a piano at the Spui tram stop.

Categories: Holidays, Transportation | Tags: , | 5 Comments

Fireworks! (Or: Blowing up a small part of the Netherlands)

Blog post title is a reference to a quote from The Simpsons: “Celebrate the independence of your nation by blowing up a small part of it!”

It’s that time of the year again. Time to buy fireworks!

Fireworks flyer 2015 (Netherlands)

Of course the Dutch take New Year’s celebrations to the extreme. A fireworks complaint hotline had 17,000 complaints within 2 days of it opening (10 days before New Year’s). The American government emailed their usual warning to US citizens in the Netherlands (link from 2014, but it’s pretty much the same this year). The city website has safety measures, which includes a list of fireworks-free zones in The Hague.

And yes, the prices in the flyer above are insane!

Categories: Holidays | Tags: , | 3 Comments

Elaborate things (Or: Christmas cards and desserts)

Merry Christmas all!

To celebrate the holidays, here is a photo of the card that Marco’s dad and his wife made and gave us:

Christmas card 2015

(We’ve had it for a while but on the off chance that another relative reading this blog would get a copy, I decided to hold off on posting it.) At the bottom of the photo you can also see the box it came in.

Another Christmas-y photo – Roger made a tiramisu dessert in a wine glass for his family’s Christmas dinner. Here is the yummy result:

Tiramisu dessert

I can say Marco and I had the pleasure of being guinea pigs twice for this dessert so he could get it just-right for today’s big unveiling.

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Christmas eve (Or: Bijenkorf’s Christmas tree)

Today I briefly visited Bijenkorf, a department store, to take a picture of the tree they always have. This isn’t any tree… it stands 4 floors tall, with the base actually above the ground floor (so you could peek under the tree, technically). This was this year’s design:

Bijenkorf Christmas tree 2015 (The Hague, 1)

And a close up of the design (the gold items are large, round boxes):

Bijenkorf Christmas tree 2015 (The Hague, 2)

I must admit it does not really feel like Christmas eve. I think it has to do with the fact that I even worked today. Just a half day, though. I am not completely insane.

Fijne kerstdagen!

Categories: Holidays, The Hague | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Christmas in The Hague (Or: Markets and trees)

On Thursday I went to the Christmas market here in The Hague. It is by the Hofvijfer (Buitenhof), although tonight is the last night. And the craziest stall there? One selling ugly Christmas sweaters.

Christmas market by the Hofvijfer in The Hague, 2015

And here’s a look at the Christmas tree in De Passage:

Christmas tree in de Passage, The Hague, 2015

I’ve written about the Christmas tree a few times, back when the Apple store’s impending arrival threatened its existence, and when it came back (unexpectedly). It’s come back in the two years since, so it looks like it is here to stay.

Two more nights, and then it is Christmas!

Categories: Holidays | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Bikes all around (Or: Advertisements for bike parking)

The Hague currently has an issue with the amount of bikes it has lying around, especially in the city center. Over the last year or so The Hague has opened a handful of new bike parking areas, including under the public library. Future work will be done at The Hague’s two train stations (Centraal station and Holland Spoor).

One of the more crowded areas in the city center is by Hema, where the amount of bikes has doubled over the last few years. The city has started putting free bicycle covers on every bike in the area for advertisement purposes:

Bikes in The Hague

It says “Put your bike in a free, guarded bike park”

Each bike also gets an advertisement on one of their handles, complete with a map of the nearby free, guarded bike areas in the neighborhood.

Bike seat cover in The Hague

The trick is that it is free for the first 24 hours – if you do not remove your bike at the end of the day you need to pay to get it back. This in theory prevents the rider from using the area as a free storage area for a few months (only in theory, as some people just never come back for the bike).

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

Dr. Anton Philipszaal (Or: The building is almost gone)

As I mentioned earlier in the week, Dr. Anton Philipszaal is almost completely erased. A few days ago they were knocking down the iconic red roof. And now…

Dr Anton Philipszaal - almost torn down 2015

It is crazy how fast it goes. Only the black windows on the left side of the building are left.

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Really? (Or: THAT is extreme weather, HTM?)

Marco and I were recently waiting for the tram. While waiting, we had a look at the information posted at the stop. They had recently added in a poster about tram and bus service during “extreme weather”.

I don’t know – would you call this extreme weather?

Extreme weather sign in The Hague

Perhaps it is the fact that I come from Chicago, where extreme weather would be, at a minimum, a foot of snow (30cm). But even then, there is a good chance of getting a foot of snow in any given year…

And here you have “extreme weather” being labeled as a dusting of snow! Insane Dutchies.

And another festive note, tram 1 decorated for the holidays:

Tram 1 decorated for Christmas, The Hague

(Pssssst. No snow to be seen!)
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Three years in the Netherlands! (Or: Christmas photos)

I realized this afternoon that it was the 3rd anniversary of my arriving in the Netherlands (18 December).

2012 post || 2013 post || 2014 post (n/a)

Three years already! Time has flown by. And each year seems warmer then the next. Silly global warming…

Here are some random Christmas photos. A stand for oliebollen:

Oliebollenkraam The Hague Centrum 2015

Christmas lights at Bijenkorf, an upper end department store, in The Hague Centrum (see also last year’s post):

Christmas lights Bijenkorf The Hague 2015

Christmas lights at The Hague, Spui (Centrum), by the movie theatre, across from V&D:

Christmas lights Spui The Hague 2015

Christmas lights at Bijenkorf in Amsterdam:

Christmas lights Bijenkorf Amsterdam 2015

Happy Friday, all!

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

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