Monthly Archives: December 2018

Lines for oliebollen (Or: 2018 edition)

As mentioned in a few months back, the oliebollenkraam (= stand to sell oliebollen) has temporarily moved to the Grote Markt due to construction around the Spuiplein. I suspect the move has been good for them and they are making much more money where they currently are. They are consistently voted one of the best stands in this providence.

Oliebollen is sort of like a doughnut and covered in powdered sugar. They are traditionally filled with raisins, but you can get them without raisins as well these days. They are eaten around New Years Eve, although you can also find them at carnivals throughout the year.

Here is a look at the line around 10:30 this morning:

And a close up, to show you what the stand looks like:

So the lines weren’t too bad at 10:30. This is what it looks like around 14:30, just four hours later:

There’s still three lines, give or take, and they stretch just to the edge of the tram/bus area. Compare that to the lines in 2014 and 2015. Of course that is at the old location, where it is easier to just have a single line.

I suspect the crowds will be greatest around 17:00, when everyone is out of work. However by then festivities will also be starting at our place so we won’t be going outside until closer to midnight, for the fireworks.

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

Christmas at city hall (Or: A look at the tree)

Just a photo of the Christmas tree at The Hague’s city hall:

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Christmas crafts (Or: The joy of the unexpected)

One gift that made Marco laugh (for a long time I might add!) was made by Marco’s dad and his wife:

The gift: two bottles of “melted snowman”

How cute is that? We now own two melted snowman! Complete with the melted ice (safely stored in a water bottle) and a tiny plastic bag containing his hat, nose, eyes, and mouth. Hehe!

Another craft from them was the yearly Christmas card – check it out!

Keeping company with the 2018 Christmas caed is an old tin (which previously had Lebkuchen in it) and a fully decked out library.

And a much deserved close up of the Christmas card, so that you can better see the intricacies of it:

Check it out…

Mooi! (beautiful)

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Christmas at Media Markt (Or: An inviting tree at the entrance)

A photo of the Christmas tree at the local Media Markt here in The Hague:

Media Markt is “the” electronics store of the Netherlands, a chain that started in Germany. According to Wikipedia, it’s the largest electronics retailer here in Europe, and the second largest worldwide after America’s Best Buy. The one thing to get used to is that most or all of the stores are franchises, so the price might differ between stores.

Media Markt is also known as the place to go during the BTW-vrij week, which usually happens around the end of January. BTW-vrij = Media Markt deducts the taxes from the price so you don’t have to pay it.

Merry (2nd day of) Christmas!

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A quirk of Dutch television (Or: You mean I have to stay up until midnight?)

I don’t know, this probably happens in other countries too. However, the first time I remembered encountering it was after I moved to the Netherlands.

Last night, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York was on TV. It started at 8:30pm and ended at 10:30pm. Or so I thought… Around 10:20, I turned to Marco and said: “I don’t understand how this movie is going to end in 10 minutes. Kevin is just starting to prepare his offensive against those two robbers.” Marco thought for a moment and said: “Oh. I know what they are doing”, in a slightly offended tone. We looked it up:

Eek! It doesn’t end at all at 10:30. The TV provider just decided to skip a few programs in between. With a sinking heart, I realized I’d have to stay awake until 11:55pm to see the whole movie. I’m no spring chicken, so I decided there was no second half of the movie for me.

It’s not the first time this has happened – I remember our friend Roger mentioning how he hates that, since he would change the channel during the “intermission” programs and then forget to go back – but it was still annoying.

Oh well. My parents (and most of the US, who are able to watch the 24 hour TV marathon) will be happy to know there is a copy of A Christmas Story on the table, waiting to be watched. Repeatedly. It’s tradition!

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Candles and ornaments (Or: Merry Christmas, 2018)

Merry Christmas!

Pictured above are three ornaments from the early 1980s. On the ornaments are cherubim. Dad bought them for Mom way back when, and I was able to take them with at some point after moving here. So now they go on our tree!  

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A pile of wine bottles neatly left behind (Or: No deposit on them I assume)

Captured at Albert Heijn, the local grocery store:

Lots and lots of wine bottles… someone must have had a party! This is by the bottle return area (the bottom part pictured here is for returning a beer crate), so I assume wine bottles don’t have a deposit on them. I am not much of a wine drinker (besides the occasional prosecco) so I’m not sure.

Still, kudos to them for leaving them behind without making a mess. Although it does mean work for Albert Heijn to get rid of them.

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Royal Christmas Fair, 2018 (Or: Gifts in The Hague)

The Royal Christmas Fair is running until this Sunday. Here are some photos that I took when I visited with Marco:

Taken on December 14, opening day
How festive!

This year we bought a bag of lebkuchen – German Christmas cookies. YUM!

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Christmas at Bijenkorf (Or: 2018 offerings)

As usual, Bijenkorf (a local upscale department store) has beautiful Christmas displays.

Here is what the Christmas tree looks like this year:

This year they went with a lot of blue lights, and no ornaments. I like it.

For reference the tree starts around the 2nd floor (1st floor if you’re European) and is about four floors tall.

Lots of teddy bears on sale. His official name is ‘Bobbie’ and he has his own page. You might remember him from a previous blog post I did with the window displays – the group of bears was his family.

Entrance to the Christmas department (which is what Kerst Afdeling translates to).
Christmas tree full of Nijntje ornaments – how cute! In English she goes by Miffy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miffy

Bijenkorf always outdoes themselves with their holiday displays!

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More photos of Thanksgiving in the States (Or: I’m still cold)

Here are some more photos from the Thanksgiving vacation to Chicago and Indy, randomly chosen. 

Right next to our hotel was a Gino’s East. Home of Chicago’s famous deep dish pizza. Seriously, it looks more like a pie than a pizza. They also allow (and encourage) writing on any piece of wall you can reach. Chairs too. Basically everything but the tables. 

More graffiti

Another place we visited was Andersonville. Being a public transportation nerd, I really wanted to visit Transit Tees, which has both Chicago souvenirs for the L (transit system) as well as general souvenirs for the city and surrounding area. I ended up getting a card game and a puzzle. There was also a comic book store, at the end of an alleyway…

Marco and I wondered why there was no sign that said “Crime Alley”. That’s a Batman joke…
Millenium Park looking rather festive, with a building illuminated in purple behind.

We also visited a store called “It’s Sugar!” at the Navy Pier. Oh. My. God. It lives up its name…

Cereal sized boxes of candy. I especially love Dingle Bearies, which is actually chocolate covered gummy bears.

Closer to the Ferris wheel, you have an indoor rainforest of sorts. Nice and warm in the middle of winter, with lots of fun fountains spouting water every which way (including archways over paths).

Nice and warm, nice and warm….
Heading over to Indianapolis, here is a collection of candy canes. I almost regret not getting the Oreo candy canes…
And finally, a peaceful photo of a doll left on a chair, at my dad’s church (I got the grand tour).
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