Author Archives: Niki

About Niki

I run the blog http://www.lifeinthehague.com

Veteran’s Day interviews at the Malieveld (Or: Another difference this year)

In previous years I have posted about the Veteran’s Day activities in The Hague – generally there is a parade and events at the Malieveld. However, things are different this year due to the corona crisis. But I was able to spot a veteran being interviewed at the Malieveld yesterday:

It’s possible the interview will show up in a piece on the national broadcast newschannel (NOS) today or perhaps a short-lived TV commercial.

Oh, and I was nice enough to crop the horse… leavings… out of the photo. Welcome to The Netherlands. Occasionally mounted police patrol the city, especially during events like the should-not-have-been-held demonstration last weekend on the Malieveld. Or maybe it was from a Black Lives Matter demonstration the week before that. But then no one cleans up after the police horses, so the excrement sits there for weeks.

And speaking of that should-not-have-been-held demonstration from last week: the group requested again to hold a demonstration tomorrow at the Malieveld but they were again denied by the mayor of The Hague – see this article at nltimes.nl. The leader said that he would still come as an individual (not a demonstrator) and asked other demonstrators to come as “individuals” as well.

Maybe they should bring picnic baskets? Considering there were over 400 arrests last Sunday, it looks like it will again be interesting in The Hague tomorrow…

Edited to add: the leader is now saying that he will no longer come to the Malieveld and he requests that other demonstrators also do not come (article in Dutch at nos.nl).

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Beer and chicken (Or: Zwarte Ruiter in The Hague)

Today Marco and I went to the Zwarte Ruiter in The Hague. It is one of the bar/restaurants on the Grote Markt. Since I took a vacation day today we were able to go a bit earlier in the day when it wasn’t too busy yet.

My beer (the Blurred lines on the left) was definitely fruity! It had citrus, passion fruit, peach, pineapple and mango.

In other news:

  • Do you remember the country-wide issue with the emergency number 112 last year? They released a report this week about what happened and the unique set of circumstances that made it even worse. You can read about it in English at nltimes.nl or in Dutch at nos.nl. One of the worst mistakes? They sent an NL-Alert to everyone which said the police were contactable on WhatsApp via <phone_number>. That phone number was incorrect; it was actually a number for the tip line by De Telegraaf, a Dutch newspaper. Yikes!
  • Van der Sar: play big Eredivisie games in second half of season from dutchnews.nl. It’s a good article if you’re into football/soccer – it talks about moving the big matches to after the winter break to adjust for a lack of home advantage, since stadiums will not have fans right away.
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The Hague is baking (Or: Whew!)

The Netherlands is in a minor heatwave that will last for about 3 and a half days. High 80s, low 90s temperatures (Fahrenheit). That does not sound that hot, but for us poor souls without air conditioning (or an office to retreat to) – whew! I am warm. I didn’t have as much trouble yesterday, but today I am definitely feeling it. We have one more day of high temperatures tomorrow before the weather turns on Saturday, including a bit of rain.

Speaking of The Hague, the latest news is…

…a Uniqlo store will be coming to us in the fall. This is where Marks and Spencer used to be (let’s flash back to early 2014 when It opened – oh how I miss you!) Uniqlo is a Japanese fashion store. Wikipedia says there has been a store in Amsterdam since 2018. Who knew.

In other news:

Stay cool everyone! ☀️

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Coronavirus measures (Or: Early end to “the roadmap”)

A few months ago, the Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte announced a “spoorboekje” or “roadmap” of coronavirus measures that would last until 1 September, with relaxation of certain rules every two to four weeks.

However, the government announced today that the rules could be adjusted sooner due to the situation improving faster than expected. Or maybe it was because the number of demonstrations and protestors was increasing fast. At any rate, what was supposed to be relaxed on 1 September will instead be relaxed on 1 July, for the most part.

Samen kunnen we dit aan” or “Together we can do this” sign at the Lange Poten, The Hague

Some highlights include:

Continue reading
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Kerkplein (Or: Enjoying a summer breeze)

Kerkplein (“church plaza”) is a plaza by the Grote Kerk and the Old City Hall, the latter being where Marco and I were married in 2013 – very cool.

The church is the wall just on the right edge of the picture. In the distance is a terrace for the Anne and Max café, which Marco and I visited a few weeks ago. Spoiler: I can recommend it!

The photo above is looking across the Kerkplein towards a building across the street. The same flowers in the foreground were used in 2013. The city frequently puts out those red flowers – they even made an appearance in Marco and I’s wedding photos!

As always, if you are in this area I can recommend the Cheesecake Company which is just off the right edge of the above photo. Tasty!

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Summer cool (Or: Fountain by Centraal Station)

Here is a sign that the summer has returned to the Netherlands: they have turned on the fountain by Centraal Station, in the Anna van Buerenplein:

Since we’re now past 21 June I guess it means that summer can officially begin. And it looks like it will start with a bang – a small heatwave from Tuesday at any rate.

In other news:

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Malieveld (Or: Sit-ins, flowers, picnicking)

As I mentioned a few days ago, the mayor of The Hague refused to allow a festival against corona restrictions to happen today (see article from nltimes.nl). This was because the expected attendance grew from 100 to 10,000 and the organization billed it more as an “event” than a demonstration, including having DJs along with speakers. And since events aren’t allowed right now, it was only logical that it would not be allowed.

But as you might expect, this doesn’t stop everyone from showing up. There were about 10 arrests earlier this morning, of a group who refused to leave when the police requested that they do so. Some of the sticking points include the fact that the city has held two Black Lives Matter festivals in the last few weeks and that the Netherlands was poised to sign a corona measures law to replace the current emergency ordinances we have in place that are due to expire soon. That law has since been delayed amid some controversy that it impedes on fundamental rights (it would have even given police power over situations in private housing). See also this article from dutchnews.nl.

Around lunchtime the number of demonstrators had increased to a few hundred and everyone was asked to leave the Malieveld, including people sunbathing or exercising. Most of the demonstrators moved to the edges of the Malieveld but did not leave. A few hours later there are a few thousand people at the demonstration. The mayor did allow them to demonstrate until 13:30, but considering he said that around 13:05 or 13:10, I can see why that annoyed a lot of people.

Duizenden betogers nemen Malieveld over, politie sluit Binnenhof en winkelgebied af from ad.nl. ‘Thousands of protestors take over Malieveld; police close off Binnenhof and the central shopping area’. However the number of protestors does vary by news site. The police also described the area as ‘tense’ a while ago while local news reporters said it was fairly relaxed. So it does depend on where you get are getting your sources from.

Closing the Binnenhof is fairly standard procedure to prevent demonstrators from going there, and I don’t think the shopping area is closed in the city centre, more that they are keeping a close eye on who is entering it to make sure demonstrators don’t enter. (As much as possible – there are reports of demonstrators with ‘stop the lockdown’ shirts and demonstrators handing out flowers to random shoppers.) Oh, and I also saw a photo of group of demonstrators with ‘free hugs’ shirts on, which is no doubt done on purpose in these corona times. I also saw on Twitter that people were being encouraged to celebrate Father’s Day by having a picnic on the Malieveld.

At this point (around 14:30), some people have begun to leave the area. However football supporters have arrived (see the tweet above) and the police are asking people not to go to the city centre anymore. There’s also at least one helicopter flying overhead. With that being said – demonstrations in the Netherlands are peaceful, and it makes sense that emotions will boil over in this situation, on both sides.

The local news site does have a live stream (for now) on YouTube. They do report that the connection is a bit spotty at times.

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Viaduct art (Or: Hofvijfer mural by Centraal Station)

Have you seen the murals by the entrance to the Centraal Station yet? There are murals painted on both sides of the tram viaduct (used by trams 2, 3, 4 and 6) which you can view from the tram stops outside of the station.

Check out this mural of the nearby Hofvijver:

As I walking into the kitchen this morning to start breakfast I heard a loud BAM! A bird flew against our back window, or at least the door frame between the two windows. Either way, I found it lying on its back twitching, rolling from side to side in an attempt to get up. But it was pretty obvious it wasn’t going to last long; within 5-10 minutes it was dead.

After waiting the appropriate time to make sure it was dead (and admiring an unexpectedly beautiful patch of blue on its wings), Marco carefully used a broom to push it into a box and place it into the waiting garbage bag (which is itself was put into a second garbage bag). We disposed of it in one of the public trash containers on the street.

And that is our tale of “…at least the window didn’t break…”

Categories: The Hague, Transportation | 2 Comments

Modern stone (Or: Primark building in The Hague)

One of my favorite additions to The Hague in the last five years is the building that houses Primark. Primark is a budget department store which attracts customers in droves (I used to see tourists walk past holding 4 or 5 bags each). I took another photo of the building recently:

I love the color of the stone and the angles of the apartments above. And of course the blue skies definitely help.

In other news:

  • There’s a chance of a heat wave next week, with temperatures expected to be around 30C or 86F on Wednesday and Thursday. I know some of my American readers would go “Pffft! That’s nothing!” but keep in mind air conditioning is pretty rare in the Netherlands. And a lot of people are now working from home, so no office climate control for us! Time to break out the big fan.
  • The Hague forbids weekend protest festival against Covid restrictions from nltimes.nl. This was another group who wanted to protest at Malieveld. Originally there were supposed to be 100 attendees but then the organization decided to turn it into a ‘festival’ of sorts, altering speakers and DJs, so the expected attendance rose to 10,000. Considering festivals are banned at the moment, it’s no wonder that this demonstration was also banned. The decision was made by the mayor of The Hague this morning and the group then turned to the courts to get the ban overturned. The courts ruled earlier this evening that the ban could stay in place.
  • MOJO en Vodafone lanceren streamingplatform largerthan.live from vodafoneziggo.nl. MOJO (a ticket seller) and Vodafone (an internet and phone company) are together launching a streaming platform so that those with a virtual ticket can watch certain performances live from the Ziggo dome in Amsterdam. Fans can watch from their mobile devices or broadcast to the tv. They can also choose what camera angle they want. The most interesting point: at the moment the two companies say the streaming opportunities will continue even after things get back to normal. That could be interesting.
Categories: The Hague, Shopping | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Pork ramen (Or: Another Marco creation)

Is anyone interested in some pork ramen? Here’s the dish that Marco made for dinner tonight:

There is no way that I could remember all of the ingredients but some of the highlights are: pork, buckwheat noodles, red ginger shavings, sea weed sheets, baby corn, spring onions, black and white sesame seeds and a soy-marinated egg (the egg being the one ingredient I skipped). He created the broth basis last night, expanding on it tonight. There’s even a bit of lime in it, to give the broth a slight sourness (yum). My favorite was the red ginger shavings.

In other news:

  • Public broadcaster apologises for ‘k**wijf’ comment from rattled subtitler from dutchnews.nl. Opps! This was a live interview that was simultaneously subtitled “on the fly”. Apparently the speaker was a bit rattled and spoke too fast, which caused the subtitler a lot of issues. So the subtitler decided to call her the term you see above. While the link describes it as “stupid cow”, I would say it’s closer to b****. So yeah… opps?
  • Fewest Covid-19 patients in ICU since March 12 from nltimes.nl. There was a small increase last week that lasted about 3 or 4 days, but luckily it didn’t last long and the numbers started to decrease again.
Categories: Food | Tags: , | 2 Comments

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