As with most places in the world, beauty is blooming and yet there is no one around to see it. But this is where technology can help – be it cameras or drones. The first example is Clingendael, a Japanese garden situated in The Hague. I actually haven’t visited yet, partially because it is only open for a short time in the spring.
The second place is Keukenhof, not too far outside of The Hague. I mentioned it a few weeks ago in this blog already. It is a large tulip park, open for a few months in the year. Last year they had 1.5 million visitors. This year they weren’t even able to open before the crisis took hold.
The latest video they posted was of the violinist Rosanne Philippens playing during a sunrise:
They post videos of Keukenhof every few days – check out their YouTube channel for more.
While it is still minimal, there is a growing sense of unrest in The Netherlands regarding the lockdown – that the economy is suffering because of it, that people’s freedoms are being taken away. This is apt because 4 May is the day where the Dutch remember the victims of WWII and 5 May is the day where the Dutch celebrate the freedom they have.
While our lockdown is labeled as an “intelligent lockdown” where you are asked to stay inside as much as you can and work from home as much as you can, it is nothing like the lockdowns seen in France, Italy or Spain where you were only let outside for emergency reasons with what basically amounts to a permission slip from the teacher. Those countries are just beginning to relax the harsh lockdowns.
Oh, and the country also has issues with persons burning down cell towers as some believe there is a link between 5G and the coronavirus (article in Dutch). Of course sometimes they burn down cell towers that are not 5G and are instead used for the national emergency number 112. Hmmm.
A few days back I snapped a photo. It shows a quote on the side of the tram viaduct leading into Centraal Station:
Een leven zonder boeken is onleefbaar – Erasmus / A life without books is unlivable – Erasmus
So true, so true. The National Library is around the corner, hence the quote.
Today marks the 8th week of working from home. Dare I say that it is becoming a bit… normal? It will be a bit difficult returning to work, both in terms of figuring out the social distancing rules at work (I suspect a lot more people will be taking the stairs) and in figuring out the public transportation situation (I suspect I’ll be walking more).
But my main concern is getting outside enough – it’s obviously getting a bit busier in the streets so it requires a bit more creative timing. Early in the morning or later in the evening. I’m exaggerating a bit, but not completely. On the other hand, it does mean I get to learn even more about The Hague. Time to get an encyclopedic knowledge of little known streets that still provide enough distance to pass each other when someone does walk your way.
Here is a photo of the street Herengracht in The Hague, not far from Centraal Station.
If you keep walking, you’ll come to the Korte Poten street, with the American Book Centre (or the “ABC store”, as some call it). They are open for limited browsing and order collection only. In the same area on your left is the Tweede Kamer (House of Representatives in English, literally “the second room”). And just a bit farther is the Centrum tram/bus stop which is of course a ghost town these days.
Here is a quick photo taken outside of the local Asian store, Amazing Oriental. Sometimes it is busy enough that you just gotta social distance yourself. There are small bits of caution tape along the wall letting you know where to stand.
Kudos to the store for keeping a manageable amount of people inside at the one time – you’re only able to enter when the worker brings back a free shopping cart. It was also a relatively fast moving line as the average wait was only two or three minutes.
I’ll admit I just thought it was a nice sign in the corona times, but Marco explained that it also a pun on the existing phrase ‘Houd je haaks!’ which is said when someone leaves. It means something like ‘Stay safe’, ”Keep well’ or ‘Take care’. The two phrases–Houdjehaaks and HoudjeHaags–sound very similar when spoken aloud, but of course #HoudjeHaags is the phrase Dutchies from The Hague would use.
And if you’re interested, the city of The Hague would like to sell you a t-shirt with that phrase, with a bit more than half of the proceeds going to charity.
Happy King’s Day, everyone! First, a picture of a mural in the city centre:
This mural is found at the entrance of what used to be one of the Amazing Oriental franchises until a few months ago. It’s in the Markthof, a small shopping area, at the entrance across from Momiji sushi. This one shouldn’t be confused with the larger Amazing Oriental franchise that is underground on the Grote Markt street. This store still exists but without the Amazing Oriental branding.
Not the best picture I’ve taken, but I needed to adhere to social distancing rules. This picture shows about 2/3rds of the mural.
Are you interested in seeing a short time lapse of tulip fields blooming, taken from a European Space Agency satellite? Check out the view at www.esa.int.
Okay, I’ll admit I’m not a big fan of delivery. I would gladly do takeover over delivery any day. I think I am in the minority, though!
Check out the sign by the local Momiji Sushi and Momiji Ramen. They are special enough to have two websites and two entrances (normally) – even though they are run by the same company and you can walk from one part to the other.
I am definitely a fan of the color work on that sign. I think maybe I’ll suggest we get some sushi… or ramen… this weekend. Yum!
Fun side note: “Ramen” means “windows” in Dutch. Let me tell you, Marco loves to make jokes about their windows every time we walk past. (I love that. Usually…)
Support your local business and stay safe, everyone.