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World Peace Flame (Or: Monument by the Peace Palace in The Hague)

Here is a photo I took of the World Peace Flame and the World Peace Pathway (around the flame) by the Peace Palace in The Hague:

(if you look closely, you can just see the flame within the blue stone)

The flame was created by seven nations and brought together in Wales, before being returned to the original countries. In that way there is more than one world peace flame. Here is a list of monuments at the official website.

The pathway was created by every country and region of the world (each one donated stones to create the pathway.

The plaque reads: The World Peace Flame: In July 1999 seven flames from five continents were united to create the World Peace Flame. The World Peace Pathway: 196 nations joined together in cooperation and unity to create the World Peace Path. Opened 27 April 2004. Please add your prayer for peace as you walk around.

Categories: Culture, The Hague | Leave a comment

Loot! (Or: Kelly’s expat store)

What does one do when they have a day off? They go to Kelly’s expat store, of course!

Here is my loot:

We have:

  • 4 bottles of Cholula’s chipotle hot sauce
  • 2 bottles of Cholula’s sweet haberno hot sauce
  • 1 bottle of Cholula’s chili garlic hot sauce
  • 2 bottles of Red’s devil wing barbecue sauce
  • 1 bottle of French’s yellow mustard
  • 3 bottles of Coffee-mate, French Vanilla flavor (liquid, of course… the powdered version is not worth it)
  • 2 boxes of Ritz crackers (best eaten with Fabi Lobi peanut butter… that is peanut butter made with Madam Jeanette pepper. So spicy, but oh so tasty!)
  • 2 boxes of Old El Paso’s “stand ‘n’ stuff” taco boats
  • Taki’s (Mexican chips), blue heat flavor – impulse buy #1
  • Mini baking marshmallows – impulse buy #2
  • 1 box of sultana raisin scones – impulse buy #3

That is way more than I expected to buy, but it was worth it.

Categories: Everyday purchases | 4 Comments

Through the fences (Or: Amare cultural complex)

The Amare cultural complex is looking pretty good indeed. Most of the construction walls are down, making it much easier to see the progress. Here is a photo I took last weekend:

Officially the building was supposed to be turned over to its tenants on 1 July, however the tenants refused to receive it yet (article from omroepwest.nl in Dutch). However, the following day they clarified and said there was no panic and that they just needed to get the final details ready (also from omroepwest.nl).

Almost there…

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New ice cream flavors by Sla (Or: Would you try it?)

Here is a photo Marco took for me on Saturday when we went out for a walk:

Sla is a “healthy food” type restaurant that you can find in the Netherlands. The sign reads:

“New by Sla! Vegan ice cream. Raspberry, mango passion fruit, avocado coconut and… head of lettuce! You just have to try it!”

Oddly enough I am actually intrigued by the lettuce ice cream… are you?

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

Covid tests at the local supermarket (Or: Quite a supply)

Covid quick tests for home use have been available at Dutch supermarkets for the last month or two. Today I noticed a pile of tests by the self-checkout. I am sure they have always been there and that I just hadn’t noticed them.

The government has a page (in Dutch) listing which quick tests are officially recognized in the Netherlands.

In other news: five new islands have been added to the Netherlands in a 78 million euro project. The Dutch are known for reclaiming land from the sea, as you probably know. This dutchnews.nl article says the islands have been reclaimed for use in nature.

Also: Golden Carriage arrives at Amsterdam Museum after restoration from dutchnews.nl. The golden carriage needed to be maneuvered into position with a crane, as the carriage was placed in the (inner) courtyard. The museum used to be an orphanage and orphans had helped design the carriage back in 1898, hence why it is going on display there after a five year renovation.

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

Dining in (Or: Corona measure relaxations)

Okay, technically this rule was relaxed last Saturday, but we did not take “advantage” of it until now. We are now allowed to dine in at a restaurant with mixed households (still a maximum of 4 not including kids). On today’s list was visiting FOAM with Roger for a late breakfast. Part of me was selfishly glad that the weather wasn’t spectacular, because I went with “inside” when booking the reservation, just to be safe. (Side note: did you know there are a few days of 31C/88F coming next week? The Netherlands is going to bake! ☀️)

Here was Marco’s pancakes. You have to love the color.

And my grilled sandwich (commonly referred to as a “toasty” over here). It is with harissa hummus, grilled bell peppers, eggplant, parsley, dukkah and an Israeli salad on the side.

And my chai latte. What can I say? I had to take a photo – I loved the stencil on top.

Marco and I have a few restaurants we are eyeing for later this month or next month. Back to Himalayan restaurant for Indian/Nepalese food at some point soon, and also SET restaurant (Japanese) for a romantic dinner. SET has been completely closed for half a year, not even doing takeout, so I am looking forward to it.

Categories: Food, Friends&Family | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Blinded by the light (Or: Shocking orange)

As you know, diehard Dutch fans are covered from head to toe in orange during major sporting events. Here is a photo Marco took a few weeks ago of someone walking down the street.

Note: I actually cropped this a bit to hide the dirty street. The photo is a bit blurry because they were actually further away.

Speaking of sporting events, Jumbo (a national grocery store) is under fire for their commercial (YouTube) advertising their European championship gear. The main sponsor is Albert Heijn, another grocery store. However Jumbo uses a song that is widely associated with the 2017 women’s team and the commercial features a parade which is also generally associated with Dutch national football. See also: Jumbo the winner in dispute with KNVB over Euro 2020 advertising from dutchnews.nl.

Categories: Sports | Tags: | Leave a comment

Tuesday tidbits (Or: Random news here and there)

Around lunchtime today I went to The Guardian’s website to check the news. Instead, I see a white screen with a tiny error message. As I have done countless times over the years, I then went to to Down for Everyone or Just Me. The website reassured me that the error wasn’t just on my side. Around then work got crazy again, so I forgot about it for a while (until work was less crazy and I could actually make some lunch).

It turns out the error hit more than just The Guardian. See also this article: Massive internet outage hits websites including Amazon, gov.uk and Guardian from theguardian.com. The best part of the article? This quote: “The Guardian moved to Twitter to run a dedicated liveblog, while tech news site the Verge published news to a shared Google Doc – until a reporter accidentally shared a link on Twitter that allowed the audience to edit it.” Opps…?

Also, from dutchnews.nl: Zandvoort organisers expect 50,000 F1 fans to cycle to Grand Prix. In other words, park at a nearby parking lot and hop on a bike to get to the race track. This September, the Netherlands will be hosting the first Dutch Grand Prix since 1985 (!). It was supposed to happen last year but it was cancelled due to corona. The organizers rightfully did not want to hold the race without fans. I suspect there would have been huge riots if they had tried. The best part (even though it is not in the article)? There will also be a special bus line with the number #33 – aka, Max Verstappen’s number.

And from nltimes.nl: GGD Utrecht gives away 1,200 Covid-19 vaccines after power failure kills cold storage. The best part here? They had so many people show up they had to turn people away. Of course, the vaccines were first offered to healthcare workers or safety workers in the region and then the offer was opened to the public. It was 1,200 Janssen vaccines (J&J vaccines for any Americans reading this) so one shot was enough. The site brought in extra workers to manage the crowds and stayed open past midnight. Nicely done!

Categories: News, Sports | Tags: , | 2 Comments

A sea of orange (Or: Orange fever creeping up your street)

It is almost time for the European football championship 2020 (Wikipedia). No – you are not going back in time; it’s the European football championship that was supposed to be held last year but was delayed by corona.

This of course means the streets are turning orange all over the country. Here is a look at the Marktweg (denhaagfm.nl). Apparently this is a completely crazy street because here is another article about the Marktweg from omroepwest.nl, also in Dutch. Or here is a tweet with a photo of the Markstraat.

Companies are of course also cashing in. Here is an m&m’s display at a local Albert Heijn:

All orange!

Read more about Oranjegekte (Orange fever) over at English Wikipedia. Or see this commercial for a “cheer cape” from another Dutch grocery store over at YouTube.

Categories: Culture | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Who needs a jacket anyway? (Or: Destination summer)

It finally happened! This is the first time this year I was outside without a jacket on. Temperatures are around 27C (mid to high 70s) with 100% sun. It is positively lovely to feel the sun on your skin. Unfortunately I was not able to take any photos for the blog as I was on a quick trip to the grocery store between meetings. You will have to trust me that it was sunny with blue skies all around.

Speaking of the weather, here is a care package I received from my work last week or the week before, with lots of sugary goodness:

You can tell the note is old because it reads “Spring has been a bit shy this year and not quite as warm as could be expected. We are also aware that it is a busy time for most of us. This is why we decided to invite you to take a well deserved warm break. We hope you’ll enjoy this little treat.”

There’s two pieces of chocolate from Tony’s chocolonely (milk and dark), a packet of instant coffee, a packet of hot chocolate, two tiny stroopwafels, a piece of fudge and a bit of nougat.

Tasty! Oddly enough most of it still remains uneaten. Although we did use the hot chocolate mix to make chocolate waffels on Sunday (yum yum).

Categories: Working & Volunteering | Tags: | Leave a comment

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