Everyday purchases

Chocolate eggs by Hema (Or: Stroopwafel flavor, anyone?)

It feels like a lifetime ago, but a few weeks ago (13 March) I was browsing in Hema. I could not resist snapping a few photos of their chocolate egg collection:

Some of the flavors included dark chocolate banana cream, white chocolate matcha lemon, milk chocolate cookies and cream (that one was almost empty), milk chocolate orange, milk chocolate coconut, milk chocolate peanut butter… I definitely learned that everyone’s favorite flavor is milk chocolate, not dark chocolate.

There was also a display near one of the entrances.

But the best (and most Dutch) flavor was…

You guessed it… Stroopwafel flavored chocolate eggs!

Categories: Everyday purchases, Holidays | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Milka chocolate stand (Or: Vote for your favorite cow)

Traveling through the city centre of The Hague means you always see interesting promotions, especially on the Grote Markstraat (in Dutch), one of the larger shopping areas of the city.

Today’s promotion: Milka. Milka is a German company specializing in chocolate confections. You can vote on which of the four cows you like the best (link also in Dutch). The top prize is a trip to the Alps, with smaller prizes including chocolate packages or Milka-branded mugs.

The most interesting thing about the photo is on the left: one worker is helping another put on their cow head for the costume.

And no, I didn’t vote. They were still setting up and there’s no way I could choose who was my favorite cow: Marisa, Lotta, Lola or Katja (heh).

I will also mention that all of the names end in a… is there no love for a Sophie or Zoe?

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TV measurement lines (Or: Coolblue in The Hague)

Over the weekend Marco and I went to the Coolblue store in The Hague. Coolblue specializes in consumer electronics and only had an online presence — that is, until a few years ago when they started opening a few physical stores in The Netherlands.

I would describe it like an electronics store crossed with an Apple store – sure, they sell stuff but they also want to show off their stuff and let you browse around. The store has a minimalist feel, with a lot of empty space. And you can even get free tea and coffee. Generally I go to the online store to browse, and I only visit the physical store if I know exactly what I want. I haven’t tried the free tea or coffee quite yet. If I do I’ll let you know how it tastes.

But last weekend I had to take a photo of the floor.

Yeah – you heard me, the floor.

In the television department they have guides showing you how large each tv size is. They even thoughtfully provided a centimeter guide as well (which is logical since televisions are of course listed in cm here). I’m not quite sure how helpful the guidelines are—I think it would have been better to put each measurement next to each other and start from the same spot—but the thought is there.

I can just imagine someone grabbing a television off the display and dragging it to the guide area to double check that the television they were looking at was indeed 50 inches. Leaving scratch marks in the floor along the way…

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Chocolate everywhere (Or: Almost Easter time)

Last week at Albert Heijn I spotted a Tony’s Chocolonely display filled with Easter eggs. The company’s mission is to make fair trade chocolate. (The company’s slogan is: “Crazy about chocolate, serious about people“.)

The cutest thing was these mini egg cartons:

And of course the Easter candy started popping up a few weeks ago already. You can never be too early!

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Jumbo City (Or: Competition in the city centre)

A new grocery store is moving in to the city centre! A Jumbo City grocery store will be opening on the Grote Marktstraat on 4 December, which means competition for the local Albert Heijn. A little competition never hurt anyone, though…

For the non-Dutch speaking among us: it’s pronounced Yumbo, not Jumbo.

The store will be opening in what was previously the Marks & Spencer was (which I still miss for its food options – never cared about the clothing lines).

Flyer for the opening of the store on Grote Markstraat

One cool thing: the inside of the flyer had a map of the store layout. You don’t see that too often, since stores prefer you wander around and see everything.

Finding your way

Hopefully it lasts. It’s not bad to have more grocery store options in the city centre. Although there is also a Jumbo by the Holland Spoor train station already, it is quite small and didn’t have the same inventory as other Jumbos do.

Categories: Everyday purchases, The Hague | Tags: | 2 Comments

Cinnamon (Or: Limited edition coke flavors)

Spotted at the local Albert Heijn a few weeks back:

Neither Marco nor I wanted to try the flavor, as it does sound a bit weird. But I always enjoy taking photos of the weird drink flavors companies up with (or weird potato chip flavors, in the case of Lay’s).

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Disney+ (Or: Dutchies are the guinea pigs)

Marco and I are now guinea pigs!

As of a few days ago, Disney+ is available in the Netherlands as a free trial. (Yay!) Officially it launches in the US, Canada and the Netherlands on 12 November, but Dutchies are able to sign up for free to test out the service for two months. Of course, the catch is that if you don’t unsubscribe before 12 November you pay the subscription fee automatically. Either €6,99/month or €70/year.

Marco and I signed up today. We first tried to sign up on our Apple TV, however the payment options were limited (only iTunes?) and there was no option to choose a yearly subscription. Therefore we instead completed the account setup via the website and then simply logged in on the Apple TV after the account was set up.

Since it is a free trial all of the extra “releasing on 12 November” type content isn’t there yet, however there is plenty of existing content from Disney, Marvel, Pixar, Star Wars and National Geographic to choose from. Way more than I could name here, except I’ll list some nostalgic films: Cool Runnings, Three Musketeers, Escape to Witch Mountain, Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey. Dad told me I wore out my VHS tape with that last one… I can see that.

There was one thing I noticed while watching some Pixar shorts (5-6 minutes each): anything with written words was translated into Dutch. See here:

The banner across the front door says Welkom Eerstejaars! or in English: Welcome Freshmen! The short was about a college party with the Monsters’ Inc. crew. There were no subtitles and no Dutch in the credits at the end, but there was still Dutch in this scene. I think it is a Pixar thing though – I can remember that Finding Dory also translated the signs in the movie into Dutch. I find it amusing for sure.

Otherwise: how cool is it to have all of this cool content at our fingertips? And to be the first country to get it? Ha!

Categories: Everyday purchases | 2 Comments

New Papa John’s location (Or: More pizza by The Fred)

“The Fred” or De Fred is a neighborhood in The Hague, a shortening of the street name Frederik Hendriklaan, where the heart of the neighborhood can be found.

Last Monday a new Papa John’s pizza location opened on The Fred. It’s the first one in The Hague, although there are already locations in nearby Delft and Zoetermeer. It’s originally from the United States.

Waiting in line for free pizza

And of course (like what Dunkin’ Donuts does with new locations) the first 100 visitors that day received a free pizza.

“Free pizza for the first 100 visitors — we ❤ The Hague”

I’m actually not much of a fan of Papa John’s pizza, although admittedly I haven’t had any in years. I’m more of a thick pizza/thick crust person. But some of my friends do like it, so to each their own!

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

Delft blauw in The Hague (Or: Mini statues)

The Delft blauw craze will never quite go away. Recently I was visiting Frederik Hendriklaan or the Fred, as the locals call it. I stepped inside Kaatje aan de Rein (Facebook page), a gift shop.

I had to think of my mother-in-law when I spotted these tiny creatures, made in the style of Delft blauw:

They are similar to the two playing cats she purchased at the Gemeentemuseum, a local museum here in The Hague. You can see a picture of the two cats here.

Categories: Everyday purchases, Shopping | Tags: | 2 Comments

Pizza dough (Or: Is it really pancakes…?)

Here’s an example of things that can be very confusing for non-native speakers:

So the top blue arrow points to the description Mix voor Pizzabodem or Mix for pizza dough in English. So we’re making pizza…

…but the second blue arrow says that the prepared product will make about 20 pancakes. What? It’s just logical enough that it could work – here’s a Dutch recipe for pizzas made with pancake batter. But still, it doesn’t seem right…

I’ve asked a few Dutchies and they all think it is a typo. What do you think?

Categories: Everyday purchases, Food, Reading | 3 Comments

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