The reference in the title is from the movie A ChristmasStory where the main character finally gets a decoder ring and can finally decode this week’s secret message – and it turns out to be as boring as “Don’t forget to drink your Ovaltine.” That’s a childhood shattered…
For the past few months The Hague and other Dutch cities have been inundated with lots and lots of advertisements for an oat drink called Oatly It is supposed to be a replacement for milk. I haven’t tried it yet.
But I did get a cool picture last month of a building-high advertisement for their product. One thing the company is known for is their catchy advertisements. For instance there’s a similarly large one elsewhere in The Netherlands with the line “Only the best oat drink ads get to hang out on this corner”. It feels like most of the advertisements are unique, as there are many different ones to spot throughout the city.
Another smart thing they did? Advertisement everywhere in the city for a few weeks and then go on discount at the local supermarkt to get everyone to try it. It’ll be interesting to see if the product sticks around.
As of January 1st, Dutch stores are required to charge for plastic bags. Here is an advertisement at the tram stop:
Advertisement in the Netherlands for “no more free plastic bags”
It basically says “You (will now) pay for your own plastic bag” and underneath in small letters “your own bag, better for the environment”.
I think it is a good law change. Marco and I almost always have extra bags with us (I have one at work in my drawer and one permanently stored in my backpack) so there isn’t much effect on us. I did find it funny to go to Action (a “dollar” type store) as the sign said the charge for one bag was 3 cents. We don’t even have pennies in the Netherlands — thankfully! I wish I had taken a picture of that sign.
Most stores have had signs up for a few months now, so it shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone.
Marco noticed this advertisement when we got off the tram a few days ago. I figured I had to take a picture for my mom, since Spiderman is played by a papillon (the breed our last two dogs were). Papillon translates to “butterfly”, referencing the butterfly shape of their ears.
It’s actually an advertisements for guide dogs. The text translates to “You can recognize the real superhero by their outfit”. The campaign is run by KNGF Geleidehonden.
The other photo we took was of the uurnet card dispenser machine – €3.50 for a 1 hour card. A bit expensive, but that’s the point – they prefer that you have an OV-chip card instead. You can find these machines on the randstad rail trams (2, 3, and 4). The other tram types require you to buy a ticket from the driver at the front of the tram.
Of course, the joke is that the machines on the randstad rail trams are almost always out of order. As it is in this photo. It’s a bit hard to read but the main text says “Apparaat buiten dienst”, or Machine out of order, with the line translated into various languages below that.
As a side note I must say that I am proud to be able to spell Scheveningen without having to look it up. It definitely has to do with the weekly visits to Scheveningen to practice my Dutch with my taalcoach from SamenSpraak.
When riding around in a tram this summer I noticed an advertisement for taking the tram to Scheveningen:
The tag line reads: “Have fun at the coast of The Hague”. The two lines underneath say:
Strolling on the boulevard and lounging at the beach pavilions
Fun events? Look at “Discover it with HTM” at htm.nl (the tram website)
What caught my eye was the verb flaneren. I hadn’t seen it before so I had to look it up. There’s a few different English translations like to stroll, to amble, to saunter – all relaxed way of walking. But the Dutch definition suggests a bit more: lopen om gezien te worden, or walking to be seen. There is no compact verb to express the two parts together in English (I think). Maybe “to strut” but that isn’t quite the same.
Yesterday Marco and I took a bus from Central Station in The Hague to Wassenaar, a nearby suburb of The Hague, for the birthday party of a friend’s kid. While we were waiting at the bus platform I decided to take a picture of a McDonald’s advertisement that seems to have sprung up everywhere in the last few days. (In actuality, most advertising spaces seem to go to the same advertisement, and the advertisements change every week. So you are usually bombarded by the same advertisement over and over.)
It’s a picture of a sundae (available in chocolate or caramel) with the tagline “ook lekker op Mondae”. Also tasty on Monday. While most of the tagline is in Dutch, they did not change the name of the day from the English Monday to the Dutch maandag for the joke, as that would kill the joke a bit.
Of course we did not stop at McDonald’s before going to Wassenaar, but we did stop at Starbucks in Central Station and split a vanilla latte. Yum. I can still vividly remember how excited Marco was when the first Starbucks arrived in Schiphol airport. Of course that worked well for him because he was constantly visiting America for the yearly Wrestlemania trip or the other 3-4 trips to see me.
It wasn’t much longer after that (a year or so) before the Starbucks opened in The Hague in the Central Station. But then it wasn’t as special, because you could just walk there to get a good coffee. You no longer needed to hop on a plane. ;p
The weather has changed after the first few days of September (when we actually hit 30c/86f). The last few days have been nothing but rain, rain, and more rain. It was pouring about 10 minutes ago and I am afraid to look outside to see if it still is.
After a slow start to the summer, we have been spoiled by some moderate, dry weather since then. Of course I am only worried because the wedding is in 11 days… it is truly crazy to realize that!
Today’s the start of another week (and the start of another school week). I was able to get my textbook on Thursday morning (Taaltalent) so I do not have to worry about that anymore.
Here’s a random photo from a few weeks ago. The sign amused me, but I’m not sure why:
Of course there is a stereotypical bike nearby.
If it was me, I would have drawn a line from “sure you do” to “yes”, rather than “buy a new pair of jeans”. The person who originally said no to a new pair of jeans needs to still agree that they need a new one. Seen at Baretta Jeans.