Earlier this morning I was walking through the Albert Heijn when I noticed a sign near the cheese section, apologizing for the less than spectacular stock. Indeed, there were a lot of gaps and not much cheese to speak of. I didn’t think much of it since cheese wasn’t on my grocery list today.
In public transportation news: Amsterdam’s metro lines 50, 51, 52, 53 and 54 have been stopped since about 17:30 today due to a technical failure in one of their new systems (nos.nl in Dutch). The issue is in the new traffic control system that they only started using yesterday.
In corona news: Ministers ‘consider coronavirus vaccine rethink’ after AstraZeneca chaos from dutchnews.nl. There is a lot of controversy around AstraZeneca right now in the Netherlands (and Europe in general). First it was not allowed to be given to 65+, then there were rare cases of rare blood clots mostly see in women under the age of 60 across Europe, and now the vaccine can’t be given to anyone under 60 but can be given to anyone older than that. The same national health council who said “don’t give it to people under 60” last week is now considering advising the government that people under 60 should be allowed to choose whether they want AstraZeneca or not.
Oh, and just to show you how weird the weather has been lately: we had more snow and hail this morning. It started coming down right just as I ducked inside Albert Heijn, but unfortunately I was not met with blue skies and white clouds when I left 15 minutes later. Boo. Who expects weather like this in mid-April?
I took this photo for a certain someone I know who works at a grocery store (we were just talking last week about things being dumped in the wrong grocery store aisle):
While looking for some potato chips I spotted a sad looking bag of bread rolls and a chocolate bar. The bread can’t be resold (it’s a bag a customer puts together themselves) so it will need to be thrown out. The bread section is also near the beginning of the store, and this is at the end. Of course.
Oh, and I went for the bag of Albert Heijn black pepper and sea salt chips, by the way. That’s the gray bag to the left.
You know it is Spring when the sunscreen is on display at the local Albert Heijn. In this case it was on display at the self-service registers, which might make you think that the coming temperatures will be blazing hot, like 36C/100F. Nope. We are looking at around 22C/72 F for today and tomorrow before the temperature drops again. Don’t get me wrong – sunscreen is still needed at those temperatures if you spend enough time outside. I just always find it funny when I see sunscreen on display in the Netherlands.
I also wanted to complain about how expensive sun screen was here in comparison to America, but after quickly checking Walgreens I realized that it is pretty much expensive in both places. Who knew. I don’t go through sunscreen that quickly, that’s for sure!
The Hague has replaced the “keep to the right” stickers on the Grote Markt with spray painted versions. Well, the old stickers are still there but most of them are half torn off or trampled. So “replaced” is probably not the most accurate description.
The photo above was taken at the Grote Markt, just before Bijenkorf (so just before this photo which I posted over the weekend).
Ever Given sets course for Rotterdam after six-day Suez blockade ends from dutchnews.nl. 400 meter ship gets stuck in the Suez canal at a part that was only 300 meter wide. 6 day blockade occurs. Opps? Interesting fact: most of the ships that were stuck behind this one were also destined for the Rotterdam port, meaning there are three delays: waiting for the ship to get unstuck, waiting to get through the Suez canal, and waiting to get unloaded at the port in Rotterdam.
No more free plastic bags in fresh produce section of Albert Heijn from nltimes.nl. That makes sense. I am only surprised it took so long. I already have a reusable bag for fruits and vegetables – Albert Heijn has sold them along side the free plastic bags for a few years now – but sometimes it is easier to use a plastic bag (especially when you get two types of things that both need to be weighed).
While shopping at the local Albert Heijn (grocery store) I decided to take a photo of the pancake options. There are a lot after all…
Let’s see… the second row is pancake options from Koopmans. Original, complete, whole wheat, custard (? Opps. Someone put that back in the wrong place – should be 6 grain whole wheat pancakes), “Grandma’s pancakes” with cinnamon, multigrain pancake and biological multigrain pancakes. The second row is mostly the store brand options – original, complete, multigrain pancakes, spelt pancakes, biological pancakes, and pancakes with extra egg whites. The last three options are the liquid pancake options – natural, original and complete pancakes.
That is a lot of pancakes, but where are the boxes of waffle mix? Those are much harder to find, unfortunately!
This evening Marco and I had a hamburger and fries for our Friday meal. Think of things like: burger, jalapeños, onions, lettuce, habanero tabasco sauce… (oh, and cheddar cheese for Marco). It was so good I forgot to take a photo!
While purchasing crinkle cut fries for this dinner–yum, yum, yum–I noticed a large bag of fries at the bottom of the freezer at Albert Heijn, a Dutch grocery store. It was so huge it didn’t even fit on the shelf anymore.
The bag on the right, krokante friet (crispy fries). It is apparently 2.5 kilos of fries. That’s 5.5 pounds. Yikes! It was a “value” bag that only cost €2.
On the other hand, if it had been 2.5 kilos of crinkle cut fries… yum yum yum?
Earlier this week I was at Albert Heijn and idly looking at the focaccia breads on sale. My eye was immediately drawn to a focaccia that looked almost burnt, next to a pale one that looked okay.
I suspect I’d probably buy the lighter version if I really wanted it, but I can’t say that the darker version didn’t look tasty as well. Just… slightly burnt. (You can also see some dark exemplars in the back, so it seems like there was just a difference in the batches.)
Today is kind of a weird day, probably a day when I should stay away from checking the news. A few days ago we were at 2,700 infections, then yesterday 3,600, and now today 4,600. Last week’s winter weather could be a culprit, since a lot of testing areas were closed. There were also closures this past Monday when rain came while temperatures were still around freezing. Still, I think it is a sign I should read less news, to avoid feeling frustrated.
For a crazy-but-very-interesting story, check out: People are rescuing thousands of ‘cold-stunned’ sea turtles in Texas from theguardian.com. The cold-blooded sea turtles became paralyzed due to the temperature of the water. At this point over 3,500 sea turtles have been brought in. They will be released once the water warms up, but that will take some time as another cold front is expected in the coming days.
Today is the first day of the recently announced curfew in the Netherlands. The curfew is from 21:00 to 04:30 every day until at least 9 February. If you are outside without a valid reason and official form then you face a €95 fine. You can download the official form at rijksoverheid.nl, with the form currently available in Dutch, Frisian and English. See also: What you need to know about curfew in the Netherlands from nltimes.nl.
This of course means that grocery stores and late-night convenience stores need to closer earlier:
Here is another breakfast item Marco bought at the local supermarket, Albert Heijn:
We decided to be funny and bake some bacon as well. That way they would have a scarf to keep their necks warm. What do you think? This bread was not that much different from the bread shaped like a Christmas tree we had earlier in the week. (Which, if I must admit, was a bit tastier. These weren’t bad, though.)
And yay, I have a day off tomorrow! I am quite looking forward to sleeping in. And later in the day Marco and I will be going to Roger’s for New Year’s Eve. It is hard to believe I haven’t been to his place since March (!).
On the second day of Christmas (December 26), Marco and I had a Christmas tree for breakfast:
A Christmas tree made of bread, that is! Marco found it at Albert Heijn, one of the local grocery stores. We ate it with the usual hagelslag (chocolate sprinkles) and speculoos paste.
In other news: you can legally turn in fireworks today and tomorrow in The Hague (omroepwest.nl, article in Dutch). Today 207 kilos (457 pounds) was turned in. You can turn in up to 25 kilos of fireworks, even fireworks that are usually in the ‘illegal category’, without being fined.
The reason the city is organizing this is because it is illegal to possess fireworks outside of the few days around the New Year’s Eve holiday (those are also the only days you can legally possess fireworks). This year The Hague said that setting off fireworks would be illegal to keep hospital visits low.
You don’t legally have a reason to have them in your house and you can’t legally set them off, so unless you want to illegally store them for a year, turning them in now is your best option.