So last time I talked about King’s Night, which is when you go to music festivals, drink overpriced beer, and dance like a maniac. Oh, and try to avoid being pickpocketed–apparently the police found a 13 year old and 20 year old with a bag full of 21 stolen telephones on King’s Day (article in Dutch over at omroepwest.nl). Sheesh.
In contrast, King’s Day itself is about selling cheap stuff. This is the one day a year it is legal for anyone to sell their old furniture, toys, books, you name it. Well, anything except food. Almost all cities ban that. I didn’t get any photos of these vrijmarkten (free markets) this year, but check out my post from way back in 2012 (!). Back when it was Queen’s Day, before she abdicated the throne and became Princess Beatrix. Marco took those photos for me since I was till living in America back then.
One thing I did get photos of was the flower sale at the Lange Voorhout. It was quite colorful, and not just because of the flowers:
These juichcapes (cheer capes) were sold by the grocery chain Jumbo last summer when there were a lot of high profile sporting events going on (Tour de France, Dutch Grand Prix, UEFA Euro Cup, etc.).
On Alexanderstraat, a street in The Hague, you have the Koninklijke Nederlandse Maatschappij ter bevordering der Pharmacie. Oh, what a mouthful. Translated that is the Royal Dutch Society for the Promotion of Pharmacy, an organization for pharmacists.
But what I always notice is the lovely garden outside the front door:
Their name is so long you can’t even properly fit it into one photo:
Marco and I watched the opening ceremony for the Olympics on yesterday. I can definitely say that the time difference isn’t ideal. It started at 13:00, so good luck watching that properly and while trying to work. Most of the action happens after 02:00 and ends in the early afternoon. It definitely doesn’t feel like a true Olympics (also because there are a lot less fans attending). C’est la vie.
I took a few photos of the canal by the Dennewegbrug. “Denneweg” is the street name and “brug” is Dutch for bridge.
And in other news, there was a demonstration today at Malieveld, not far from The Hague’s Centraal station. The name is Blijf van onze kinderen af, or “Stay away from our kids”. The article is from regio15.nl in Dutch, with lots of photos. including a photo at the end of one very smart ice cream seller who knows he will do good business here.
The reason for the demonstration? The Netherlands recently decided that 12 – 17 year olds can be vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine if they wanted. 16 and 17 year olds can independently choose for the vaccine, while younger kids need their parents’ permission. The first shot would be given now and the second shot would follow during the first month of school. Appointments for anyone born in 2004 could be made since yesterday, with 2005, 2006 and so forth following next week.
Here is another photo of flowers for you, randomly placed at the feet of a statue in The Hague. Who knows why? These are quite beautiful flowers, though.
I’m partially posting this article because I like the title: The gym before breakfast on a cafe terrace: What changes today from dutchnews.nl. Today is the first day of step 2 in the government’s plan to reopen society. Some gyms opened at 00:01 this morning, and cafés are now allowed to open from 06:00. So the title makes sense.
The Netherlands has a long way to go in comparison to other European countries. However we are getting there, helped in part by the vaccination program speeding up (we are closing in on 150,000 vaccines given each day).
Here is a beautiful photo from Reddit’s r/thenetherlands page:
The photo was taken in a tulip field north of Amsterdam.
Did you know the Dutch are obsessed with terraces? I blame the bad weather – we take every chance we can get the second the sun peeks out around the corner. See also dutchnews.nl’s article: What is the Dutch obsession with pavement cafes all about? Although the term “pavement café” is a bit weird.
Dutch are biggest consumers of meat substitutes in Europe from nltimes.nl. Although meat substitutes only count for 2.5% of the meat market according to the article. At the moment Marco and I don’t generally eat meat substitutes from the supermarket. We do eat a few vegan meals a week from FOAM, but that is mainly because it tastes so good. Otherwise we might replace meat with courgette (zucchini) or with peanuts for a bit of crunch. Marco does make a nice wok vegetable dish with hoisin sauce and peanuts…
In an attempt to hear even more Dutch during the day I’ve been listening to a lot more Dutch podcasts. I’ve still got my favorites that I have been listing to for years, including Echt Gebeurd (=Really happened, where people tell true stories of things they have experienced in front of an audience).
I also have public transportation themed podcasts in Dutch (Spoorcast, De Podcastcoupé, Luisterruit). Or some newer ones: Lang verhaal kort (Long story short) which produces a 5-7 minute episode every weekday about one important news item from that day. Or something completely different: Bankplakkers (literally someone who doesn’t get off the couch). It’s about pop culture and what to watch on all the various streaming services. That one is generally 50-70 minutes long, so I usually listen to it during work.
I also downloaded an audio book from the online library app (link in Dutch). I chose Matt Haig’s “How to stop time” in Dutch. It is about someone who looks like he is 41 years old but he has actually been alive for centuries. Based on the blurb I do think it will turn into a romance novel, which I’m not a fan of, but hopefully not too much.
And today’s read, about The Flower Bike Man in Amsterdam: