More than 5 months after the Netherlands went into a lockdown in mid-December (government.nl, in English) I was finally able to return the two books that I still had on my account when the lockdown was suddenly announced. Well, perhaps I can’t describe it as sudden – you felt it coming as the shopping crowds just kept building after Black Friday. (Yes, the Netherlands celebrates that as a shopping holiday now as well.)
At the end of November and the first two weeks of December I started to return each book as soon as I finished it, just in case. That left only two books that I wasn’t done with yet. One was Stephen King’s The Outsider in English and the other was a Japanese novel translated into Dutch, Nakano’s handel in oude rommel (=The Nakano Thrift Shop). Since Monday, 19 April patrons have been allowed to return library books at any library in The Hague, 12:00-17:00 Monday through Saturday (link in Dutch). Patrons also have the option of requesting a bag of five books in a specific genre (this option has been available for the last few months).
Random photo above from the interior of the Starbucks in The Hague city centre. I haven’t had Starbucks in a few years, but on a whim Marco and I decided to grab a drink. I went for a vanilla Frappuccino. That was also on a whim; I spent most of my time in line thinking I was going for a caramel Frappuccino. Let me tell you: I don’t regret my change of heart. Or taste buds.
Earlier in the month we saw Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2. Great movie! While there I was able to check out the new coffee options, as the Pathé movie theatre by Spui now has self-service Starbucks coffee.
Apparently it’s been around for a few months but this is the first movie I had seen since they installed it.
Of course you don’t have all of the options you would with a full-service Starbucks, but it is still some nice coffee, especially when viewing a movie in the morning!
This will be a very coffee-themed post… It’s almost summer (maybe) so it is a lot more fun to drink iced coffees. First up we have a frappé from the library café, Bibliotheek Den Haag. I found it so tasty I had to struggle not to drink it all up within 30 seconds.
Second we have a Starbucks drink from a coworker (her blog and her Instagram). After a while it gets old just writing your name on the side, so these days the Starbucks workers write random messages on the side. It’s raining men… and coffee!
Finally, the latest discovery… iced chai tea by Kaldi! It’s hidden away in the Haagsche Bluf. It’s the drink on the left, next to Marco’s iced cappuccino. It was delicious, a slightly thicker concoction with the chai tea taste at the end.
A few weeks ago Marco and I went back to the Cheesecake Company by the Grote Kerk. I’ve posted about this place many times – they even served the cheesecake at our wedding! It isn’t quite our two year anniversary yet but this time they did have the same flavor as our heart-shaped wedding cheesecake, white chocolate cappuccino… So of course we ended up choosing that one.
And on Saturday Marco, his mother and I had dinner over at De Gezelligheid (near Amersfoort) with the family. The food at De Gezelligheid was pretty good. We started off with “de spiegel” (the mirror) which was a sampling of all of their starter items served on a platter. My favorite item was the fried mushroom, of all things. For the main dish I had a hamburger with thick cut fries. Yum.
Of course we had to stop at the Starbucks at Centraal Station, so I decided to take a photo of the wall (doesn’t everyone want to take a photo of a wall?):
Love or hate Starbucks – I just like the cool font and presentation!
Here is a photo of the lake by Marco’s uncle, with a Buddha statue on the other side (in the shadows):
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