Opinions and observations about living in Den Haag, many food-related

Things I like:

  • being able to bike everywhere
  • train/tram goes pretty much everywhere as well
  • biking in the rain [aimlessly]
  • finding new cafes/restaurants/grocery stores
  • the Peace Palace
  • location of my apartment
  • the people I meet
  • lots of greenery, waterways, and old fancy-looking buildings
  • it seems like there’s music everywhere
  • the beach, when it’s nice out
  • filet americain and copious amounts of Belgian and Trappist beers

Bought some basil at the organic farmer's market! Lookin' cozy.

Things I don’t like:

  • food is expensive, even when it isn’t fancy
  • lack of some of my favorite ethnic cuisines
  • very few places open late
  • it’s confusing as hell to recycle
  • biking in the rain [to work]
  • feeling bad about making groups of Dutch people speak in English just because I’m present
  • the rain, sometimes, but I’m told this is unusual
  • the clothing stores, but I never did like shopping anyway (although what is the Dutch equivalent of Urban Outfitters or Forever 21??)
  • sometimes it’s difficult to tell what street I’m on because (a) street names change often and (b) location/existence of a street sign is not consistent
  • paying to use a bathroom (mostly at train stations though I’ve encountered this at a church in Brussels and some restaurants/bars)

Personal observations I’ve made about being here, which I’ve noticed probably because I’m American:

  • cups, drinks, and other portion sizes are smaller (this is a given but also makes me wonder… is everything smaller in Europe?)
  • restaurants don’t really give you tap water unless you ask, and in some instances, I’m not even sure they understand me when I say tap because they just bring me a bottle anyway; there are also few drinking fountains anywhere
  • restaurants also like to charge you for lots of little things I take for granted in the U.S., such as ketchup, butter, mayo, bread before a meal, etc.
  • again, like DC, you can only buy hard liquor in a liquor store, not in the grocery store, and this saddens me
  • many bars here do not serve cocktails (unless they are a designated “cocktail bar” or very obviously a clubbing type of bar) even though they are equipped with the most basic cocktail-making ingredients and will act a bit confused when one tries to order a cocktail (I literally had to order a tequila and a glass of orange juice separately once)
  • I haven’t seen anything served with Hollandaise sauce since I’ve been here, and I’m quite distressed about it

About ireneenroute

This is a blog full of photos taken by a cell phone.
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