Day in the life: Den Haag

Hi everyone,

Yesterday we went to Den Haag, or as you might know it if English is your first language: The Hague. It’s our political capital, but not our actual capital, which is Amsterdam. But, that’s not why we were there. Yesterday was just a junk food trip. We have our weekend passes, which means that for €30 a month we can travel by train for free on weekends. It’s so much cheaper than paying for individual trips, it’s ridiculous. This is what enables us to do stuff like this on a fairly (but definitely not impossibly) low budget. So if you ever wonder how we manage to travel so much, that’s how.

Now only if public transport here wasn’t such a joke. We had so much difficulty getting to Den Haag, we wouldn’t have done it if we had known it advance, but apparently actually informing your customers on upcoming maintenance through your expensive website is too much to ask. I checked on Thursday, by when it said that we could make this journey as normal. But when we got at the station the information screens told a different story. The train that would usually go to the Hague (and even Amsterdam and if I remember correctly Lelystad) in one straight route, only stopping in major cities (well, once you leave Zeeland that is, because we simply don’t have any major cities). But yesterday it only went as far as Roosendaal, which is about a third of the way. There we had to get on a bus to the next station, which is in the middle of nowhere. From there we could get on a train to Rotterdam, but this one stopped in every little station. From there we were advised such a ridiculously long detour we decided to catch the metro instead. The metro is more or less the underground here, but it doesn’t actually go underground all that much, so it’s more like a fast tram I guess, or somewhere in between a train and a tram. It’s weird. But not being underground is quite a positive thing actually when you’re on it for half an hour or so. After that metro we were finally in Den Haag, but not where we needed to be, while the train would have dropped us of in exactly the right place. We wanted to take a tram to where we needed to be, which was the Vegetarische Snackbar (vegetarian snackbar), but the trams were departing from all over the station, so we decided to walk instead, which was actually quite nice after so long in public transport.

So four hours after we left our hometown we finally arrived at the Vegetarische Snackbar. The owner has been a vegan cook for ages, but I guess he went for vegetarian to attract more customers. Almost everything has a vegan option though and most of it is homemade, which is awesome.

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Can you tell we had been in public transport way too long? Anyway, we were happy to sit down somewhere that wasn’t super cramped (yay arm space). Nuts got a large Kap Karma (or as it’s usually called: a kapsalon) which is a weird Dutch-Turkish dish with fries, döner kebab, salad, garlic sauce, sambal and molten cheese on top. It’s probably the most unhealthy thing ever, but it’s soooo good. The döner kebab was homemade and honestly it’s better than the real stuff. I got slightly smaller Kap Karma and a portion of Kibbuhling (usually kibbeling), which is small pieces of fried fish, or in this case something soy based I think. The filling was a bit too meaty for my taste, but the batter was perfect. Honestly I miss good fish substitutes, there should be more by now, with the amount of meat substitutes out there.

After we finished our food we took a tram to the Veggie4U, which is a vegetarian supermarket. They’re mostly vegan though and their webshop is entirely vegan. We mostly just order through their webshop, but they do have some things in their physical shop that’s not in their webshop, such as their amazing sandwiches, so I got two of those for on the road. Nuts didn’t get any weirdly enough.

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We also got some of their home brand satay, which is amazing, some fake shrimp, a pack of gardein fishless filets (omg, those things are heaven), follow your heart veganaise, which is way better (but also way more expensive) than the vegan mayo we can get in our local supermarket, a bar of chocolate and vegan marshmallows. These are all luxury items of course, and I could live without them if I wanted to but I’m glad they exist.

After that we went back home again, which wasn’t as disastrous as the way there, but still took as a whopping 2 hours and 45 minutes instead of the usual 1 hour and 45 minutes. When we got back Nuts was an hour late for band rehearsal instead of an hour early as we had planned. And to make matters worse, the guitar they were planning to buy went out of stock at the only place that still had them, now it will be August by the time it will arrive. Boy, did April fools day make a fool out of us.

Honestly I’m still a bit frustrated and resentful even after getting it of my chest. Good grief public transport is a disaster. So, sorry for this ill tempered blog, I hope you’ll bare with me through my next (hopefully happier) blog. I’m working on that budget challenge, so that should be too long before that’s happening, so stay alert for a weekly blog for two weeks shortly. Hope to see you next time. Bye!

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