Today we had an adventure – a tram trip into The Hague City Centre. There is a great “International Desk” there at City Hall. When I first lived in The Netherlands (from 2002-2007), I spent several years as a volunteer with ACCESS, a wonderful organisation that supports english-speakers in The Netherlands. During my time with them, in 2005, I assisted in setting up a “Welcome to The Hague” programme, where I co-ordinated a half day workshop to help newcomers find their way around. Today, I kind of relived that, and was pleased to see a familiar face – Martijn – at the desk still! ACCESS now have volunteered stationed at the desk there in the amazing city hall building. It looks like something out of a movie – and in fact was used in the filming of I think it was Oceans Thirteen.
Here’s the girls walking to the tram in the raincoats that Nonna (my mum) bought them in Australia, knowing we were likely to have some use for them here in The Netherlands! Sophia also has her tulip skirt on. Pleased to discover it’s not that far to walk to tram stop in Ypenburg, where you can catch tram 15 to The Hague city centre or Tram 19 to Delft city centre.
The Hague City Hall.
Checking out the view from up high in The Hague City Hall.
Outside the International Desk at The Hague City Hall, set up to assist expats who have relocated here with one of the big multinationals such as Shell, the ICTY, ICC, EPO.
Girls having a snack at the International desk while I collected lots of information.
A great international perspective of the Dutch healthcare system in the Xpat Journal!
Beautiful artwork of The Hague in The Hague International Office. Obviously done in summer – or perhaps painted in winter by an Australian like me missing the sunshine and trying to make it more prominent here!
The wonderful English-language information pack I collected:
Afterwards, we went next door to The Hague Central Library. I’d highly recommend visiting the library in any new city, so much information. Not to mention free wi-fi! Unlike Australia, you do need to pay for annual membership, which I may do once we settle in. Meanwhile, we just spent an hour or so there checking out the Dutch kids section. Jip and Janneke was a must!
Once back home, we enjoyed dinner in our back yard! Bas is happy to get a whole crate of his favourite beer – Amstel – for less than 10 euros. You do need to pay “statiegeld” on the bottles, so its’ a few euros extra, but you get this back when you return the empty bottles and crate to the store. Check out our box of Dutch groceries.
Finally, we set up our dining table inside…can you believe this table and chairs was what Bas actually dined at when he was a child! Flowers are also very cheap here so I treated myself to some roses. Placemats from IKEA!