Sunday, February 15, 2009

Spying on couples during Valentines Day and Madurodam in Den Haag

This is nothing really new but thought it’s good to remind those hordes of google searchers landing on this blog about what they are looking for today.

The typical Dutch man in my opinion has an aversion to Valentines Day (I am not talking about the Dutch man I live with even!) because this typical unromantic, logical and cheap Dutch man finds the practice of celebrating what he deems to be of silly and emotional substance turned into commercialization madness, objectionable. Many other typical unromantic, logical and cheap Dutch men do not even know that Valentines Day exists! SIGH, so so sooo typically Dutch.

Anywho, I told Dutchman, whether he likes it or not, we are going out for dinner on Saturday evening, on Valentines night. He-he, a bit cheesy but I’ve been meaning to go somewhere. My feet are itching to go to places other than my usual Amsterdam or Utrecht route, like Rotterdam for example, but got discouraged with the long drive. Forty minutes drive is a bit long when we have the option to walk to Utrecht Center in twenty minutes or take the tram in five minutes, or get on the bike and be there in ten.

So we stayed in Utrecht and had drinks in our favorite hang out café at the Neude plein where we spied on a couple having a date. Now, that was fun. With the questions they were firing at each other, they were obviously in the getting to know each other phase; he, somewhat 40ish and she in her late 20’s or early 30ish were talking about their beloved mothers (yawn), their friends having one-night stands (hello! hinting?), and work related stuff.

Dutchman and I can’t really help but eavesdrop into their conversation as both were talking not only in high pitched tones but with their hands! They seem to have gotten along quite fine which was good, and when it was time to bring the date to the next level, girl naively asked guy, “Where do you want to eat tonight?” (she meant: restaurant somewhere around the corner) whilst guy cockily replied, “I’ll cook something for you at my place.” (hmm... he had something else in mind!)

Ten points to the guy for making the assertive move, lol.

Later, we left the café and surveyed the restaurants in the Center and decided to go Italian. We noticed some familiarity with the interior and had a quick déjà vu thing. Well, looks like we were indeed here before, years back. We didn’t get to spy on other couples as we were seated far to the corner of the restaurant but we noticed that the place was full. Dutchman said the restaurant is full because it’s Saturday night and not because it’s Valentines. Yeah, right.

Tonight, we are invited for some mussels treat at the schoonouders. Dutchman will be getting pizza I think. He hates seafood.

Anyway, I got some late Madurodam fotos here. Took me some time to work and upload them! We were at the Madurodam park end December after Christmas.

Here is miniature Amsterdam and the VOC ship during the Golden Age (Verenigde Oost-Indie Compagnie).

Madurodam is an entertainment miniature (very touristy) park in The Hague on a scale of 1:25 and is considered to be the smallest city in the Netherlands. It’s actually a very popular tourist attraction and destination as I seem to only find tourists there (lots of Asians), if not Dutch families with little kids. We went there with the Omniversum combi ticket which is highly recommended. Another combi ticket is with Sea Life.

More fotos here: Madurodam - Den Haag, The Netherlands

On the left foto is me with miniature Utrecht and the Dom Toren, and next foto is the beautiful Waterport in Sneek, Friesland up north.

The visit was a huge disappointment though.

Firstly, it was freezing! Brrr, it was soooo cold, it was -8C and I have to stand outside and pretend I don’t feel the chill and the wisps of brittle wind blowing sharply on my cheeks and neck. My ears have turned red and have iced over! It was bad timing to go to an open-air park that day with below zero freezing temperatures. Because of this, I was not able to take a lot of fotos. I wanted to hide my frozen butt in the cafe with a warm cup of tea.

The miniature Muiderslot (Muider Castle) in Muiden, North Holland.

Secondly, the Madurodam by Light show scheduled in the evening, which is a special additional attraction, did not push through because of the darn weather. Laser technology and -8C degree temperatures doesn’t seem to work together, unfortunately.

Thirdly, the park is a disgrace in itself. With the many visitors the park receives daily, ergo good revenue I would assume (€14,50 entrance fee for adults and €10,50 for kids), they seriously need to up their maintenance, and clean and renovate some of the miniature buildings. We saw paint fading and falling off, corrosion, moulds all over the place, and just dirt. The park and its subjects looked so outdated that the restaurant, toilet and souvenir shop were waaaay better in comparison and maintenance.

Such a shame really... the park need to get their act together and urgently do something!

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