The Quiet Musings

Aruba, que vadis?

- October 31st, 2014 -

Fourteen years ago at the age of 19 I left Aruba for Holland to get an advanced education and I stayed. In those 14 years I think I went back 6 or 7 times, an average of every two years. I spend the last 16 days on Aruba for vacation time and family visit.
As always I was excited, I haven’t been there in almost three years and I was craving home. Never ever did I think I would return to The Netherlands one illusion poorer.

The one happy island I left behind 14 years ago is no more. Sure for the tourist it is still all fun and great most of them won’t notice anything except the ones who have been coming for more than 10 years. But for a lot of locals it has become a disappointment or at least for this local living abroad.

This was the first time I saw the new main street, full of palm trees, beautiful sidewalk and all, but no people, it’s almost a ghost town. Half the shops have closed down. A few “lost” tourist wandering around, nobody is shopping, although there isn’t many stores left to shop at. I think my heart ached a little when I thought back to how it was before, full of car and foot traffic, seeing familiar faces on the street. All that is gone, wiped out.

There is nothing to do at Renaissance Mall except if you need a Louis Vuitton bag or Ralph Lauren clothes. Which made me wonder, how can all those shops stay in business while here in The Hague, the city of politicians and royalties, Ralph Lauren can’t even manage to stay in business for a whole year.

All the shops are now at the hotel area but during the day it’s abandoned because all tourist are out at the beach or sight seeing and it’s too far for kids after school to walk too. At night it’s very very busy, but with 90% tourist. I could have been on any Caribbean island for all I knew.

I was the most happy when lying on the beach away from the high rise hotels or deep in the nature away from all the concrete. I mean seriously how many damn hotels can you have on a tiny island. It is fucking ridiculous.

I feel for San Nicolaas always being ignored, but now, now they should be happy they still got their old buildings and culture intact. If you want to see and experience the true local Aruba you go to San Nicolaas, greediness hasn’t reached there…yet.

When in Aruba I love eating local food, I make sure to go to Cocoplum at the end of main street. They got fresh seafood and local food for a good price. Simply the best. But thanks to a dead main street this iconic little eat spot that has been there for years is losing business. Meanwhile the Burger King across the street is still going strong. Let me not even start about Burger King. You can’t spit without hitting a fast food restaurant.

This time in Aruba I spend looking for the drugstore that hasn’t been franchised, where you can still buy the odd things like hairspray that doesn’t cost an arm and leg, also they have DAX hair pomade! Not that I use it but you don’t get those things at the franchised drugstores. Or the grocery store Mundo Nobo in Santa Cruz were I can still get McCain chocolate cake my grandma used to buy. Where the cashiers are the same people who have been working there for years. It’s the details and the familiarity that is worth it.

People will say, things change, we have to “progress” and keep up with modern time. Of course, but this isn’t progress, this is the defacing of an island identity and its culture. drops mic

The haiku formulation

- August 13th, 2014 -

For an island girl who grew up with sun, sand and sea, I’m unusually dependable on rainy dark days to get a creative flow going from scratch. If the sun is shining my brains struggles with creativity and I’ll need to be in an inspiring environment to think up new ideas. No wonder I never mastered art classes back then. My current job requires a certain level of creativity and having co-workers chipping in and brainstorm sessions gets me going, so I get things done on sunny days.

This summer was supposed to be rainy, which it was not. On one hand I’m glad, on the other hand I need those rainy dark days to get started with a new idea. I’m working on a weblog post which right now I feel won’t see the light of day anytime soon, if ever. This is my last week of summer vacation, I already have a nice deadline lined up at work next week, so I doubt I’ll have time to sit and stare until I make more progress on that weblog post. Or maybe that will help, nothing like a good dose of procrastination when you have a looming deadline. Suddenly I’ll feel motivated to write and read anything but work.

To try get the creative juices flowing I draw and doodle anything while thinking about everything and nothing but mostly food(and Schrödinger’s cat, I’m awesomely weird like that).

While trying to get inspiration, I read a prose I wrote a couple of months ago and felt relieved I didn’t share it, it’s more something to share personally than to the whole world. Which brings me back to this post. While thinking about the aforementioned prose I thought about a haiku. Why not try writing a quirky haiku? The perfect antidote to a soul baring prose I’m glad I didn’t share.

First thing, I googled how to write a haiku. A basic haiku has three sentences with a total of seventeen syllables. First sentence must have five syllables, second sentence seven syllables and third sentence five syllables. Punctuation and capitalization are not required and it doesn’t have to rhyme. Second thing, read haiku to get a feeling for it. Third, write haiku.

Sandwich haiku

Thus a sort of creative flow has been created, despite the sun that has been shinning by day while the rain has been kept to nighttime.

The social conundrum of being late-deafened

- July 16th, 2014 -

Coming December I will be deaf for seven years. Seven years of daily intense lipreading, weird looks, impressed looks, comments, confusing my deafness with my IQ level and so on. I also learned a lot about people. Nothing like a disability to know right away who you want around you and who you don’t. A lot of things changed afterwards, I had to find work again and I started living alone for the first time. Before I always lived with roommates or family.

Late-deafened (or latened deaf): A person who lost his/her hearing as an adult after being hard of hearing for most of their lives. Most late-deafened people were raised in the hearing community and do not use sign language, because they connect more with the hearing world.

Because I was always hard of hearing lipreading came naturally to me. I was doing it since I was a kid. Once everything went completely silent I was able to lipread even better than before. As a matter of fact I was so impressed with how I well I could understand my sister that I didn’t even grasp the consequences of going deaf on the moment itself. That came later.

I’ll save the details of getting work and living alone as a deaf person for another post or story if we ever meet up. Obviously the living thing isn’t that a big deal, I’m just never bothered by sales people at the door.

Being deaf and depending on lipreading takes a toll on your social life. Especially if you become deaf in a period of your life that you are starting over again due to moving and changed life situation. The good thing is I already knew my current friends well so I could understand them pretty good, same for my family. Most of them forget I’m deaf at times. But meeting new people is a whole different thing.

Think about the times you met someone randomly at a random place and you did hit if off and became friends. Now imagine you were deaf, would it still have worked out? Now admittedly I have a few more blocks in my way, I’m an introvert(although I do tend to talk a lot) and I don’t dare strike up a conversation with strangers partly because of my deafness. Imagine how it would go and went, because some days I wake up feeling like Superman instead of Clark Kent and I’ll do something daring.

Me: Hi!

Nice/cool person I want to know: Hi!

Me: *insert situation appropriate question here* and by the way I’m deaf and I lipread, so can you please speak clearly?

Nice/cool person I want to know: *answers question of which I understand about 1/3 of it*

Me: I’m sorry, I did not get that fully, mind writing it down?

Now this sounds pretty straight forward right? But don’t forget, even when you are not deaf you are already struggling with fear of rejection, etc. A lot of the time people give up talking to me when they find out it takes some adjusting to communicate. It can be hard to get people to ease up and relax. I try to keep my questions contained so I don’t get long answers to make it easier.

The thing about lipreading is you have to ‘learn’ it with each new person you meet. Everyone has a different way of speaking, unique facial expressions and body language. I learned in this past seven years that the more I interact with some the better it goes. It will never be 100% but way better than the first time.
It takes some time and adjustment. Some people react instinctively and use hand signs which helps a lot. These people always get a star in my book.

Some facts about lipreading

  • I understand about 30% of what is being said in Dutch, a lot of it is guess work and anticipation. It doesn’t help that the language has almost any to none obvious articulation like Spanish or Papiamento, my native language.
    • It happens regularly that I’ll just nod along, gamble and say yes or no. I get so mad at myself when I do that. Because it means I give up and don’t say to the person “can you repeat that, please”, especially if I have already asked them to repeat more than once. Nobody likes to be a burden.
  • I can lipread like 70 to 85% in my native language which is very high but also depends on if I know the person for a while.
  • It’s very intense mentally and on my eyes, after a full day of lipreading my brain starts turning to mush and I can barely understand anything.
  • People who have a beard or mustache are almost impossible to lipread.
  • People who mumble, don’t articulate and talk fast are also a no go.

Before I would just ask someone for a coffee(or something) to be able talk without interruption. This way I can figure if it’s worth it to give a try and vice versa. But that doesn’t work either, because of ego. People immediately assume you want something more from them beside getting to know them.

Real case example of communication

One of my co-workers is a philosopher and he also has a beard. We have a lot to talk about and we have talked a lot, about philosophy, psychology and journalism. When we are out of the office he just types on his phone what he wants to say. Sometimes I wonder what people think when they see us: one person using his phone and the other person talking. Good thing I don’t care what people think. In the words of Wanda Sykes: “I’ma be me”.

When I’m out with co-workers last minute, I just take my macbook or iPad along and someone will type for me what’s being said. Not verbatim but enough that I can follow. If it is a planned outing I book a text interpreter. Which is someone who types everything verbatim for me, they have an ethic code which includes complete confidentiality.

People who “have” to interact with me a lot, learn how to communicate with me and soon they don’t have to think twice about it. I also learn to lipread them better than the first time we met. In a casual situation no one “has” to, it’s harder for me to show to others the person I am beside a deaf person and for me to get to know them.

Just recently I came across this weblog post about someone who went deaf for a day to experience what it is like. I highly recommend this read, even I was like, “oh yeah, that is hard”. Deafness has become a way of life for me that I don’t always think twice about it, except when I’m having a bad day.

If you have any questions about my deafness or deafness in general hit me up at darice {at}, Facebook or Twitter.

Just remember, if we get caught, you’re deaf and I don’t speak English.

A foodie’s battle with eggs

- May 11th, 2014 -

For as long as I have been a foodie, I have been a picky eater. The first 15 or so years of my life my favorite food were; french fries, peanut butter sandwich, chocolate sandwich, pasta and chicken. Even at McDonalds(in the 80’s) I would take all onion and pickles out of my hamburger and only ate ketchup on it, no mayonnaise or mustard, thank you.

Later on I started liking new things, especially when I moved to the Netherlands at 19 and I started cooking for myself. Now at 32 I eat almost anything although there are three things I really really don’t like: salmon, ham(and ham like meats except bacon) and eggs. Let me tell you it is not for lack of trying. I dislike salmon so much I can’t even stand the smell of it, ham is just yuck while bacon is walhalla. Make that bacon, avocado and hummus. You can wake me up anytime of the night for those three things.

And then there are eggs. I so want to like eggs. It would save me so much time. I could have a warm breakfast of scrambled eggs or an omelette, I could have eggs for dinner when I don’t have time to cook. All you egg eaters know what I’m talking about. Eggs are practical and time savers.

When I got good at cooking I decided that maybe if I made the eggs myself I would like it. All eggs I had tried up until then were just made with salt and peper, nothing fancy. One time I decided to make eggs sandwich. Omelette with cheese, sour cream and chives. I love the smell of slightly browned eggs but that liking did not pass over to taste. After a couple of tries I gave up, I did not really like it. I tried boiled eggs so I could eat the white and yellow separately and than maybe figure if it is the one or the other I don’t like about eggs. Still, no dice. I left the eggs for what it was. Only time I buy eggs is for baking a cake.

That was until now. Last week during a high tea they served a piece of quiche. I didn’t ask what was in it and just ate it, even ate the rest from my sister. I could taste a faint trace of eggs but it tasted good. Later I figured it must have been a frittata. And if I liked that frittata than by goodness I might have found my holy grail of eggs. I decided to make a frittata for dinner, with mushroom, leek, bacon and sharp cheddar.

I looked up a couple of recipes, read about how people make theirs and then made my own recipe. With good hope I went to the organic grocery store, because if I’m going to like eggs, only the best ingredients for the frittata. I got eggs, real butter, crème fraîche, flat leaf parsley, Irish sharp cheddar and the rest.

Heat the oven and broiler, cook everything in a cast iron skillet, add some more cheese on top, broil and done.

It turned out perfect and smelled heavenly. I cut out a piece and the first two bites where pretty good, filled with mushroom, bacon and cheese. Seriously this is cook for guests good. And then the taste of eggs started accumulating with each bite, by the last bite I was queasy. I was defeated by eggs.

Sheldon Cooper
The eggs experiment

It took one glass of cranberry juice and one small piece of chocolate to erase the egg taste and a cup of camomile tea to stop feeling queasy.

I fought a hard foodie battle and now I must admit defeat. I just plain and simple do not like eggs. If you ever eat with me and I tell you I don’t like something, know that I tried, by goodness I did try. As for the rest of the frittata? Don’t fear, one lucky co-worker will get a treat from me tomorrow.

Je bent doof of je bent slechthorend

- January 30th, 2014 -

Op mijn zesde toen ik aan de eerste klas van de basisschool
begon merkte mijn juffrouw dat ik niet goed luisterde. Nadat ik gehoortesten ondergaan heb werd officieel geconstateerd dat ik slecht hoorde en het advies was; zit altijd vooraan in de klas.

Gedurende mijn schoolcarrière zorgde ik altijd dat ik vooraan zat en deed enorm mijn best bij dictees, luistertekst en dergelijke. Later op de middelbare school kreeg ik hoorapparaten die ik soms wel en soms niet droeg. Pubers, hè? Mijn gehoor ging gestaagd achteruit. Ik beschouwde mezelf als een slechthorend persoon.

Op mijn 25ste kon ik niks meer horen in mijn rechteroor en op mijn 26ste
niks meer in mijn linkeroor. Ik was helemaal doof geworden. Hoorapparaten helpen niet meer. Communicatie gaat nu middels liplezen, schrijven of een schrijftolk. Ik beschouw mezelf als een doof persoon. Specifiek: laatdoof.

De afgelopen zes jaren sinds ik doof ben geworden begin ik me meer en meer te ergeren als slechthorend mensen doof worden genoemd of zichzelf als doof beschouwen en zichzelf doof noemen. De keren dat ik een artikel tegenkom waarvan de titel aangeeft dat het over een doof persoon gaat, ga ik meteen vol interesse lezen alleen maar om achter te komen dat de persoon niet doof is maar slechthorend. Om het nog pijnlijker te maken soms nog met een anekdote in de trant
van: “Ik geniet van muziek” of “Een op een kan ik zonder problemen normaal communiceren”.

Als doof persoon voel ik me dan een beetje verraden. Denk ik dat ik
eindelijk eens ga lezen hoe anderen het doof zijn ervaren, blijkt het niet zo te zijn. Iemand die slecht ziet en een bril draagt noemen we ook niet blind. Je hebt slechtziend of blind, waarom zou die zelfde onderscheid niet tellen voor slechthorend en doof?

Ik pleit ervoor om de correcte benoeming te gebruiken bij doofheid en
slechthorendheid. Als doof persoon die meer dan de helft van zijn leven
slechthorend was vind ik dat de twee dingen los van elkaar staan. Het valt niet met elkaar te vergelijken.

Toen ik nog slechthorend was kon ik mijn hoorapparaat aandoen, volume omhoog, muziek met hard volume en ten volle genieten van muziek. Als doof persoon kan ik helemaal niet meer genieten van muziek, wat ik over heb van muziek is wat in
mijn hersenen is blijven hangen van toen ik nog kon horen. Ik leef dagelijks in een oorverdovende stilte.

Dat is wat doof zijn is. Die alles overheersende stilte.

Expanding my horizon: Switching from iPhone to Android

- December 14th, 2013 -

I have been an Apple convert since January 2004 when I bought my first Apple product. A 12 inch white iBook. Then I bought an iPod Nano, an iPod Touch, a Mac Mini, an iPhone, another Mac Mini and another iPhone. Not to mention the countless of Apple keyboards I went through because I have a bad habit of spilling water on them.

For nine years Apple was my go to brand, no question asked. It still is. I can’t imagine going back to Windows full time. I have a work flow and list of applications that can’t be replicated on Windows. It just works for me.

But an iPhone is not a must have anymore. Maybe I’m getting old, maybe wiser, who knows. Where once I always got a new phone as soon as my contract was up for renewal, I now kept my iPhone 4 well past contract expiration date. Mobile data has become as expensive if not more than home internet. Renewing would mean higher monthly cost for less and paying more for an iPhone than three years ago.

Before the iPhone 5s was announced I got the idea to switch to Android. I’d seen commercials of the HTC One and after having the same interface layout on iPhone for 5 years, I was intrigued. I went to the phone shop to check out the HTC One and Sony Xperia Z. They are faster and have more options than the iPhone 4. But they are all huge. I’d need two hands to use the phone and that is just a no go for me.

The iPhone 5s is flawless on hardware but on software it no longer holds my interest. Apps for iOS are great design wise but I have grown tired to be so limited by iOS. I can’t justify anymore to pay the price of an iPhone just for a fancy fast phone with an OS I can’t bend. I decided on Android, I just had to do lots of research to buy the best phone for me.

A short intro into Android

When telling people about my quest for an Android phone I realized that no matter how tech savvy or not, not everyone knows the finer details.

When buying a phone brand you are getting their version of Android. Samsung, HTC and Sony amongst others have created their own ‘skin’ on top of Android which is developed by Google.

This means a couple of things:

  • Extra features(not always useful) not standard provided by Google.
  • Lots of applications you might not use and can’t uninstall taking up space.
  • When Google releases a new Android version it can take up to a year before phone companies have updated their own skins and release the Android update for their phones. Also, they mostly only give a phone two updates before stopping update support for certain models.

Android without any skins or modification is called stock or vanilla Android, which means it doesn’t contain any applications by external parties.

Key points of stock Android:

  • Fast updates.
  • Basic interface.
  • You can setup your phone the way you want it to look.

Phones containing stock Android:

  • Nexus, currently developed by LG for Google.
  • Motorola, Google owns Motorola since 2011. (Motorola phones only have about 4 apps by Motorola on the phone.)
  • Google Edition phones sold via Google Play Store(Not available yet in The Netherlands for devices).

Deciding on which phone to buy

First I must say, I’m not a power user. I use my phone to email, text, browse internet, Twitter, Instagram, check weather, train, bank, agenda, take notes, as alarm clock and read ebooks. But I do use these things often and all day long. I’m never without my phone.
Basically the iPhone 5s is overkill for these tasks, hardware wise. Unless you plan on using the phone for more than 2 years when newer iOS and app versions will make the phone slower over time.

My requirements for a new phone are now:

  • Faster than the iPhone 4(or current phone).
  • Screen smaller than 4.7 inch.
  • Stock Android.
  • Good camera.
  • Doesn’t break the bank with a one year data only contract.

My choices were Nexus 4, Nexus 5 and Moto G. Nexus 4 is too expensive(here in The Netherlands) compared to the newer and better Nexus 5. I would go for a two year contract with the Nexus 5 if it wasn’t so big(5 inch), with my small hands it would be like a small tablet. That leaves the Moto G. The only huge downside is the Moto G camera, I really had to make a concession there. But otherwise Moto G meets all my needs.

Motorola Moto G
Motorola Moto G

Side note: My solution to the bad camera, especially when taking photos that I want to put online right away, is an Eye-Fi Memory Card for my Nikon D3100. This way I can snap a photo and it will automatically be uploaded. While I don’t always have the Nikon with me it is a good compromise.

Learning a new phone OS

It wasn’t hard at all to learn how to use Android. The most complicated part for me was getting the hang on how to customize the home screen. Popular tutorials don’t give you the “step by step for dummies” version. So I just spend half a day playing around with the phone until I got how it’s done. Take a look at all the possibilities with Android and the right apps.

Current home screen
Current home screen
Current home screen with Twilight on
Current home screen with Twilight on

As for apps, the only ones I miss from the iPhone are:

Scratch and Tweetbot, I haven’t come across comparable apps yet on Android. But for everything else there is an (good) app, some of the apps I’m using:
* SolCalendar
* Dolphin Broswer
* Eye in Sky Weather
* Twilight
* Nova Launcher Prime

The great thing about Android is that you have lots of options. Amongst other, you are not limited on what apps you can open a file or share a file with.
For example, if I open Dropbox and choose a PDF file I can share it with the following apps: Contacts, Messaging, Google Drive, Email app, Gmail, Google+, Hangouts, Twitter and WhatsApp. I can also just copy the link to that file. I can export the file to my phone, Kindle, Bluetooth Device, Google Drive, Email app and Gmail.

I’m happy with my new phone. It’s refreshing to be using something else than iOS, having more freedom on how to setup the interface and functionality, feeling good about not having spend a lot of money on it and yes also the fact that for now not everyone and their grandmother next to me has the same phone and never the same home screen.

Useful reads:
* An iPhone lover’s confession: I switched to the Nexus 4. Completely.
* Android is better
* Fix the iMessage Bug So You Can Still Get Messages If You Switch to Android from iPhone

Food for the Soul

- September 11th, 2013 -

Thirteen years since I moved from Aruba to Holland and I can safely say I will never get used to some things. I have come to love the seasons, and how the nature changes every time. While I love it’s (mostly) always beach weather on Aruba, as a kid I got bored reading the weather forecast in the newspaper. Which went like this everyday:

Thirty two degrees, sunny, partly cloudy with a chance of rain. Wind is 8 knots from North East.

Right. You must know the wind almost always comes from the North East on Aruba and only changes with bad weather. Even at 18 years old we would skip class if there was a storm coming so we could go to the beach and see how the usual calm sea would turn into huge waves eating up the beaches and flooding the hotel pools. That’s how unusual it used to be on Aruba to get different weather. I learned things have changed a lot due to climate change.

This week fall has made its entrance again, with strong winds, lots of rain and thunderstorms. I love this kind of weather, it’s the cozy stay at home, read a book and cook a nice dish, weather. But it also reminds me that winter isn’t far behind and that it will be months before I will feel the hot sun on my skin again. Thirteen years later and I’m still not used to cold below 15 degrees. This year when spring started and we had the first day of warm weather it was like finding that forgotten 5 euro bill in your pocket. I went straight to the ice cream parlor after work, got an ice cream and sat outside eating it while basking in the sun. It was 17 degrees.

creole fish
Creole Sauce with Cod Fish

So, fall. When fall comes around I get more in the mood for cooking again. Because I never got used to some things like Dutch cuisine or lack of good hot sauce, I still miss the island food. By island food I don’t mean the 4 Wendy’s, 2 Taco Bells, 2(or 3) Burger Kings, 2 Kentucky’s, I lost count Subway’s, Pizza Hut, Domino’s and uncountable Chinese restaurants on 74.52 sq miles of an island. Nope.

I miss Coco Plum in caya grandi where I can eat the best fresh red snapper in sauce crioyo with funchi. I miss being able to buy the best BBQ on Sunday, eat amazing lobster at Fishes and more or the simple pastechi tuna from Pastechi House. I could keep going; pumpkin soup at Suikertuin, pumpkin soup at Alice or a nice tenderloin grilled in the backyard. None of the above I can eat here authentically, I can only try to match it as best as I can.

After three days of fall weather I decided nothing would taste better than creole seafood to sooth the soul for the incoming cold. I dusted off my “Essential Caribbean Recipes” cookbook, went to Marqt(I never loved a grocery store like I do Marqt) for all organic ingredients, including the line caught cod fish. The result was delicious and soul soothing.

In my thirteen years living here I went from, doesn’t like eating, to a foodie who loves cooking and eating good food. I will probably never get used to winter or how distant people are here compared back on Aruba where friendships are formed easily, but I’ll always have good food and my cooking abilities to transcend borders.

Food Guide to The Hague

- August 9th, 2013 -
This post is more than 3 years old. Check the new and revised post published in 2016: The Hague Food Guide.

Over a year ago I wrote a Coffee and Sandwich Guide to The Hague. Since then the ratings and my taste have changed.
For this guide I’ll list places I frequent in The Hague and Rotterdam or that are on my list for when needed. Restaurants of several cuisines, sandwich shops and coffee bars.

First I must note, 13 months ago I discovered Jordy’s Bakery. Situated on Nieuwe Binnenweg in Rotterdam. A co-worker tipped me about the place that is on walking distance from work. Their bread are the best I have tasted so far and I have eaten a lots of different bread to date. Since then I get my lunch almost daily there, even though they discontinued the hummus sandwich which was their best one in my opinion, also the only vegan option.
I was never a huge meat eater so my first choice is mostly vegetarian or vegan sandwiches. If I’m planning on having a light dinner I’ll opt for a meat sandwich.

Since eating there I stopped going to Lebkov. Maybe my taste has changed, maybe I have higher expectation about the bread I eat, but the last two times I went there I couldn’t even finish the sandwich because it just tasted bland. Their pasta and soup are still good tho. This winter I went a couple of times when they had pea soup on the menu and it was good every time.
By not going to Lebkov my coffee intake has lowered also. Jordy’s Bakery does not have decaf coffee(nor my work place), so I only drink coffee on my day off when at Bagels and Beans or Hometown Coffee.

In my previous guide I also mentioned Milly’s. Sadly enough after the renovation they changed their name to ‘Boerenbroodjesland’ and made their sandwich menu like the hundreds other regular broodjeszaken(sandwichshops). I went there twice after they reopened; they don’t serve the sandwich made to order anymore. You get it pre-made in a takeaway box. I’m not a fan of cold bread. They switched from the nice smoked bacon to some cheap bacon you get at the grocery store chopped in small blocks. Too bad, I really liked the cozy small lunchroom and their small but good menu.

As a regular customer at different places I learned a couple of things; never change the whole menu at once. Make sure there are vegetarian and vegan options. Have weekly specials, if one of them are a huge success make it a regular option and remove one of the least liked menu items.

Humans are habit animals, they keep returning because they know the food and don’t have to think much about what to eat. I hate it when I go again to a place I’m used to and the menu has been completely revamped. Think about it, when in lunch rush or just want a place to meet people and have a bite. You rather go to a place you know than try out something new.

Lunch spots The Hague

‘t Hof van Eten *award winning sandwiches. Almost always full, make reservation.

Bocadillo Desperensero
Bocadillo Desperensero

Bagels and Beans

Bagel with banana, maple syrup and cinnamon
Bagel with banana, maple syrup and cinnamon

De Bakkerswinkel

Grilled cheese, sundried tomatoes and courgette sandwich.

Baklust (breakfast, lunch and dinner) *vegetarian

Apple and cinnamon pancakes with maple syrup

Lunch spots Rotterdam

Jordy’s Bakery

A photo posted by Darice (@darice) on


A photo posted by Darice (@darice) on

Buiten *organic

A photo posted by Darice (@darice) on

Vlaamsch Broodhuys

Hummus and Bulgur Sandwich
Hummus and bulgur, artichokes, tomato and mozzarella

Coffee spots The Hague

Where I get dinner when eating out

I have more places on my list but I haven’t eaten there yet. I only mention places where I have eaten more than once and that have good food.

When not in the mood to cook or eat out/takeaway and I want to eat reasonable healthy I buy ready made meals at Marqt. Their Lasagna Bolognese and Melanzane Parmiggiano are my current favorites. Marqts ready made meals are from Uit de Keuken van Maass. Fresh made, organic without conservatives.

Another place where I only went once, they don’t have a website nor facebook page and I hope they are still open, is Limoncello on Bankastraat. It’s a very small Italian lunchroom. The one time I went there I had one of the best pasta dishes ever:

Ravioli al Tartufo
Ravioli al Tartufo

Rotterdam has way more places than The Hague but due that I work in Rotterdam I only eat out at lunch and close by work. Which leaves only Nieuwe Binnenweg. Buiten and Vlaamse Broodhuys are more expensive than Jordy’s Bakery, so getting a hummus sandwich there everyday would make me go broke in no time. I’m going to try after the vacation to start taking more lunch from home instead of buying every day.
We are also getting a new restaurant at work, so fingers crossed they have better lunch options than the previous one.