Wow, it's been nearly a month since I got on here, but I'm still alive!
Den Haag is still hellishly expensive but I'm making an effort (mild though it may be) to be more diligent about spending less money. And it's all just food and drink, like always!
I am trying especially to be frugal so I can justify one last trip! I bought a ticket to Sarajevo at the end of July, which I am really excited about. I have a 4-hour layover in Vienna and I am VERY tempted to run outside and do ANYTHING so I can at least pretend I've been to Vienna. (You have to eat outside the airport, at the very least, for it to count.) And I'm sure my parents wish that's just where I was going, fullstop.
But I did the research and it's a perfectly safe place these days. It is also quite relevant to my work, so I thought it was a good idea. Surely I will go to Austria, Italy, Spain, etc. SOME DAY, but I can't say I would make some huge effort to hit Bosnia... Ideally I wanted to fly into Dubrovnik (Croatia), take a bus through Mostar and end up in Sarajevo. It was just too damn pricey and I only have four days. So oh well. The beaches and coast in Dubrovnik are supposedly gorgeous, but I guess my skin makes me a bit of an indoor girl, anyway.
I was also mildly curious to head up to Srebrenica while in Bosnia, but apparently it's a four-hour bus drive and there's only one bus to and fro each day. So you basically have to spend the whole day. What I read did not motivate me to do this. It sounded depressing on so many levels (aside from the obvious horrors that place has seen, there's very little to do/eat there as well). So I may give that a miss.
On the total flip side, the weather here has been lovely lately. And I mean sunny and a little on the warm side. In truth, I like how rainy and cool it has been on so many days, though I seem to be in the minority there. LOVE. And besides, how else do you think all the trees get all that moss all over the bark?
I think I may see Bridesmaids today--it FINALLY came out this weekend. And the final Harry Potter, I think, comes out this following week. It's ON. I've never been a terribly big fan of the movies but I'm also inexplicably drawn to them on opening day. (No doubt due to their unending list of Who's Who in English actors and the fact that the Weasley twins aren't so hard on the eyes...)
And back to being random--two other things I have been meaning to bitch about that I dislike about den Haag: the way they pour beer and the mountains of dogshit on every sidewalk. I am not joking--there is a TON of dogshit here. I do not think a day goes by that I do not get Mojo Nixon's Amsterdam Dogshit Blues in my head. Even though this is the Hague rather than Amsterdam, for the most part, it is a fairly clean city. IF ONLY IT WEREN'T FOR THE DOGSHIT. And ohhhhhhhhhhhhh dogs are E V E R Y W H E R E. I get and appreciate they are more accepting of bringing your pet everywhere, but I just also always found it a little ridiculous. Seriously, someone brought their goddamn dog on the brewery tour in Bruges. Really?
I know, I'm obviously a cat person and this is just not my crowd, but jesus.
And the beer. So, you learn from an early age (in America, anyway), not to pour your Coke in by just dumping it. I watch people do it all the time here. It makes me feel very OCD just how much it bothers me. Well, they do it with the beers, too. This is more frustrating because it's MY beer and they just dump it right in. Each bar has a flat stick they keep in a cup of water. They let the enormous head spill over, then they use the stick to level it off and they serve it to you with about 1-2 inches of head on it. What the FUCK the stick's purpose is (I mean, really, IT SERVES NO PURPOSE) is beyond me. AND EVERY SINGLE BAR DOES IT. The meaty beers (like Guinness) do get their due attention at least.
But seriously. The beer is pricey enough for being fairly un-special, can you at least fill it the fuck up?
I will make more of an effort to update this! I have pictures from Bruges and even still many from here. I enjoy my work, but it has actually been fairly slow the past week and a half. I still have a month left and I can't help but feel fairly done with this place. It really hit me when I was in a bar the other night and they started playing Shakira's Waka Waka (This Time For Africa). If I start missing Cape Town, whoa, I'm probably set to go home now!
Don't misunderstand--I loved Cape Town and I loved working there, but I wouldn't really go so far as to say I MISS it, you know? When going out alone becomes that high maintenance, it gets old fairly fast. But in any case, I hadn't heard that song much since last year--and oh holy jesus I heard it 2-3 times a DAY while I was over there (World Cup theme song and all) so suddenly I was all, awwwwwww, I wish I were there now...(And no, I hadn't started drinking yet.) I think it's mostly because of the fun friends I met over there. There are some good people here (most especially my flatmate B), but it's not quite the same.
And I know, I know, "the grass is always greener..."
But overall, just not impressed with Holland. Sorry. (Belgium was great but that was vacation. Also, I seem to have polished off all my Belgium chocolate. You don't need to know how much I started off with!!)