Saturday, February 21, 2009

Aukje de Vries' Diary Day 34

Yesterday’s play was not exactly a morale booster: Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey into night. It was played very well, but I heard another spectator say when we left the theatre: after a play like this I just have to get a drink in the bar. We didn’t because it was already quite late. A TV programme in which a news presenter and his French wife talked about a book they produced together about their cats cheered me up again. There are many cat lovers and obviously many people write about their cats! Tigger thinks that is a good thing, but he does not want to become famous like Socks, the White House Cat who just died at the age of 19!

Saturday is a lazy day and I like to relax and read the Saturday newspaper, which often has interesting articles about social issues. This Saturday there is a report about The Hague as international city of Law and Justice. It houses the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Court and Europol (police). Since The Hague is also the seat of government (while Amsterdam is the capital), it has many embassies but there are also headquarters of quite a few international firms like Shell. Altogether there are some 35.000 expats in The Hague. It seems that they are not very satisfied with the living conditions in this city. According to the lead of the article expats think of the Hague that it is too small, that it is dull and that it has many snobs. In 2005 there has been an enquiry among expats with rather negative results. Since then the city has tried to become more hospitable. Nonetheless the expats still complain about the costs of living and particularly of housing, the complicated tax system, health care (too egalitarian in the opinion of many expats, but appreciated by the Dutch), the bureaucracy and the unfriendliness of the Dutch.

The sun comes out and I decide to go to the beach. Halfway I see a thick fog coming and by the time I have reached the beach the fog is so thick that I cannot even see the sea from the boulevard. I walk along the beach as far as the harbour but only about 30 metres before I have reached the pier I can see it. No sooner have I left the beach and got my bicycle to go back home or the fog lifts and there is bright sunshine. It is too late to go back.

No comments:

Post a Comment