Thursday, July 20, 2017

Aiden and Ian Takes Europe: The Hague and Madurodam

(Apologies, this was written while we were still in The Hague, but only posted today!)

Salam Raya ke-5! (Or issit Raya ke-6 due to the time difference?)

Anyway, this is our 3rd day in Netherlands. The Hague to be exact. Slight drama at arrival; my travel agent provided the wrong hotel name to the Emirates chauffeur, and in turn, we were dropped off at an incorrect location. Fortunately (or issit unfortunately), we had plenty of luggage so our chauffeur was still unloading our bags from the boot when I ran out from reception, exclaiming "Wrong hotel, wrong hotel!" Poor him, he had to reload all our bags and graciously agreed to drop us off at the correct hotel (two streets away). We tipped him generously in return. *chuckles*

Check out who crashed into business class? Siap ade his own cup of hot chocolate and a plate of peanuts!

My travelling companion.

We arrived at 930pm at the hotel. It was still bright outside! Turns out, Maghrib was at 10am (and Subuh at 3am). That's European summer for you. Nasib baik we didn't have to puasa here! We dragged the kids to bed and they slept even before their heads touched the pillows, still decked in travel clothing and all.

In return, they woke up at 5am. (Jet lagged much!) The kids were famished so we fed the kids nasi lemak and nasi goreng (from our Brahim stash). Ian's first nasi! (We threatened no Disneyland if he didn't eat his rice.) We then spent the first half of our 'proper' first day, exploring the grounds of our hotel. Our hotel is in Den Haag Centraal... right smack in the middle of a shopping street! I literally have a Primark right outside my doorstep. Shopping heaven!

First time in black leather jackets and all.

We spent the second half of our day at Madurodam Miniature Park. It houses huge scale model representation of various parts of the Netherlands. Everything is recreated to a 1:25 scale with an unbelievable amount of detail. I've heard about this place ever since I was a child, and it was quite surreal to finally be stepping foot in it, in my mid thirties. Anyway, here are some pictures we took... we literally felt like giants who came to invade a country!

Cute giants.

Which building should we step on first?

Ian exclaimed, "Mummy office! Mummy office!"

Aiden forcing a smile because we didn't allow him to slot in 1 euro for some souvenir clogs.

Aiden and Ian enjoying their first stroopwafel. If you try one Dutch sweet treat, make it the stroopwafel! Two thin waffles stuck together with a layer of sweet syrup. These delectable delicacies are best enjoyed when placed on top of a cup of tea, and the heat from the tea will make the syrup all hot and gooey. Yumm!!!

It rained mid-way through the day so excuse our wet hairs at the tail end of the photos. We also took the opportunity to have Poffertjes (PO-fer-jus) - clouds of buttery goodness sprinkled with powdered sugar. Sooooo good! The kids gobbled up like 20 of these, in under 5 minutes, tops!

The second day, I had to start work so Hubby and the kids explored The Hague on their own. My office is in Rijswijk, about 30 minutes tram ride from the hotel. In fact, I'm actually writing this on the tram! While I was at work, Hubby brought the kids to a park near Den Haag Centraal Station to see reindeers and swans. They then explored the streets around our hotel, in the hunt for a pair of clogs, as Aiden wanted to bring one home as a souvenir. Aiden had his first kebab too! (Ian makan fries jer lah.) They also did a fair bit of shopping; everywhere we look there is a Sale sign up! And tonight, there will be a midnight sale happening everywhere in The Hague, so all stores will be open till midnight (instead of closing at 7 or 8pm). No prizes for guessing where I'll be tonight. *giggles*

The Dutch are really proud of their language. I mean, they speak English and all no problem, but there are rarely signs in English. Everything in Dutch so we picked out a couple of interesting words along our journey... Such as "Dames" means women, "Peskamers" is fitting room, "Danke" is thank you, "Patat" is fries. And "Volgendehalte" means next (tram/train) stop. We laughed our head off when Aiden said, "Ooo, mummy! Yummy Patat!" (Sounded so vulgar! *giggles*)

The weather is quite a see saw around here. Although it is summer, it is still quite chilly. It rains quite frequently too! We got caught in the rain in Madurodam, and I got caught in a surprise heavy downpour on my way to the tram station on the way home. Soaked my loafers right through. Never trust European summers!

My soaked loafers on the tram.

Tomorrow I will be having a team building session with my colleagues in Delft. Apparently we'll be doing a cheese tour and then some pottery painting, the classic Delft way. Did you know that the ceramics that are typically painted in blue, are actually made from painting using cobalt and the blue comes out only after it is baked? The intensity of the blue varies depending on the amount of cobalt you use. Hence the blue, is aptly called Delft blue!

Anyway, till next time!


  1. Wow the kids & obviously mommy had fun taking on Europe 😁 such a great opportunity to travel and work at the same time.

    Enjoy yourselves dear!

    1. Thanks Puan Hazel! Yup, the kids definitely had a good time in Europe. Alhamdulillah :)


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