Monday, March 07, 2016


But before Sunday is a deluge of pasta [gourmet tuyo at the ABS-CBN Food Court and something cheesy served in Casa Pura on Wednesday, a tomato-based version pulsing with seafood at PRRM on Thursday], a pansit-free feast anchored on tinapa rice in celebration of Balong's kumpil on Friday, and bilaos of bihon guisado to send me off from Nueva Ecija on Saturday. 

But Sunday it was as KLM's Flight 808 touched down at Schipol after serving us mostly chicken meals and I sleep-walked to the trains, to the train ticket booths, to Hoofddrop that brought me to Leiden, to my first cigarette in 15 hours at Den Haag Centraal, to the welcome pooh of Haagse Harry at the tram station through the empty streets and closed shops of the Grote Markt... the Hotel Ibis where I was told that I can only check in at 2 pm which was 4 hours away, to the Grote of Sint-Jacobuskerk, now also a convention center and a restaurant, along the Riviervismarkt, the Schoolstraat, Dagelijkse Groenmarkt, and back to Torenstraat, conjuring how the royal family from the House of Orange-Nassau were baptized there, deciphering the stained glass windows from Charles V, and finally checking in at the Ibis.

But it was a Sunday and I still have half the afternoon to kill, so to the streets of the Grote Markt and the building facades of The Hague.. the rich history of the Binnenhof and the Ridderzaal where the King delivers his speech at the opening of the parliament, the Mauritshuis and the allure of Veemer's "Girl with a Pearl Earring" and the intrigue of Rembrandt's "The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolas Tulp", to a viewing of the city skyline at Het Plein.

It was a Sunday with sporadic dark 5-minute rains and thankfully longer clear skies and a Turkish lunch at the Grote Markt, to a herring sandwich half-of-a-dinner at the gate of the Binnenhof and a biiterballen sandwich for the other half at De Passage.

It was a full day, a Sunday, cold and drizzling, in The Hague...    

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