New Year in The Hague
We celebrated last year new year's eve in The Hague with friends and that was so good that we drove north again on the 31st. After an enervating long slow drive at a restricted speed of 90 kms through Belgium where the cold freezing weather without any wind caused smog, we arrived in The Hague where the first fireworks were already lighted in the afternoon and were causing a stronger foggy atmosphere. This time we weren't so surprised anymore to hear the explosions sounds all afternoon already. Hahaha while the Belgians drive slowly to prevent the smog from getting worse, the Dutch were lighting fireworks and worsened the "fine dust particles" by 5 due to the many fireworks.
We gathered with a group of 14 Belgians and Dutch around the table and had a very pleasant cosy evening together. The food was excellent and plenty, so was the wine. After the appropriate kisses, bubbles and wishes at midnight, we headed outside to watch the neighbourhood fireworks.
The crisis could be felt as , at least the street we were in, there were considerably less flares shot up in the air. Around the block however there was a lot more activity so we made a little walk.
- "Gaza", "this is a war zone", "we are in an occupied city", ...were some of the remarks of the first time Belgian visitors
- "A lot less than last year" "ah here are some more", "ah yes those things over there, there were a lot of them in front of our door last year" , ....were the comments of the second time Belgian visitors
- "where the hell are some decent fireworks?" where the comments of the Dutch visitors
While walking we saw a flair flying horizontally through the street though...Jan and I ducked down and I felt a knock against my forehead. I couldn't believe I was actually hit by some of the fireworks but didn't feel any pain and the others who asked me if I was hit, didn't see anything right away. So I didn't think too much of it at the moment...too much going on around me. Only afterwards when I saw a burn line on my hat, I realised that I really have been hit by flying fireworks. Yikes man, that's insane, but it doesn't suprise me if you see them lighting up whatever in the middle of the streets without safety precautions. I am so relieved I was wearing my hat! Next time I'll be a lot less at ease at New Year on the Dutch streets!
burn mark on the left side (that black line isn't shadow)
The mess on the streets the day after