Collecting Memories: Remembering More, or Less

You forget just how cold the water is that flows through the taps. How numb your hands become in mere minutes. Unlike at home – in Nigeria where the water from the taps is always warm.

At #starbucks-#whitechocolate #raspberry #cheesecake! For #knowledge sake! Creamy, smooth, yum!!
White chocolate, Raspberry Cheesecake @ Starbucks

You forget how narrow and winding Dutch stairwells are. How steep. How torturous it is to walk down the stairs in the dark, madly gripping handrails and banisters.

#grandcentral esque in #denhaag 's #passage
Gorgeous ceilings in The Passage, Den Haag Centrum Shopping Area

You forget how many times you should kiss friends. One? Two or three? Apparently 3, just like the French do. Forget the number and a kiss could well land on lips!

And still, it’s hard to believe things have changed in our absence, even if they are things that are easily forgotten.

Things like French fries with ‘sweet’ mayo. Frites met mayo. That’ll be forever the same.

Or what happens when the sun comes out to play – the city of Den Haag troops to the beach. You forget that. Scores of people piling into/onto trams – well dressed to play.

Idyllic scenes of #dutch #canals. #lilypads and #boats, and water running by. #nature at its finest
View down a canal: idyllic summer scenes

You forget your hay fever. Sniffing, eyes itching, nose twitching and lots of sneezing. You’ve been gone too long but the pollen remember you. And while you long for sun, the counts go higher and higher – your summer curse.

#tramjam near #centraalstation, #denhaag. No crashes but along line of#red #trams.

And all this, since we’ve been gone.

Take the ‘fast’ buses for instance. Back then, they took half the time the regular buses dud and stopped 10 minutes from my house. Buses 88, 89 and 95.

The new #denhaag centraal station. Ready in 2014! #photo of #photographers!! #architecture
A photographer photographing another. But a stunning view looking up to the new Den Haag Centraal Station, ready in 2014!

Two years later and they’re gone! The lady at the counter says they don’t exist. She’s only been there a year. So I take the regular bus but there’s no stop close to my old street. I have to walk. And walk I do. I enjoy the scenery but again I judge the distance incorrectly!

Tonight is different. I send my friend a text to say I’ll be late as the slow bus is the only alternative. Then I begin to moan at the bus stop about how only a few years ago, the fast buses ran. You know when I lived there. Apparently with my departure everything’s gone to pot! Sigh!!

I almost slip into a diatribe but I am quieted by a random gentleman’s response which is ‘Oh those? They’ve been renamed!’

Shock. And I catch the right, fast bus. Bus 385 and 386. I’m in Wassenaar in minutes!

I get off the bus to freshly laid concrete. My grey carpet. The grasses lining the oath are tall, unkempt. That’s almost the total extent though of the degradation I’ve seen in this place I left.

Houses are pristine. As I left them.

And my fascination with mannequins is growing! Especially if they sport cobalt blue shoes. Cobalt being my absolute favourite blue….and possibly colour!

#cobaltblue is one of my fave #colours ever! And it's all the rage and #trend. I'm also fascinated with #manenquins!

My old ‘supermarket’ has changed too – broader aisles. The freezer section now houses underwear and bathing suits. Stuff for when summer rolls round. The baking section has moved, to an entirely new space. Side-by-side with the deli. The smell of fresh bread is so inviting, embracing but I manage to avoid it all – I am on tour!

Its interesting to see things anew.

It's fun to collect stuff. A huge collection of #winecorks!
Cork Collection – we all have a treasure trove of things keep and remember. Mine is memories!

And to preserve old memories. While collecting new ones.[wpurp-searchable-recipe]Collecting Memories: Remembering More, or Less – – – [/wpurp-searchable-recipe]


  1. Hello there,
    I also “suffered” the long transition to Den Haag Centraal, my bus 43, 24 and 45 you made me remembered, but never had the pleasure to enjoy (still it’s 2013)
    Most of my memories are tough and sad while in NL, I am glad some expats have had a nice poetic time there. Well, I did love Dille and Kamille 😉

  2. Memories can be fickle. We think we’ve saved a piece of reality in our memories and that’s the way it is; when each day is an entirely different universe. Thank you for taking us along on your adventure, it was lovely!

  3. So beautiful, dear Ozoz. 🙂 It is lovely to visit the Netherlands with you through this post, to remember things I’ve already forgotten since my time there. So glad you were able to find your old/new bus. 🙂

    • 🙂 thanks Krista dear! It is a wonderful place, more idyllic now that I don’t live here anymore and don’t have to experience ‘real’ life, I can remember it as fondly as I like. Ha ha

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