The HagueRobert Allen 10-23-2022
After staying in Amsterdam, I wanted to mix things up by visiting somewhere else in the Netherlands. I settled upon The Hague due to rumors of its good nightlife. Rotterdam was a strong contender, but the main attraction there was its architecture which wasn’t a big draw for me. The train to the Hague was quite a smooth operation. Quiet, free wifi, and comfortable seats. I made it to my hostel, checked in, and got to work for that day. It was nice in that the lobby of my hostel was quiet and easy to work from. However, once it started to reach 8-9 PM, I realized it would never liven up.
Unfortunately, this hostel was not an 18+ hostel which I did not know at the time. Instead, this hostel seemed to make most of its money acting as temporary housing for high school kids to stay at for their soccer games/field trips. There were TONS of schoolchildren at this hostel, that and families. I was frankly out of my element. I spent most of my time at that hostel on my computer and being antisocial. I say antisocial, but there weren’t many options unless I felt like chatting with high school kids – I did not.
The hostel’s name was StayOkay – it lived up to its name.
I did meet one person there during my stay; a gay Indian man by the name of Harish. Around 24 years old, he was talkative, friendly, and eager to get to know me. I, for my part, wasn’t the most social having not found much in The Hague to be happy with. Still, we hung out for a bit of the day, got dinner, and met up with his friend. He was a dutchman whose name I don’t recall. Our merry trio went out on the town that night and bar-hopped. Our first stop: American bar. Despite its name, there was nothing American about it other than pictures on the wall of celebrities. Next, a lively tiki bar called Vavoom Tiki Room. Great cocktails for the price and a great atmosphere. The vibe of the people wasn’t as great, with lots of frat-boy attitudes going around. Lastly, we visited my favorite of the night: The fiddler. They made their own beer, and each table was solely illuminated by a candle on the table, giving it a cozy vibe.
After the fiddler, Harish kissed his friend goodnight. This caused me to realize that both of them were in fact gay. I had been a third-wheeling this entire night without knowing it. We walked back to the hostel and said our goodbyes as Harish would leave the following morning.
It was clear The Hague was not marketed nearly as much towards tourists as Amsterdam was. During our night, we encountered several instances of needing to pay with something other than Visa. This extended to the grocery store, leading me to awkwardly return a sandwich I wanted back to where I picked it up.
In general, The Hague wasn’t for me. I developed an allergy of some kind causing my eyes to emit a gross sticky discharge for several days. Despite it clearing up quickly, it didn’t add to the experience. It seemed unfriendly to tourists, and there wasn’t much to do other than visit some lackluster museums. I also found out I had picked the worst week to leave Amsterdam. There was a yearly world-renowned electronic music festival being held in Amsterdam that I missed out on. I will probably never be back to the Hague.
I decided to go back to The Winston in Amsterdam. Upon doing so, I immediately felt more at home. The streets were familiar, the chime of the clock tower, welcoming, and the hostel/bar staff, friendly. So far of the places I’ve visited, The Winston is my favorite and is the place that feels the most like home.