When I lived in Australia, government-based cities like Canberra were bleak and not-so-exciting for a young urban gal's wild heart. I figured Den Haag would be the same. Although it has an abundance of embassy offices, The Hague is place where serenity meets excitement. Now, it's not Amsterdam, but its a classier version of what Amsterdam once was many moons ago.
If you've followed any of my posts, you know that I love the ocean (and the sun). Combined with a bit of entertainment, The Hague's (nearly) countless beach clubs ignite a fiery yet chilled atmosphere, sort of like when yin meets yang. Compared to Germany, The Hague may seem sleepy but the city itself is more beautiful than most German city centers. And we all know that everything is beautiful next to a beach.
I spent many afternoons freelance writing, vegan dining and sipping lattes in the sun and grooving to house music at the beloved Peukie's Beach Club.
Peukie's is the place to unplug, let go and let it roll with the sunshine and damn good house music.
But remember, Buddha has big ears for a reason. Buddha hears all. Even thoughts. He has this majestic telepathic capability and can hear everything including the bratwurst-looking beefcakes who got in a fight because his woman chose someone else. Beach clubs attract it all, including stockpiles of Eurotrash. Sadly, you can't avoid it, but if it happens just keep sipping your latte and focus on your karma.
In a state of pure bliss, I broadcasted my telepathic gratitude list to the universe. On a sunny Friday in May, I thanked the Buddha for this opportunity to live in Europe and to enjoy the admirable European work-life balance lifestyle. While opening my mental scripture of Blissology 101, I read through the text of my own life.
I'm living in Europe, enjoying lattes, music and the sun, sand and sea. How could I not be thankful for this life I chose? This is the life that I dreamed of. A life with absolute freedom and no restraints. I surfed through the memories of my twenties, and although I don't regret anything from the past I am glad that I lived abroad but also worked hard. The hard work set up my 30's to stop giving a shit and live a life outside of my ego. I don't give a shit if i go out dancing by myself. I don't care what people think of me and I certainly don't give a hoot about drama.
That's the beauty of European dining. You can go to a bar and order a latte or an apple juice compared to the United States where the only alcohol-free beverage at a bar is soda or water.
Peukie's is not a vegetarian or vegan restaurant, but is plant friendly in many ways. From appetizers to entrees, plant-based meals are available, but with a price. The beach clubs are not cheap. In fact, dining out in The Hague is expensive, and anything near the ocean is pricier.
First, the lattes ooze with froth and steam with the scent of freshly grounded espresso beans. Served with a Lotus cookie, the Buddha's energy elevates or levitates you to Cloud Nine. Well, it could actually be the espresso beans gyrating your cells since European coffee is not for the weak or those with a bad gut flora.
If you are on a budget, order a smoothie or the bruschetta. The most prominent vegan item is the ultra-hearty veg burger made with the "meat" from The Hague's vegan butcher, De Vegetarische Slager that will fuel your dancing shoes for the remainder of the evening. It is worth the 18-euros, if you want to ride the magic carpet of culinary bliss - veganism.
And the water is as mystical as the Buddha himself. It's not the Mediterranean but every seashell has a story. It teaches you that its not the destination but the journey in life. High and low tides will continue to lift and sink your soul, but your outlook in life is what keeps you moving forward without looking back and regretting the past.
And to this wisdom, I say "Namaste" to The Hague - a place that has more Buddhas than Thailand (not sure on the accuracy of that but when you visit, you'll see).
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