If one thing stands out on this trip to The Hague thus far, it is this: tourists very easily lose their way.

This is because The Hague follows a classic European medieval architectural scheme of lovely old buildings on lovely old streets, with lovely old parks scattered about. We’ve walked to the convention center no less than a dozen times and my colleagues still manage to get lost every single trip. Maybe I’ve just got more experience with this sort of thing, I’m not entirely sure.

And this is a horrible thing to admit, but it’s also kind of boring. Everything is just plain nice. The people, the places, the town in general. My mind is rebels. Spring is a bit further along and the crocuses are blooming in line with the daffodils, the tulip, and the creeping myrtle. I did mean tulip in the singular sense. I’ve only seen one the entire time. I guess I just expected more.

My motley crew of colleagues and I are staying at the Hotel Petit which over looks a beautiful park flanked by the Russian Embassy (all the better to keep tabs on you darling, Vladimir) and it, too, is nice. And charm galore! The hotel is well thought-out and well-run. The steps climbing to the upper floors are amazingly steep and you really have to pick your knees up if you wish to tackle them, but I like the challenge. The rooms are well appointed. The bathrooms are immaculate. There are thoughtful amenities everywhere. And it’s all nice.

The trams are clean. The streets are spotless. The garbage cans never seem to be in possession of refuse. Throw something in and watch, it magically disappears I am convinced. There are specialized bike lanes and bike turning lanes. The sidewalks are massive and the whole town is pedestrian friendly. Most bikes in town are of the grandma’s cruiser variety and they, too, you guessed it, are nice.

After the untamed geography of Iceland, the wind swept adventures in Ireland, and the complex hospitality rituals of Northern Africa, The Hague is a cakewalk. Not something I can quite get my mind around. It’ s pleasant. It’s relaxing. The townsfolk are incredibly direct. Nothing appears difficult. Not that the people weren’t “nice” at these other places, they were terrifically lovely. It’s just that Iceland is a hostile climate to your person, Ireland wants to either drown you in her bogs or her liquor, and Northern Africa is just a generally complicated place to visit for any number of reasons. All of which makes for memorable trips and good yarns.

In difficulty comes drama. In drama comes a story you pass around to your friends for years to come. The best story I have from this trip so far revolves around a highly aggressive pigeon who politely flew off when I confronted him directly on his boorish behavior.

I’ve still got a few more days for something to happen but it’s not looking good. The museums are well appointed and the local attractions are interesting and well-staffed. Looking to be a another nice day.

A professor of mine commented to me before this trip that The Hague is great place to live but you don’t want to visit here. I’m beginning to see what he means, which of course, says more about me than it does of this perfect, clean, well organized, well run, and nice city.

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