Monday 16 May 2022

Help! It is summer in the Netherlands and I’m being assimilated

Help! It is summer in the Netherlands and I’m being assimilated

As someone who comes from a place where there’s sunlight in abundance, regular columnist Molly Quell used to be unimpressed with the annual Dutch migration outside as soon as the sun shines. But then something changed.  It’s that time of year. The sun is shining, the birds are singing and the Dutch have decamped to the gardens, terraces and parks of the Netherlands. The people of the Netherlands feel the need to soak up a year’s worth of Vitamin D... More >

Podcast: The Aural Torture Chamber Edition

The shiny new administrative culture was put back in its box this week as Mark Rutte and Sigrid Kaag roamed the parliamentary corridors drumming up support for their spring budget package. In the debating chamber, parents who were targeted in the childcare benefits scandal walked out as a coalition MP refused to take questions during his maiden speech. Eleven gangsters were jailed in a gruesome case in which a sea container was fitted out as a makeshift torture chamber. Erik... More >

UK lenders are looking to the Netherlands

The Netherlands is poised to experience strong growth in the coming period, and that is making it extra attractive to UK lenders, says Charlie Armstrong, the director of real estate advisory group LEXI Finance. The UK commercial real estate funding market is at a highly competitive point in the cycle. Traditional British-based lenders – who largely hoarded cash during the height of the pandemic – have returned to market with a tangible eagerness for new opportunities. And they are not... More >

Dutch destinations: more about Leiden

We wrote about Leiden for the Dutch destinations series back in 2018, but there’s plenty more to experience and explore. Here’s a second glimpse at one of the most overlooked cities in the Randstad region.  Leiden is a city of several contrasts. Throughout much of the 20th century it was considered something of a backwater despite being located in the Randstad and serving as the home of Leiden University. Its industrial and blue collar past still echo through the streets... More >

NL to host a summer of first class cricket

A mower is moving slowly over the main pitch at Amstelveen cricket club VRA, while the birds sing. In the background, the sound of an electric drill within the club house is the only noise to disturb the rural peace. Even the planes heading for Schiphol are quiet. But in three week’s time, the green will be filled with fans, marquees and television crews as VRA kicks off the biggest season of international cricket the Netherlands has ever seen, hosting... More >

Amsterdam’s ombudsman fights red tape

Amsterdam’s new ombudsman tells Senay Boztas that he wants to be there for all Amsterdammers suffering bureaucratic pain, and why no government should think it is boss of the people. When your city council moves your vehicle (without telling you), then fines you repeatedly for ‘parking’ in the wrong zone, then clamps your car and demands an eyewatering fine…who are you going to call? If Munish Ramlal succeeds in his mission, in six years, this bureaucratic nightmare will be easily fixed... More >

NL wants a leading role in hydrogen

With the world hydrogen summit kicking off in Rotterdam on Monday, the Dutch are hoping to play a key role in Europe’s clean energy portfolio. In 1959, while prospecting for oil in a beetroot field in eastern Groningen, the Dutch Petroleum Company found gas instead. The sky-high flame could be seen for miles around. In time, neighbours would learn that they were living on top of the largest gas field in Europe. Within a few years, this hidden resource supplied... More >

Postcast: The Drunken Baby Bird Edition

The women take over this week as we remember the dead of World War II and celebrate freedom, while three peregrine falcon chicks escape their eggs on a ledge high above the Rijksmuseum. We ask can Hugo de Jonge solve the housing crisis, as he did coronavirus, or would he perhaps be better off trying to sort out the mess at Schiphol airport? The Netherlands has tumbled in the annual press freedom index but is there a link to the... More >

Get all the tips about moving to NL

When Florin asked Diana to live with him in the Netherlands there was a catch: Diana’s life, job and home country were in Romania, while Florin lived in Amsterdam. But, after meeting while skiing with a mutual friend and then cementing their bond on holiday in Bali, Diana decided to take the plunge. Like thousands of other expats each year, she moved to the Netherlands, and found herself sending out scores of job applications, building a life, and eventually having... More >

Housing strategy is gesture politics

The government’s decision to reduce the role of property values in determining rents is a symbolic gesture which will not help tenants and will hurt individual landlords, says Jasper de Groot, director of rental housing platform Pararius. In the Netherlands, housing rents – in the social housing sector – are determined by using a complicated system based on points. So a property gets points for having outside space, for having a modern kitchen and central heating, as well as its... More >

'The Dutch have a window open in winter'

Mayumi Konishi is originally from the island of Kyushu in Japan. She first came to the Netherlands while serving as a coach for a group of junior tennis players. She now lives in Amstelveen, loves French fries with mayo and would like to meet kickboxer Ernesto Hoost. How did you end up in the Netherlands? I first came here in 2004 for a junior tennis trip. I was with a group of players of between eight and ten years old... More >

24 Oranges: the tram stop time forgot

24 Oranges continues to press weird and fun Dutch things for your entertainment. Cycling myths Dutch motoring organisation ANWB has suggested a child should have 10,000 hours of cycling under their belts for them to be safe – yet another of the widely debunked 10,000 hour myths. The ANWB was quoting the former director of cycling lobby group Fietsersbond who had casually mentioned on the radio that to be safe, a child would need to cycle some 10,000 hours in... More >

11 great things to do in May

There is plenty for culture vultures in May, with a new museum devoted to mining history, Art Rotterdam and ground-breaking show in Amstelveen devoted to the modern artists of Morocco. Explore Dutch mining history As in other countries, Dutch mining history is one of pride, hard work, affluence, lung disease and, ultimately, unemployment. In Heerlen, in Limburg, a new mining museum opens its doors to the public on May 1 in former Kneepkens department store which dates from the days... More >

Podcast: The Grey Monk's Eyeopener Edition

More evidence this week that the Netherlands is recovering from the coronavirus pandemic as people try to offload the jigsaw puzzles and DVDs they bought during lockdown on the King’s Day street markets. The government has a clear-out of its munitions depots to support Ukraine’s war effort, as Ukrainian refugees boost net migration in the first quarter of 2022. King Willem-Alexander finally makes it to Maastricht, while Amsterdam keeps up its Koningsdag tradition of imposing an alcohol limit that everyone... More >

On the clock: being an entrpreneur

In some countries, you don’t need to do much to start working freelance: you might just register for value added tax and get started. Being a freelancer or self employed is increasingly popular in the Netherlands. In fact,  the proportion of people who are classed as freelance workers has risen from 8% of the working population in 2003 to 13% in 2020, according to national statistics office CBS. At the same time, there has been a growing discussion about whether... More >

Dutch marriages are based on fairytales

Wedding season is upon us and, with the pandemic having wrecked many big days, this summer is seeing an explosion in couples celebrating their nuptials. Before you head off to a Dutch wedding, Molly Quell wants you to prepare yourself to be lied to by the official overseeing this very important and legally binding ceremony.  Dutch wedding traditions are ripe for comedic fodder. The multi-tiered invitation structure. The exhausting all-day celebration (if you’re a top-tier invite.) And let’s not even... More >

Dutch Biennale entry is kinky cuddle space

The Venice Biennale, the art world’s most anticipated event, opens on 23 April. The Dutch entry, melanie bonajo’s whimsical When the body says Yes, is sure to stand out. We meet the artist to find out more. ‘I’d just finished somatic sex coaching training and then I got the phone call,’ the multidisciplinary artist melanie bonajo (lowercase, they/their) told Being selected by the Mondriaan Fund to represent the Netherlands at the Venice Art Biennale, the world’s most prestigious international... More >

Podcast: Pull the Beschoor Plug Edition

This week the PvdA had to find a new leader after Lilianne Ploumen decided she was unsuited to the job and quit as an MP. But the real crisis was at D66, where Sigrid Kaag was undermined by the party’s woefully misjudged handling of a sexual harassment inquiry. Germany angered the islanders of Schiermonnikoog by announcing plans to drill for gas in the Waddenzee. Feyenoord tore up their plans for a new stadium on the Maas and Erik ten Hag... More >

Plans to get the housing market moving

Plenty of things have been happening on the housing market since the start of the year, when the Netherlands got a new government. Mortgage advisor José de Boer has the lowdown. If last month’s local elections have shown anything, it is that housing is the most pressing concern facing the Netherlands – where ever you may happen to live. And if you are hoping to buy a house in Amsterdam, or anywhere else in the country, some action is already... More >