Saturday 04 December 2021

DutchNews podcast – The Oppepkoffie O’Macron Ophef Edition

DutchNews podcast – The Oppepkoffie O’Macron Ophef Edition

Coronavirus cases are flying high but the big news this week was about two quarantining tourists who were barred from flying home and forced to spend the night in a stinking toilet in Groningen. Hugo de Jonge promises to give everyone over 60 a booster jab by Christmas as the cabinet comes under fire again for its sluggish vaccination programme. The coalition talks look to be creeping towards a conclusion as speculation begins about the ministerial merry-go-round. And completing a... More >

Switching health insurer? Some FAQs

You’ve only got a month left to decide whether or not to stick with your current health insurance provider. Maybe you you can’t be bothered, or think there is no point? So here are the answers to some of the most common questions people have when deciding whether or not to make the switch. Is there any point in comparing health insurance prices? Yes there is. The difference between different policies can be far more than a euro or two.... More >

Six tips for a great video interview

If you are applying for a job and your CV and motivation letter convinced the hiring manager you could be just the person they are looking for, chances are the next step is an invitation to an interview – but what if it is online? Video interviews were pretty common before coronavirus, to shorten hiring time and to improve accessibility for applicants based further away. But with with working from home remaining the norm, interviews via Zoom or Google Meets... More >

Eleven great things to do in December

No evenings at the theatre or cinema, no late night Christmas parties in your local cafe, no New Year fireworks: for many people the end of 2021 will seem strangely lacking. Still, there is plenty to do in the festive month. Everything on this list is, of course, subject to changes in the coronavirus rules, but here’s what we think will happen. Check beforehand. Don’t see the light The Amsterdam Festival of Light this year will lose a bit of... More >

Buying a house in the Netherlands? You have lots of mortgages to choose from

The shortage of houses for sale and the record low interests dominate much of the talk about the housing market at the moment. But how much do you know about the different types of mortgage on offer? At the moment in the Netherlands you can deduct the interest you pay on your mortgage from your taxable income, provided you meet certain conditions – and have the right type of mortgage. How much you can claim depends on your income and... More >

Out with racism, in with insulting poems

Any international who has survived one Sinterklaas season in the Netherlands is familiar with the dreaded Zwarte Piet debate. (If you’re not, David Sedaris can fill you in.) The pro-blackface Zwarte Piet camp claims it is defending Dutch culture and Dutch history, but really they are only defending grown adults wearing dumb costumes and uncomfortable face paint. Molly Quell thinks that if they wanted to promote Dutch culture, they should stop promoting racism and start advocating for poetry and art... More >

Podcast: The Nijntje's Nightmares Edition

While shoppers hunt for a Black Friday bargain, the Dutch government faces a Code Black scenario in hospitals as coronavirus infections continue to spread. Unrest boils again in Dutch cities as bars are forced to shut early and stricter rules are mooted for unvaccinated people. The cabinet comes in for criticism for its mixed messages, ineffective measures and late start to the booster vaccine campaign. If all else fails for Hugo de Jonge, there’s good money to be made from... More >

Share your voice on work and careers

After running surveys on quality of life and healthcare, the Share My Voice organisation is now turning to the field of work, with its third survey. Participate and fill out the survey here. The new survey will focus on international workers views on training and education at work and on their wishes and opportunities for further developing their careers. The aim, the organisers say, is to ‘improve the employment conditions and quality of life for labour migrants in the Netherlands’.... More >

'Language is only part of communication'

Abi Daruvalla fled to Amsterdam from the UK more than 40 years ago and worked for many years as a journalist/foreign correspondent and as a trainer with the Dutch World Service and Free Press Unlimited. She had a crush on Ruud Gullit for 30 years, loves asparagus and has no plans to leave the Netherlands, ever. How did you end up in the Netherlands? I was born and grew up in England but as my parents were Indian immigrants, I... More >

Universities and foreign students

A seemingly unstoppable rise in foreign student numbers is threatening to overwhelm Dutch universities. But the problem, professor Annette de Groot says, is largely of their own making. Opting to conduct a big chunk of their degree courses completely in English (71.6% of the total at the last count) Dutch universities have made them irresistible to foreign students. Now they are struggling to cope with the effects of their language policy, which is making the national housing crisis even worse.... More >

A journey to America in a pandemic

The pandemic has made international travel almost impossible, especially for those going further afield. A few weeks ago, Brandon Hartley returned to his hometown of Portland for the first time in over three years. We were 35,000 feet over Greenland when a mask-less woman bumped into my ankles with her head. This was one of the few scenarios my longtime partner and I hadn’t prepared for while planning our first trip back to Portland in over three years. Plotting how... More >

Podcast: The Infection Inquisition Edition

2G or not 2G? That is the question vexing Dutch politicians as coronavirus cases keep soaring and the calls for tighter restrictions grow louder. The coalition talks are still on track despite a careless party leader leaving confidential documents on a train. Sparks fly in parliament as far-right party FVD is accused of threatening behaviour. And that could be the only flashpoint we see this winter after ministers bow to pressure to ban New Year fireworks. Want to support the... More >

Waste app even rescues orange peel

According to waste collection warriors Seenons, ‘waste is only waste if we waste it’. As big-name companies sign up to their app, we find out how one of Amsterdam’s fastest growing startups is rescuing the valuable raw materials in the stuff we throw away. Liqueur company Dik & Schil regularly receive morning deliveries of coffee and freshly squeezed oranges at their workspace in Amsterdam. But the juice and hot coffee have been enjoyed elsewhere – it’s the grounds and the... More >

This is how much your health plan costs

The annual window for changing your health insurance has officially begun. Comparing and switching plans should pay off, as price differences have increased yet again. Here is what you need to know for 2022. Dutch health insurance companies have increased their premiums in 2022 by €48 a year on average. According to Zorgwijzer’s price overview, the average basic health insurance accounts to €128.30 euro per month with the statutory €385 own risk payment. Roughly 85% of the population is insured... More >

Give me year-round kruidnoten

Historically, rich Dutch people shoved nutmeg and cinnamon (in disgusting quantities) into dishes during all seasons. There’s nothing inherently wintery about spices that only grow in tropical climates. Forget vaccine mandates, Molly Quell writes, the real injustice is the conspiracy that keeps us from enjoying kruidnoten through the entire year. This weekend, I took my winter coat and my mittens out of storage. The city of Delft strung up its holiday lights. I have begun a list of gift ideas... More >

Podcast: The Vaccinterklaas Edition

With Code Black looming in hospitals, the Dutch government brings in a ‘lockdown lite’ in the hope of bringing infections down by Sinterklaas. But at least there’ll be less black on the faces of the saint’s entourage, as research show ‘sooty Piets’ have become the dominant strain. December 5 is also the date when Mark Rutte hopes to have his fourth cabinet installed, a mere nine months after the general election. In sports news, Feyenoord’s plans for a new stadium... More >

Dutch health insurance: the 2022 changes

The government expects health insurance premiums to rise by around €2.75 a month next year. So what do you need to know? Every year the government outlines what it expects the price of health insurance will be when it publishes its spending plans for the following year on the third Tuesday in September. This year, the government said it was forecasting a rise of €2.75 a month, which would take the average premium to around €121.25 a month. The figure... More >

'I can't get over how loudly people talk'

Kristóf Hajós (45) is a singer-songwriter and lead singer of The Unbending Trees. He left his native Hungary for Amsterdam three years ago after Viktor Orban’s Fidesz party tightened its grip on power in the 2018 general election. He cycles everywhere, drinks karnemelk for lunch and loves the tranquillity of the Dutch countryside. How did you end up in the Netherlands? I moved here in September 2018. I’d been coming here two or three times a month on business, so... More >

Dutch destinations: cheese and Gouda

‘Cheese’ is the first thing that might come to mind when you think of Gouda, but fear not if you’re lactose intolerant. The city is also famous for its pottery, stroopwafels, and smoking pipes in addition to its picturesque centre. Long before its now world-famous cheese market rolled out its curdy wheels for the first time, it was little more than a swampy marsh. The Van der Goude clan showed up in the Middle Ages to build a castle along... More >