Tuesday 26 May 2020

Podcast: The Name Goes Here Edition

Plenty of ground to cover in this week’s podcast, from Ajax’s swashbuckling conquest of Madrid to Wopke Hoekstra’s peacemaking mission to Paris and a setback for Albert Heijn in Belgium. Dutch ministers call for short-haul flights to Brussels to be scrapped, IS fighter Yago Riedijk is told he’ll have to find his own way back to Arnhem and Willem Holleeder’s long career as the Netherlands’ most notorious gangster may be running out of road. In our discussion we look at... More >

Introducing 10 remarkable Dutch women

Dutch women get a lot of stick at times – for working part-time, for dressing down and for letting their children run riot. So here, to celebrate International Women’s Day, are the brief stories of 10 Dutch women who broke the mold. A businesswoman and soldier To be called a Kenau in Dutch is not a compliment – it means you are a harridan – and yet Kenau Hasselaar (1526 – 1588) was by all accounts courageous and clever. When... More >

Housing is hot, don't burn your fingers

While there are signs that the rise in house prices in the Netherlands may be slowing down, the market is still extremely tight. So what can you do to boost your chances of buying a home of your own? Rotterdam-based estate agent Wil Jansen of @Work Real Estate Agency has been watching the housing market closely, as prices pick up in the port city. House prices in the most popular areas have more than doubled in the past two years,... More >

'Amsterdam looks like a postcard'

Bilge Yörük spent most of her childhood in Turkey before she moved to Canada as a teenager. She now lives in Amsterdam with her husband and young daughter and works for a medical research company. She would like to meet tv presenter Arjen Lubach and loves hanging out in the Jordaan. How did you end up in the Netherlands? I met my now husband while I was working on my PhD in Toronto. He was doing a research internship in... More >

Inheritance law for expats in NL

Inheritance is fundamentally a difficult subject to think about, but as an expat with family in other countries, it can be even harder as you have to deal with contradictory and confusing international laws during a difficult time. Here are some key considerations to simplify inheritance law for expats living in the Netherlands. Determining which country’s law applies to an inheritance is an important first step, as it can affect how the estate is divided, as well as the rights... More >

Blogwatching: The Worst Place On Earth

The blog Amsterfam is the creation of Lauren Collett. She moved from London to Amsterdam nearly two years ago with three kids and her other half, My Lawyer. These are her adventures. On Tuesday, My Lawyer says: ‘I might go to Dubai next week.’ I reply: ‘What is the likelihood in percent?’ ‘Like…. 50%.’ ‘Okay,’ I nod. ‘Keep me updated.’ On Wednesday, My Lawyer says: ‘I am 80% not going to Dubai next week.’ ‘Okay,’ I say. ‘Good to know.’ On... More >

Podcast: The Magnificent Gift Card Edition

  A week of impulse buys and dodgy transactions is capped by the Dutch government increasing its stake in Air France-KLM, sparking ophef in Paris and causing the airline’s share price to take a nosedive. We do our best to untangle the can of worms that was opened by Wopke Hoekstra’s surprise move. Elsewhere, 90,000 bottles of vodka marked for Kim Jong-Un are seized in Rotterdam, new migrants are warned not to fall for scammers posing as the Dutch immigration... More >

IamExpat Fair is bigger, better than ever

Amsterdam’s biggest expat event is moving to a new location this year – the iconic Gashouder in the city’s Westerpark. And that means the IamExpat Fair, which targets newcomers and established internationals, will be bigger and better than ever. Looking for a new job? Need mortgage advice? Looking for a good school or day-care for your kids? Want to enrol in a quality Dutch course or advance your career with an MBA? Find all the answers at this year’s bumper... More >

Save the postie, write a love letter

How to keep the postman safe in the era of e-mail? Put pen to paper and write a love letter, advises economist Mathijs Bouman. This is what I fished out of my No-bestickered post box this morning: a letter from a solar panel seller, a folder from a web shop in office supplies and a blue envelope from the tax office. The first two immediately end up in the paper recycling bin while I swear to myself never to buy... More >

Hockney to Hair Peace - here's 14 great things to do in March

The John and Yoko peace protest in Amsterdam, English-language theatre, amazing art and the missing link in photographic history – these are just some of the events in our March list of great things to do. See nature through their eyes David Hockney’s elegiacal homage to nature  begins on the first of this month at the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam. ‘Nature is never boring,’ Hockney says, ‘and Van Gogh knew that’. Hockney-Van Gogh – The Joy of Nature explores... More >

Where to celebrate Carnaval this weekend

This weekend Carnaval breaks loose in the southern part of the Netherlands. Here’s what you need to know about this most Dutch of events. In Brazil they have the famous Rio Carnival; in Greece, Italy and other parts of the southern Mediterranean religious parades take place through towns large and small. In the Netherlands, predominantly in North Brabant and Limburg, we have Carnaval – without either the sparkly costumes or the religious overtones. Carnaval derives from the latin, carne vale,... More >

Rutte rules the VVD or is it D66?

Prime minister Mark Rutte is currently big on Europe and the climate.  Yet his party used to hate wind turbines because it was subsidies that kept them turning, says commentator Syp Wynia. The VVD was the party that wanted less Europe, not more, the party which, under Frits Bolkestein, became, for the very first time, the biggest in the land. But that was the 1990s and Bolkestein’s VVD has had its day. In 13 years as party leader, Mark Rutte... More >

Good grades for Amsterdammer of the year

Studiezalen (Study Rooms) is a non-profit organisation helping children from disadvantaged backgrounds get a foot back on the education ladder. Deborah Nicholls-Lee meets founder, and newly-elected Amsterdammer of the Year, Abdelhamid Idrissi to find out more. ‘Better grades is something that’s easy to achieve,’ says Abdelhamid Idrissi (29) from Slotermeer, who was voted Amsterdammer of the Year in January, amassing around a third of all the votes cast. ‘Everybody can do that,’ he explains. ‘But if someone is not happy,... More >

Podcast: The Jihadi Daycare Edition

  The sound of doors slamming shut echoes through this week’s podcast as the Netherlands says it will turn away returning IS fighters, Venezuela closes its border with Curacao and a Dutch journalist has a full-on crockery-smashing row with a Fox News host. We also find out how the cabinet got its fingers burned over energy bills and discuss whether compelling children from immigrant families to attend pre-school will really help them integrate better. News Coalition parties projected to lose... More >

Nine key facts for filing your taxes

February is the month that most of us get a blue envelope from the tax office, telling us it is almost time to file our annual tax return. Here are nine key issues that you need to take into account. 1. It is all down to boxes The Dutch tax system distinguishes three types of income for tax purposes. Each type of income is referred to as box 1, 2 or 3 and has its own tax rate. Box 1... More >

Who will guard your child when you’re gone

Historically, if you wanted to designate a guardian for your child in case something should happen to you, it had to be done by will. Today, a new option is available which makes this process cheaper and easier: appointing a guardian via the parental authority register. As a parent in the Netherlands, you want to know that if something happens to you, your child will have someone to protect their best interests. However, until recently the only way that a... More >

'I am not a great believer in maps'

Originally from Pakistan, Basir Mahmood is an artist, photographer, and filmmaker whose works have appeared in galleries and museums all around the world. A few years ago, he was awarded a research fellowship in Amsterdam, and he continues to live in the city. How did you end up in the Netherlands? I have been travelling around for the last eight years now, from one artist residency to another. This is how I also ended up at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende... More >

Weird stairways, stone tables and Gandalf

Leiden dates back all the way to the 9th century. Over the past 1,100 years, it’s steadily acquired its fair share of historical oddities and other curiosities that are unique or simply bizarre. Here’s a few that are often overlooked by visitors and locals alike. 1 A mysterious stairway Outside Leiden’s medieval Stadhuis, there’s a stairway that leads to a small platform. Together, they seem pretty pointless but they served an important purpose back in the day. The platform was... More >