Thursday 30 June 2022

Sport to seaside: things to do in June

Stock up on crisps and beer because the Dutch are gearing up for some serious sporting action even if you are not. But don’t worry, non-sporty types, there is plenty of other stuff going on in June as well. Find out what design can do In a packed programme, the Internationaal Theater in Amsterdam is hosting the 10th edition of What Design Can Do. How can the the most pressing social and environmental problems be helped by design? Top designers... More >

Long live my ancient Nokia phone

Like Mark Rutte, Senay Boztas has for many years deleted text messages from her ancient Nokia. She wouldn’t have it any other way. Reader, I have an ancient Nokia. I regularly delete text messages. This is because it runs out of memory and then when some cranky security system is texting me with an access code, it doesn’t arrive unless I have deleted most things from the system. I’d like to say that it’s a Nokia 301, in excellent company... More >

Amsterdam exhibition unpicks Fashion Week

In the lead-up to Amsterdam Fashion Week, the Fashion for Good Museum is exploring the evolution of international fashion shows and how these decadent displays are seeking to become more sustainable. A 1966 lipstick-pink Balenciaga dress, its skirt ballooning with fluffy ostrich feathers, is one of the many eye-catching designs now on display at Amsterdam’s Fashion for Good Museum. The dress is an ethical no-no for many designers these days, but a fitting metaphor for the fabulous but flawed Fashion... More >

Battle for the residential streets

In the past, Amsterdam struggled with holiday rentals; now a new battle is on between super fast delivery firms and residential streets. When Robbert Scholtus bought on an Amsterdam street with plans to reduce car traffic, he foresaw a quiet life. Then a ‘flash delivery’ store opened next door. ‘It’s hell,’ he said, as another delivery van drove up outside his home. ‘This part of the street has become an industrial zone. The thing I have the most nuisance with... More >

Podcast: The Nokia Pigeon Archive Edition

It turns out Mark Rutte doesn’t have the most unreliable memory in the Netherlands: that accolade goes to his trusty old Nokia 301. We digest the fall-out from Nokiagate and ask what happened to Rutte’s promises of a more open style of government. Collective paralysis also seems to have afflicted the coronavirus response, with health experts warning of an autumn lockdown as minister Ernst Kuipers tells businesses to make their own pandemic control plans. The CBS warns of economic stagnation... More >

Rotterdam rules for savvy home buyers

Rotterdam has a sleeves-rolled-up reputation. So it’s no wonder the city has been hard at work building a perfect opportunity for house buyers, says mortgage broker Expat Mortgages. The question used to be ‘why live in Rotterdam?’ Now, some people believe the question is: ‘Why not?’ A port city with just over 650,000 people of 170 different nationalities, Rotterdam is leading the way in building houses the nation desperately needs. Last year, the Zuid-Holland region constructed 13,300 new homes and,... More >

‘People may laugh, but I like the weather'

Cameron Jinks (30), originally from Northern Ireland, came to the Netherlands after being offered a spot at a Breda amateur rugby club. After googling the city, and deciding he liked what he saw, he moved to the Netherlands. He’s now a tech recruiter and a coach for the first team at Amsterdam rugby club AAC and has no plans to move anywhere else. How did you end up in the Netherlands? Well, 10 years ago I was still living in... More >

Help! 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 >