Thursday 20 January 2022

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 >

How can businesses adapt to the Covid age?

With coronavirus still likely to be with us next spring, its impact on all parts of life is becoming increasingly permanent. But what does that mean for entrepreneurs and the development of new ways of working? If you put together a group of business leaders with handful of visionaries and a sprinkling of change-makers, what will come out of their talks? It’s a question that the BASE Conference team are hoping to answer with this year’s event. The 2021 Base... More >

Podcast: Assistance Admiral Walrus Edition

With coronavirus cases on the rise again, experts call for firm, decisive action to bring infections down. Politicians, however, prefer to tinker with work from home rules, rely on a patchy QR code system and put the hard decisions off for another week. Elsewhere this week the Netherlands clocked up a record number of billionaires, while Amsterdam announced plans to restrict the city’s housing market for private landlords. Ajax marched on in Europe but Rotterdam’s mayor lost his rag with... More >

First public art depot opens in Rotterdam

Rotterdam’s Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum is still under renovation but has transferred its entire collection to its stunning new warehouse opposite and made museum history. Passengers in glass elevators make vertical journeys either side of a six-storey atrium and watch the glass-encased objects stream past. Zigzagging around them are clear-sided walkways where people in white coats gaze into transparent rooms or shuffle in and out of storage spaces. Downstairs, a docking system awaits new arrivals, but they’ll have to acclimatise... More >

Inburgering with DN: key facts about beer

With the nights drawing in, what better thing to do follow the inburgering course? Lesson 26: Beer Beer brewing in the Netherlands dates back to the 9th century, though craft beer has recently experienced a considerable resurgence in the country. Ever since Heineken won the gold medal for its pilsner at the World’s Fair in 1889, the Dutch have been known for that brewery and style, but brewing in the Netherlands is much more than that. Beer was not... More >

13 great things to do in November

Amazing art, stunning stars and taking the mickey out of cheese heads – there is an awful lot to see and do on the cultural circuit this November. Go to university Combine a stroll through the oldest botanical gardens in the Netherlands with a visit to the historical Oude Sterrewacht (old observatory), also at Leiden University, and find out what astronomers discovered during a century of star gazing. Weekends only. From November 1. Website See the Dutch through their eyes... More >

Podcast: The Hitler Got Vaccinated Edition

New climate change forecasts this week were the stuff of Dutch nightmares: if the Netherlands doesn’t step up its efforts to cut emissions, it risks becoming a Mediterranean country. Even more urgently, the rising tide of coronavirus infections has raised the prospect of restrictions being imposed again. And there’s still the question of when we’ll have a new government as the coalition breaks its own record for the longest formation in history. Bad news too for Ronald Koeman, sacked after... More >

Dutch dentistry: what you need to know

There are a lot of misconceptions out there about how dentistry works in the Netherlands. You may not need insurance, for example, and the prices you pay are up to the government, not the dentist. Here’s what you need to know Prevention is better than cure The Dutch approach to dental care in general is very much focused on prevention, says Maaike van Schaik, of Amsterdam dental clinic Tandarts Jordaan. ‘We try to stop problems from developing in the first... More >

'In the sunshine, the free ferries over the IJ are a great tourist tip'

Tudor Lomas grew up in the UK and spent more than ten years in the Middle East before moving to Amsterdam with his family. The former BBC journalist and presenter now works as a media and development consultant. He has just released a book titled about surviving the lockdown, says he has become very Dutch and will only leave the Netherlands in a box. How did you end up in the Netherlands? We didn’t have a lot of choices in... More >

Dark tourism in the Netherlands

Dark tourists on a quest for the Netherlands’ nastiest narratives raises ethical questions about the commodification of some of the country’s most solemn sites. But condemning the practice without considering its context, say some, misses the point. Amsterdammer Claudia Crobatia has visited many cemeteries, but mostly as a tourist rather than a mourner. ‘It’s the closest you can get to the mystery of death itself,’ says the death awareness coach, who founded A Course in Dying in 2016 to help... More >

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City lights: art festival boat tours

As the dark nights draw in, Amsterdam city lights up. This winter will mark the 10th year of the Amsterdam Light Festival and art afficionados believe there is no better way to see it than by boat tour. ‘It gives a magical atmosphere to the Amsterdam canals,’ says Timo Haaker, founder of electric boat company Starboard boats. ‘The canals of Amsterdam are unique and beautiful even without the art, but light art gives them an extra dimension. A lot of the pieces... More >