DutchNews.nl destinations: Texel

DutchNews.nl destinations: getting windblown in winter on Texel In the winter, a wander along a blustery Texel beach is a popular way to blow the cobwebs away - lekker uitwaaien, as the Dutch would say. Robin Pascoe visited the biggest of the Wadden Sea islands. Just a few minutes by ferry from the navy town of Den Helder, Texel's regular population of over 13,000 is constantly inflated by a steady stream of holidaymakers all year round, mainly from the Netherlands and Germany. Texel is a something for everyone kind of place. The dune landscape is a haven for bird life and around one third of the island is a designated nature reserve. In the summer, tourists flock to its enormous sandy beaches, and the popular west coast villages of De Koog and De Cocksdorp, where most of the holiday villages and hotels are located. Despite Texel's popularity, it is easy to escape the crowds - but you will need to book the more popular restaurants in the evening. The local tourist office, which is extremely helpful, has a very comprehensive website in English. Things...  More >


The Dutch are dedicated to WWII liberators

‘I’m incredibly touched by the Dutch dedication to the memories of the WWII liberators’ Sherry Keneson-Hall works for the US foreign service and has lived in 38 cities to date. During her stint in the Netherlands so far, she has done the Vierdaagse in Nijmegen, swum in the sea on New Year's Day and developed a passion for Limburgse vlaai with cherries. How did you end up in the Netherlands? I joined the Foreign Service right after graduate school in 2002, six months after 9/11. I went through formation classes, learned French, and began my first two year post in Guinea that December. Then I moved to Brussels where I served almost two and a half years and then on to Sofia in Bulgaria for three years and Prague for another three years. Now I’m on my fifth overseas tour here in the Netherlands. I’d been to the Netherlands before while I was living in Belgium to visit Delft, the Keukenhof and Amsterdam. I also came over as part of the delegation when former POTUS Barack Obama was here during the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit and it was a lot of fun. We do have some...  More >


Blogwatching: Amsterdam ramen restaurants

Blogwatching: 9 ramen restaurants in Amsterdam – rated Vicky Hampton is British by birth and Dutch by choice, a writer, cook and avid foodie who has lived and worked in Amsterdam since 2006. Vicky launched her blog Amsterdam Foodie in 2007 and it is now an indispensible guide to the city's eateries and beyond. Before we get into all the noodly details, let me start with a caveat: I’ve never been to Japan. I’ve never even eaten ramen outside of Amsterdam. I’m comparing these places on a level playing field – but I’ve never played on another field, as it were. So I’m no expert – I’m simply speaking as I find, according to my own subjective tastes. With that in mind, and without further ado, I bring you my Ramen Amsterdam Roundup: what you should eat at nine ramen restaurants, and how I rate them against each other. Tokyo Ramen Takeichi A relative newcomer on the Vijzelstraat, Takeichi gets packed with locals and tourists every lunchtime. The occasion I visited, I got the Nouko spicy chicken ramen with egg. The flavour...  More >


Podcast: The Sacred Cows Edition

DutchNews Podcast – The Sacred Cows Edition – Week 5 In this week's podcast we ask who was responsible for the cyber attacks that mysteriously hit Dutch banks a week after details emerged of the security services' role in a counterespionage operation against Russia. Plans to cut gas production in Groningen and compensate earthquake-hit householders got back on track, the senate debated changes to the law on organ donation and there was a happy ending for Hermien the fugitive cow. In our discussion we look at why the debate about the Dutch colonial legacy has flared up again. Top story Cyber attacks cause misery for Dutch banking system to a halt News Watchdog advises drastic cuts in Groningen gas production Archaeologists discover remains of 6000-year-old baby Senators ask for more time to debate organ donation bill Escaped cow given permanent reprieve in Friesland Sport Transfer window closes with no major purchases Assen challenges Zandvoort for Dutch Grand Prix Discussion: colonialism, slavery and...  More >


The Dutch and the Winter Olympics

Eight things you need to know about Dutch at the Winter Olympics At the last winter Olympics, the Dutch squad won 23 of the 36 long track speed skating medals, leading to a lot of muttering about the Oranje dominance. No-one expects the medal haul to be as impressive at this year's event but here are 10 facts you need to know about the Dutch at this year's Winter Olympics. When are the Winter Olympics? The 23rd Winter Olympics will be held from 9 to 25 February 2018 in PyeongChang (which we will all learn to pronounce and spell correctly as the days pass), Gangwon Province, in the Republic of Korea. To show that sports does indeed unite people, the athletes from the two Koreas will be marching under a single ‘unification flag’. Where can we watch? There is a time difference of eight hours with PyeongChang, so any morning event there will have diehard sports fans here watching in their pajamas or fully dressed because they have not bothered to go to bed.  Here is the full programme. NOS will be broadcasting live for 10 hours a day,...  More >


How does the 30% ruling work?

The 30% ruling: what is it, who can claim it and how does it work? You may have heard a lot about the 30% ruling, or you may even be claiming it already. Here's a definitive guide to this very Dutch expat benefit, by Tax Consultants International. The Netherlands has a beneficial regime for employees who are recruited or hired from abroad. The extraterritorial expenses you, as expat, can incur because you live outside of your home country, may under circumstances be reimbursed free of tax. Key for tax-free reimbursement is that your employer is able to substantiate these expenses. Examples of extraterritorial expenses are housing allowance, cost of living allowance, personal income tax return assistance, house hunting/acquaintance trips. This is not a limited list! 30%-ruling An alternative for tax beneficial reimbursement of costs, is to apply for the 30%-ruling. In a nutshell, this ruling means that instead of reimbursing the actual extraterritorial expenses, 30% of the gross taxable salary can be reimbursed free of tax. If the 30%-ruling...  More >


11 great things to do in February

From a fish-inspired teapot to a gazing ball: 11 great things to do in February Gaze into a ball King of kitch Jeff Koons is supplying this year’s Meesterwerk, a work of art so dear to the public or fragile it almost never travels. The Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam has gone for Gazing Ball Perugino Madonna and Child with Four Saints, one of a series of iconic works of art copied by Koons and fitted with a blue reflecting sphere in which to gaze and ‘become part of the art work’, as one critic had it. February 17 to April 8 at the Nieuwe Kerk. Website Meet the family What better after the recent festive get-togethers than a look at even more skewed family dynamics than your own? Inspired by Ibsen, Simon Stone's play takes place at the home of a celebrated architect where various family members meet up and well, you can guess the dysfunctional rest. Ibsen House is performed by Toneelgroep Amsterdam at the Stadsschouwburg in Amsterdam with surtitles on Thursday 8 and February 15. Website Discover the historic side of Jan Steen Painter of shambolic households...  More >


Dutch not big on credit cards

Credit cards not yet popular among the Dutch, despite the advantages The popularity of credit cards in the Netherlands has always lagged behind when compared to many other Western countries. But new figures out last week show that there has been a bit of a catch-up - thanks to paid-for online entertainment such as Spotify. Last year the Dutch bought goods or services 160 million times with a credit card - that's a rise of over 10% on 2016. Nevertheless, credit card use still has some way to go to catch up with the rest of the world and the humble pin card - used 3.8 billion times to make a purchase in the Netherlands last year. There are lots of different cards available Netherlands so why are the Dutch so reluctant to use them? It may have something to do with the financial attitude of the Dutch people themselves: they are extremely debt adverse. It is not surprising that the word guilt and debt are the same word in Dutch - schuld. Bar bills For tourists and new arrivals to the Netherlands, the lack of acceptance of credit cards may cause problems,...  More >


Deep divisions over Dutch colonial past

How the Mauritshuis row put the spotlight on the Dutch colonial past Prime minister Mark Rutte this week had to backtrack on his criticism of the Mauritshuis museum for removing a bust of its founder, Johan Maurits, from its foyer. But as Gordon Darroch explains, the ensuing debate has exposed deep divisions about how the Netherlands should view its colonial past. The Mauritshuis museum in The Hague stirred up a hornet's nest this week with its decision to remove a plaster bust of its founder, Johan Maurits, from its foyer. Prime minister Mark Rutte called the move 'crazy' and warned against 'imposing the preconceptions of today's society on events in the distant past'. Rutte had to temper his criticism at the weekend when the museum's director, Emilie Gordenker, explained that the bust had been removed because it was no longer needed. Instead the museum has set up a gallery to explain Maurits's personal history, including an original statue and several portraits. 'Once we'd done that there was really no need to have a plaster replica in between...  More >


Why I helped bring the Dutch EU case

Dutch case over Britons’ EU rights could have profound consequences Next week, five British nationals living in the Netherlands will hear if their bid to keep European citizenship after Brexit will be referred to the European court. London barrister Jolyon Maugham QC, who is funding the legal action, says if they win, it will have profound consequences. The Conservative manifesto of 2015 promised to scrap the rules barring those who had lived abroad for more than 15 years from voting. Still, long-term British expats were denied the chance to vote in the EU referendum the following year. And their concerns about what Brexit would mean for their lives went unheard. Matt Elliott, Vote Leave’s chief executive, promised that 'the EU’s freedom of movement rights would be honoured for all those citizens who reside in other EEA [European Economic Area] nations prior to any treaty changes. But the joint report of the EU and UK on phase one of the withdrawal negotiations does not deliver on that promise. Dance teacher Take, for example, Susan,...  More >


Podcast: The Foreign Invaders Edition

DutchNews podcast – the Foreign Invaders Edition – Week 4 In this week's podcast: how the Dutch caught the Russians hacking the American election; why the Belgians swelled the numbers at a Dutch nationalist rally; how a German wolf roamed the Netherlands for two weeks but dined out in Belgium; what police did when a dinosaur showed up in Almelo; and why Limburg wants to be shot of its imported beavers. In our discussion we focus on the trials and tribulations of housebuying in the Netherlands. Top story Dutch security services exposed Russian hackers targeting US elections News Hundreds attend far-right rally and 'politically incorrect conference' Large corporations told to switch from Groningen gas by 2020 Eindhoven university suspends student fraternity over sexist posters Robin van Persie back at Feyenoord after 14 years Runaway cow outsmarts farmer, butcher and police [AD, Dutch] Wolf snacks on Belgian sheep after roaming Netherlands for two weeks Discussion: The Dutch housing market House sales in...  More >


Be a good sport: feel at home in The Hague

Be a good sport at the 2018 Feel at Home in The Hague fair If you've always fancied finding out more about the traditional Dutch sport of korfball, had a secret wish to take up belly dancing or sail across the seas in the Volvo Ocean Race, this year's Feel at Home in The Hague fair is the place to be. This year, the central theme of the annual Feel at Home in The Hague fair is sport, leisure and wellness, and some 70 sports and cultural organisations and community groups will be on hand to help you find out more. The Feel at Home Fair will bring The Hague’s city hall to life with an exciting programme of activities, demonstrations, try-outs and challenges. 'Sport is a great way of getting people together because language and cultural barriers are more easily overcome by a shared interest,' says fair organiser Billy Allwood. 'Being active also contributes to our sense of health and well-being, while belonging to a club or participating in events gives us an important sense of belonging somewhere.' Family focus Unlike fairs where...  More >


'My favourite cheese is from Engwierum'

‘I actually have a favourite cheese farmer that has a farm up near Engwierum’ In the mid 1980s, Patrick Wiebe visited the Netherlands as a college student during a semester abroad. The former Californian now lives in the centre of Amsterdam with his longtime girlfriend and currently works as a citizen lobbyist and blogger. How did you end up in the Netherlands? My father was invited to be a visiting professor at Cambridge in 1985. I was still in school but decided to take a semester off and I came over here with him. I was able to use the UK as a base. I visited the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, France, Germany, and some eastern European cities that were still behind the Iron Curtain at the time. Back then, the Netherlands was very open and friendly towards young people, especially in Amsterdam. The Dutch were also socially progressive and their attitudes towards drugs was relaxed. So, basically, I came here as a stoned backpacking tourist on a Eurail pass and decided this was where it was at. I went back to the US, finished my degrees in computer science...  More >


The Mallon Crew: human stories of WWII

A memorial in Friesland tells the human story of a WWII bomber crew Two graves in Bergen op Zoom, a memorial at Soarremoarre and a handful of photographs are among the reminders of the pilots who risked their lives and dropped food parcels over the Netherlands during the Second World War. By Gordon Darroch As a boy Vic Jay wanted to know all about the Lancaster bombers his father flew during the Second World War, but like many veterans, Bob Jay was reluctant to talk about it. 'He was a quite scientific sort of person, and he would tell me about what flak was and how an aeroplane could fly, how something as big as that could actually get off the ground and what he had to do during the flight,' Vic recalls. 'But he didn't talk a lot about the actual bombing. He had very mixed feelings about bombing after the war.' Vic's curiosity waned as he got older, and when Bob Jay died of stomach cancer in 1974, at the age of 55, he left behind a slate of unanswered questions. Vic knew his father had been a flight engineer in a New Zealand squadron and...  More >


Podcast: Everybody Speaks English Edition

DutchNews podcast – But Everybody Speaks English Edition – Week 3 In this week's podcast we survey the debris from a winter storm that cost €90 million and the obstacles on the path to learning Dutch. Plus how the Belgians came to the rescue when the Russians came calling, why an Amsterdam court became the latest Brexit battleground and the fake news item that's been exposed after 370 years. You can also hear how Molly's favourite football manager fared as he tried to revive Sparta's fortunes. Top story Damage bill for winter storm estimated at €90m Here's an interactive map where you can track gritter lorries in the Netherlands ... and the Scottish version News Brits go to court in Amsterdam to protect EU citizenship rights US ambassador admits comments about no-go zones were 'exaggerated' Dutch taxpayers picking up bill for Groningen earthquake damage Belgian jets usher Russian bombers out of Dutch airspace 'Spanish blood' theory of short, dark Dutchmen revealed to be myth Sport Dick Advocaat kicks off...  More >


How to deal with Dutch inheritance issues

The death of a relative is never an easy thing to deal with, but can be even more complicated and distressing when you live in a foreign country. What does Dutch law say about succession and inheritance? Say you are French, have an American partner and have lived in the Netherlands for the past three years. If one of you dies, what does that mean for the other’s inheritance? A relatively new European regulation has clarified the issue of succession when it comes to internationals. The EU regulation states that the law on inheritance in the country where the deceased had his or her last ‘habitual residence’ should govern that person’s estate, regardless of where the estate is located. This means that if the deceased person usually live in the Netherlands, their estate will be subject to Dutch law, even if they are, for example, American or French. However, the EU regulation also allows people to decide that the law of their own country should apply – a decision which...  More >


English has a unique character in NL

English is no longer a foreign language in NL, but it has a unique character here Are the Dutch now native speakers of English, and is Dutch-English a distinctive thing? Deborah Nicholls-Lee meets linguistics expert Alison Edwards to find some answers. English is no longer a foreign language in the Netherlands, asserts Leiden University’s Alison Edwards, who has published widely on the subject. ‘If you can assume that you can walk down the street and that the hairdresser will be able to speak to you in English, and the bus driver, and the taxi driver, then functionally it’s a second language not a foreign language.’ This view is perhaps unsurprising. The Dutch speak, it is claimed, the best English in the world. They often prefer speaking English when foreigners try to practise their Dutch, and the higher education sector here is rapidly being anglicised, with more than half of all university courses now taught in English. Distinctive Despite all the accolades, Dutch-English is distinct - in grammar, idiom, and accent - from the language used by native...  More >


Blog Watching: The word expat

Blog Watching: The word ‘expat’ has become muddled in its meaning Molly Quell is an American journalist living in the Netherlands. She blogs at Neamhspleachas about anything that strikes her fancy and you can also follow her on Twitter at @mollyquell. Note: Molly is DutchNews.nl's social media editor. 'How do you describe yourself – an expat, lovepat, immigrant, international etc ?' It’s one of the questions on the Dutch News’ 10 Questions interview. It’s also a question I occasionally get asked. Expat, short for expatriate, has a long and sometimes problematic history. The word comes from the Latin terms ex (out of) and patria (native country) according to Wikipedia. So literally someone out of their native country. But English has a lot of other words that cover that concept as well. Immigrant. Migrant. Exile. Resident. Emigrant. People have been moving abroad since before national borders were a thing. In more recent history, people have been forced to leave their homeland due to war, famine, persecution or natural disaster....  More >


Podcast: The Men Can't Apologise Edition

DutchNews podcast – The Men Can’t Apologise Properly Edition – Week 2 The podcast team looks back at a week of shocks that began with another earthquake in Groningen, saw the PVV whip up a social media storm in Utrecht and ended with a baptism of fire for new US ambassador Peter Hoekstra. How did Camiel Eurlings' apology backfire, why was nobody in the least perturbed when the rivers overflowed, and did Hoekstra backtrack on his denial that something he claimed never to have said was fake news? Plus we discuss the local council scheme to reward teenagers who managed not to cause mayhem and destruction on New Year's Eve. Top story Gas production expected to be scaled back after latest Groningen earthquake News Baptism of fire for new US ambassador Pete Hoekstra PVV councillor sparks angry backlash for 'burning mosque' comments No cause for alarm despite widespread flooding as rivers overflow Louis the lobster's unexpected freedom proves short-lived (NOS, Dutch) Sport Family of Ajax player Appie Nouri shocked by heart defect...  More >


'The Dutch make the most of the sun'

‘The Dutch make the most of the sun at every opportunity’ Online marketing expert Veronica Guguian is a Romanian national who moved to Amsterdam nearly eight years ago in search of adventure. She is a big fan of the Dutch diary culture, would like to meet Anouk and says stamppot reminds her of home. How did you end up in the Netherlands? My story is quite boring really. I fit in the classic pattern: I followed my partner here. He came to the Netherlands to work in IT and we thought 'let's have an adventure', so I came with him. Back in Romania I was involved in e-commerce and I had an e-commerce platform and a concept store selling French designer clothes. I used to organise fashion shows to promote them and had a lot of fun. Once in the Netherlands, I decided to get a job with a company to learn about Dutch work culture. This is how I started working at Expatica as a marketing consultant and account manager. I’ve since started up my own online marketing company Spin Ideas.  How do you describe yourself - an expat, lovepat, immigrant,...  More >