Two Ducks Are Better Than One

Last summer DutchNews.nl editor Robin Pascoe wrote about how the fire brigade took down the drainpipe attached to the front of her house in their hunt for a baby duck. But the story was far from over. “Regular readers of this column may remember our dispute with the animal ambulance people, two fire engine crews … Continued


Indigo

From National Bank to International Top Hotel   At the heart of the Parliamentary District of The Hague, located in a prestigious spot opposite the Royal Palace Noordeinde, you will find Hotel Indigo The Hague – Palace Noordeinde occupying a former bank building of the Nederlandsche Bank. The stately building has been here since 1833, … Continued


My Green Gig for the King of Orange

In general, Dutch bosses have a reputation for being non-hierarchical and down-to-earth. Even the Dutch prime minister is known for biking to work and cleaning up his own spilled coffee. Once, I hosted an event for a company with a new CEO who was almost too eager to prove how normal he was. The new … Continued


Making Up Your Mind About the Dutch Healthcare System

The ones who have been to a Dutch GP already know I’m right; two weeks’ rest and a paracetamol are the most-prescribed medicine in the Netherlands. Living in Belgium it’s a different story. Going to your GP in Belgium almost always (I would say 90+% if not more) results in you walking out with a … Continued


Private Education

By Robin Pascoe   Group by group, we filed out of the room and went our separate ways. I was left feeling enormously humbled. There was me, loud-mouthed Brit with my cynicism about the whole process, surrounded by people who had gone through so much to get here, who were refugees, or partners who had … Continued


House Pimping

It was early November. The leaves had turned yellow and were, with their last strength, still hanging onto their branches. The day was another record-breaking one, with temperatures soaring to a wonderful 15 degrees centigrade. The sun had just crawled above the buildings along the Prinsengracht and played a final trick with me. I cherished … Continued


Why…?

When a Dutch manager gives an ‘order’ to one of his or her colleagues it is always (no, there is no exception) met with the – one word only – question; “Why?” Could you make those photocopies for me? Why? Can you help me move those boxes? Why? I would like to turn up (or … Continued


A Dead Duck

How many people in uniform does it take to kill a duckling? In the case of the duckling born on top of a five-floor block in Amsterdam west, the answer is 13 – which was certainly unlucky for the bird itself. It all began when a neighbour alerted the animal ambulance people to the presence … Continued


What’s for Homework?

First Impressions of an Indian Mother in the Netherlands By Divya Susan Varkey I silently mused at the contrast that they were faced with, while they continued telling me of how here in their public school in The Hague, kids played online games on their tablets while the teacher wasn’t looking, switching quickly to their … Continued


Leclerc Briant

Champagne’s Rising Superstar   This tiny champagne house was founded back in 1872. It remained a small house until Pascal Leclerc, who had a profound interest in organic viticulture, took its reigns. He began cultivating his vineyards with biodynamic techniques and was widely regarded as one of the pioneers of biodynamic Champagne.   In the … Continued


A Homey Affair

Heading toward Winter   It’s that time of the year again. We’ve put the clock back one hour (more about that later), it’s cold outside, dark when you wake up, and dark when you come home. But then there is the so-called Dutch gezelligheid. The famous untranslatable word, that comes closest to ‘coziness’. And winter … Continued


Work in Progress

In the past few weeks, DutchNews.nl has reported on the shortage of qualified teachers, and Amsterdam’s efforts to solve the problem by drafting in civil servants, students and refugees. We’ve written about the crisis in the hospitality sector, with cafés closing because no-one wants to waitress or wash up. The lack of qualified IT staff … Continued