Safety First…

When viewing a rental property, have you ever taken a close look at how safe (or unsafe) it really is? Expats tend to assume that safety regulations are the same all over the world, but Holland unfortunately stands out as rather lax when it comes to home security. The Dutch are simply used to their … Continued

Organic Wines

Remembering the often quite dismal quality of organic wines sold in the past, wine lovers might not be motivated to try the new wave of organic wines produced today, despite their recent world-class quality. Many of the wine world’s greatest names are now produced either organically or biodynamically, though until recently the big names preferred … Continued

Attitude towards Work and Superiors

The magazine The Economist sites a reason for this high level of part-time work in the Netherlands: few men had to leave their homes to fight in the two world wars in Europe, contrary to the US and Britain. In those countries, the women had to fulfill the jobs that the men would otherwise have … Continued

Your Good Health?

One of the worst things about being a foreigner in a strange country is dealing with illness, particularly when you are confronted with a health system which differs from the one you are used to back home. Earlier this year we ran a survey on to find out a little more about our readers. … Continued

Housing Quiz

Welcome to the Netherlands. You’re going to need a place to live. What should you expect? Here are some helpful quiz questions, based on my own personal research and submissions from readers of my book How to Be Orange. Question 4: The woman from whom you’re subletting announces she’s broken up with her boyfriend. What … Continued

Snapshots Behind the Scenes of Dutch Offices

I came to the Netherlands to work with a comedy theater: Boom Chicago. Some of my favorite shows were the corporate events we’d do for big Dutch companies. That’s where I gained my insight into Dutch business. My experience can be summed up by a quote I once heard from a consultant: “For most cultures, … Continued


Are you one of those restaurant visitors who are bored to bits by those rectangular plates with 32 ingredients, all sitting side by side, not in any way related to each other? Food without head or tail, even worse; food without a soul. Then it is time to book a table at Tasca in Scheveningen, … Continued

Asiatic Elegance

During the production of the cook book Smart Cooking 3 by Holland’s TV Chef Julius Jaspers, we were working in Asia. This book features the cuisine of China, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam. To me, as a wine advisor, this trip was very interesting. Looking back I found – by far – the Vietnamese dishes the … Continued

Simple & Stingy

Last year, when The XPat Journal published a special on housing, Chris Smit wrote an article on why the Dutch keep their curtains open all the time and why it is OK to peek inside if you want. This time, he takes a look not at the inside of a Dutch house, but at the … Continued

Home Is Where the Bath Is

The Netherlands wants to encourage start-ups, keep its international students and be a magnet for global talent. But we seem to be incapable of coming up with a solution to the shortage of housing for people on lower incomes. Scarcely a day goes by without housing and house prices being in the news in one … Continued

Going Home

The return back home of the expatriate family is an aspect of expat life that is often overlooked by those responsible for human resources. Much corporate effort is put into a successful expatriation of a family. Its return, however, is assumed to be natural and its reintegration a matter of time. But this is often … Continued

Ultimate Summer wines

Sunny summer days and evenings ask for a certain type of wine. They are not the right moment for massive and concentrated reds, but lend themselves much more for light and fresh wines, to accompany summer foods and, of course, anything from the BBQ or grill.   Especially for the readers of The XPat Journal … Continued