To Your Health…

There’s a saying that goes: “The Dutch think that they are the only sane people in a totally insane world.” When it comes to health(care), it is no different. In this article the author takes a cultural look at how the Dutch view their health and how their healthcare is organized, whereby he stresses that … Continued

Great Chefs Come & Go

Restaurant Bij Erik In recent times, the world of Michelin-awarded Chefs has taken a bit of a beating in the greater The Hague area. Restaurants have closed, or moved away, and chefs have found a new venue. Yet, though several great chefs have left us, there is also a movement the opposite direction. Enter Erik … Continued

Hazards of Renting

Before actually signing a rental agreement, make sure you are aware of the contract terms and what could possibly go wrong! Bill and Tamara, a lovely Australian couple with three kids and a dog, were living happily in The Hague in a beautiful home they had rented three years earlier. The agreed rental period was … Continued

Nothing To Hide

Many expats living in the Netherlands look at the Dutch, and probably think that they are a strange people. However, one thing about the Dutch really does seem to stand out. And that is the fact that in many Dutch houses the curtains remain open when it gets dark. I remember my Indian mother-in-law wanting … Continued

Building Communities

The relationship between health and community has never been so exemplified as it is in the very popular ACCESS Childbirth Preparation Courses. No, ‘expats’ don’t have babies differently than other expectant couples around the world; rather, they give birth far from home, in an environment where the approach to pregnancy and birth may vary from … Continued

Why, How, What for?

If you’re an expat living in the Netherlands, and your children go to a local, Dutch school, you might wonder who is in charge, or how any teacher manages to teach these kids anything. The kids are running around; outside, and inside. There seems to be very little respect for any kind of authority. Not … Continued

Are the Dutch Bonobos?

Chris Smit’s article, Nothing to Hide, mentions Geert Hofstede’s dimensions and how – on his dimension Feminine-Masculine – Dutch society scores high on the Feminine side. This does not mean that, in the Netherlands, testosterone levels are lower than in other parts of the world. What it does mean is that people attach importance to … Continued

Dreaming of Home

We’d all like to live in a luxury flat in a smart part of town with a reasonable rent – but most of us can’t, writes editor Robin Pascoe. Of course we foreigners all want to live in the best part of town for the lowest possible price. Doesn’t everyone? However, there does seem … Continued

The Dutch Are Very Tolerant.

The Dutch have a reputation for being an open and tolerant society. This includes a rather high pain tolerance, as anyone who’s visited the Dutch healthcare system will know. In the US & the UK I’ve encountered the phrase “This may hurt a bit,” and it usually hurts ‘a bit’ more than advertised. But at … Continued

The Dutch Mental Healthcare System

Half a year ago, you and your family came to the Netherlands for a new job; a new challenge, with new opportunities. Or: you have been living in the Netherlands for a few years now, but you grew up in another country, with a different culture and language. At first, you thought all it required … Continued

Old School, Now Trendy

My two kids both went to Waldorf School in Amsterdam. In Dutch it’s called ‘Vrije School’, which translates to ‘Free School’. I don’t know why they call it ‘Free’ because it’s based on the philosophy of a rigid 19th-century German educator. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never looked at a Dutch school and … Continued

The Dutch Put the ‘Social’ in Housing

To learn about Dutch society, sometimes all you need to do is rent Dutch property. My first housing in the Netherlands was a brand new building, fully furnished, and a total accident. The place had been bought by a Dutch couple, who had been about to get married… The next place I lived in taught … Continued