Aikido, a new balance in the life of the Expat
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Aikido, a new balance in the life of the Expat

I have been living in the Netherlands for more than 10 years. Like most expats, I was working for a large international corporation. Last year, I decided to make the big dive by quitting and setting up a one-man company axed on two activities…
Amsterdam 12th most expensive expat city in Europe
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Amsterdam 12th most expensive expat city in Europe

Last month Mercer released its annual Cost of Living City Rankings. The global survey ranked Amsterdam as the 39th most expensive city for expats worldwide and the 12th most expensive within Europe. Cost of Living City Survey Mercer's…
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Amsterdam 11th in worldwide quality of life index

According to Mercer’s Quality of Living Survey, Amsterdam's quality of live has improved, coming in 11th overall in the Mercer 2014 Quality of Living rankings. Previously, the city reached the 12th place.  The Quality of Living Survey Mercer’s Quality…
Belgians drink the most on holiday (Photo: Ibiza.nl)
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Belgians drink the most on holiday

With an average of 3.7 drinks per day, Belgians are the biggest drinkers among European holidaymakers.  This results from a study conducted by the travel website Zoover, surveying 4.000 Europeans from 10 different countries. Dutch…
Being a Third Culture Kid - Part 1: The Challenges (Photo: Chaud)
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Being a Third Culture Kid - Part 1: The Challenges

Do you have small children and are you thinking of moving abroad? Did you shift between cultures as a child? Are your children spending a significant part of their development years in a culture that isn’t their original one? If any of the…
Beer Sommelier: "Beer tastes better tepid than cold" (Photo: Arianna Ardia)
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Beer Sommelier: "Beer tastes better tepid than cold"

Social media are filled by complaints about tepid beer. The beers would be served at much higher temperatures than the ideal five degrees. But according to beer sommelier Gijs Troost it's not so bad as the drink is slightly warmer. The…
5 differences between the Dutch girl you date and marry
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5 differences between the Dutch girl you date and marry

I recently received a message from a reader. “Shallow Man, I’ve been dating a Dutch girl for 18 months now, my family likes her and I’m thinking of asking her to become my wife, I know that a lot of Dutch people just live together and…
The Amsterdam Casual sex guide (Photo: Thinkstock)
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The Amsterdam Casual sex guide

The sun has been shining in Amsterdam, everywhere I look I see what appears to be the new fashion trend here, micro hot pants, or as the Jamaicans call them ‘batty riders.’ Here’s a tip for my female readers. If you’re wearing a backless…
Learning A Language By Popping A Pill? (Photo: Huffington Post)
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Learning A Language By Popping A Pill?

I just saw a YouTube movie, previously published and commented on the Guardian, about a very interesting debate on this issue: Are drugs the answer to language learning? In the words of the Guardian: "Could smart drugs be the future…
About migrants that landed but with anchors made of salt, as their thoughts (Photo: Marco Ottaviani)

About migrants that landed but with anchors made of salt, as their thoughts

“They go on with their lives here. I might have realized it just now”. This is what Michele told me. With his eyes looking down, to the left, as he was feeling guilty of something. Then he looked back at me. The green was surrendered;…
Identity and Living Abroad (Photo: Muntz)

Identity and Living Abroad

In my work — personal coaching among internationals living in the Amsterdam region — the concept of identity gets talked about quite a bit. It can be tough uprooting from one’s community, leaving all things known and comfortable behind,…
An interview with Sinterklaas (Photo: Rodi)
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An interview with Sinterklaas

The Shallow Man recently had the dubious honor of interviewing the world’s angriest not black man, Zwarte Piet. Like many of his supporters, I found him to be very emotional, irrational and downright aggressive. There were a number of questions…
An interview with Zwarte Piet (Photo: de Volkskrant)
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An interview with Zwarte Piet

The Shallow Man, in his never ending quest to fulfil the requests of his readers, went to great efforts to secure an interview with the man who is a hero to so many Dutch children. A man, that to many represents the very essence of Dutch culture,…
Best Pool of the Year Election (Photo: ANP)
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Best Pool of the Year Election

Summer! And that means (hopefully) nice weather. Time to look where the best outdoor pools are located. The annual Best Pool of the year Election has started again. After the first round two winners by province will be elected. The first…
How to fit into Dutch society, have a home birth (Photo: Sofeminine)
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How to fit into Dutch society, have a home birth

The Shallow Man, after ten years in the Netherlands has learned many things about the Nederlandse samenleving. One of the things that has puzzled both myself and many other expats is why Dutch women are so loud. There have been many theories…
Are Italian men the worst flirters in Europe? (photo: Runawaycook)
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Are Italian men the worst flirters in Europe?

The Shallow Man recently read an article on the expatsHaarlem website called “are Dutch men the worst lovers in Europe?”  I found this a bit rich, considering that the author of the post is from Italy. Using the same lazy and subjective…
My Dutch Difficulty – The Elusive Word
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My Dutch Difficulty – The Elusive Word

At least one Dutch word still eludes me. It’s a word I cannot get my lips around, no matter how hard I try. It’s a word I’ll go to extreme lengths to avoid saying. Fourteen years ago, when I first moved to the Netherlands, my list…

Living Abroad and Making Connections

It’s been four and a half years since I settled into Haarlem with my family of four. We had a lengthy list of all the reasons why this immigration would be a positive thing for us and it has been for the most part. The “landing”…
Are Dutch men the worst lovers in Europe? (Photo: Marco Alf)
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Are Dutch men the worst lovers in Europe?

Do you know the feeling when you think there’s something wrong with you but you're actually convinced that the problem is the other person?This is what I felt the first time I experienced the Dutch way of making love. Same story the second…
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Yes. Summer has finally arrived..!!

In case you haven't noticed.. Today it's June 21st. In other words; "The Longest Day Of The Year!" So, a good reason to celebrate the summer.. If you feel like embracing the summer Then go for it! Get out of your comfort zone, challenge…
What makes you an Expat?
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What makes you an Expat?

Is it possible to feel more at home in your new country than your home country? Read my story and the challenges I faced when I moved back to the Netherlands after a 10 year stint abroad. According to Wikipedia: “An expatriate (sometimes…
INTERVIEW DANIEL-RYAN SPAULDING (Photo: Arianna, Daniel, Novita)
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INTERVIEW DANIEL-RYAN SPAULDING

Daniel-Ryan Spaulding, the Internationally-Touring Canadian Stand-Up Comedian, has performed in 35 countries worldwide. His intelligent cultural and social observations are delivered with a high energetic, flamboyant style that is impossible…
Shit Expats Say in The Netherlands
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Shit Expats Say in the Netherlands

Stand-up Comedian Daniel-Ryan Spaulding explores expat culture in the Netherlands. Performing soon for expatsHaarlem!  
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Songs not to play on Father's Day

Songs not to play on Father’s Day   It is Father’s Day today. There are a lot of great songs about fathers but try to avoid playing these around your dad today.   5.) John Denver- Please Daddy (Don’t get drunk this…
10 ways to fit into Dutch society
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10 ways to fit into Dutch society

It’s another beautiful day in the Netherlands, time to sit on a terrace and have the pleasure of inhaling cigarette smoke from those sitting nearby. If Van Gogh and Rembrandt were alive today, their paintings would feature buxom ladies with…
'What If Gay Guys Said The Shit Straight People Say?'
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'What If Gay Guys Said The Shit Straight People Say?'

Daniel-Ryan Spaulding asks 'What If Gay Guys Said The Shit Straight People Say?': 1,496,839 views in 2 weeks time! Cue Daniel-Ryan Spaulding, a worldwide very popular comedian who explores gender, sexuality, culture, stereotypes and identity.…
See the Netherlands by Train (Photo: Nick Ferrara)
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See the Netherlands by Train

The weather is starting to get nice again and at least for me that means time to get out and explore.  Did you know that it is possible to travel all through the country for a whole day for around €15?  That's a great deal and I'm going…