Finally! The first comparison site for Dutch health insurance in English (Photo: Globelink)
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Finally! The first comparison site for Dutch health insurance in English

ZorgWijzer.nl has launched the first and only Dutch health insurance comparison tool in English! Expats that are living or moving to the Netherlands can now easily compare different health insurance plans based on their wishes and requirements. The…
A common bond between Expats and the Dutch: manners (Photo: Getty Images)
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A common bond between Expats and the Dutch: manners

On Sunday the Shallow Man ran through the Amsterdamse Bos. The sun was shining and it put me in a philosophical mood, but that doesn’t mean you can call me Sophie. I realised that, in the scheme of things, I’m just a fleck on the custom-made…
Drongo Festival (Photo BIMU)
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Drongo Festival

Drongo Festival: "Languages for your Future", Professional information on multilingualism and playful experimentation with language-jamming, 27 September 2014, Public Library in Amsterdam.  Linguistic matters, as "displaced people"…
Dealing with Dutch Directness: disconnect or connect? (Photo: Creative Mornings)
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Dealing with Dutch Directness: disconnect or connect?

Did you catch the tongue-in-cheek article, “10 ways to fit into Dutch society” (posted 3 June, 2014 on expatsHaarlem), written by Simon Woolcot (a.k.a. Amsterdam Shallow Man)? I was entertained for sure, which I imagine was the whole point.…
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Comparisons of the Dutch with other Europeans

The Shallow Man is a well travelled old fossil. I’ve lived in a country or three and have been fortunate enough to have travelled to a few places during my long slow jog on planet earth. I’ve written lots about various aspects of Dutch…
A problem called "Happiness"
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A problem called "Happiness"

When I was studying psychology at university, I did not imagine that later on as a therapist I would have to face a problem called “happiness.” This mysterious thing we call happiness seems to be a must-have for everyone and - whether…
Cost of renting a home in Amsterdam reaches record levels
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Cost of renting a home in Amsterdam reaches record levels

The cost of renting a home in the free sector in Amsterdam has never been so high. It has reached record levels, with a rise of 5.6% in the previous quarter, according to research by rental agency Pararius. Remarkably, the rents in the rest…
Gendered marketing funny and effectively explained
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Gendered marketing funny and effectively explained

You may think you’re the one deciding what you buy at the supermarket but the reality is that you’re pre-programmed by the companies deciding what you should buy! It doesn’t just stop there, you are even led to specific products because…
Home is a place you can tell about…(Photo: Bertolda)
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Home is a place you can tell about…

He was a chubby kid. He wasn't pretty but with one of those faces with regular features and intense eyes that will always let him find a girlfriend. I would look at him even with please if he wouldn't have had his ass nailed on the bench. It’s…
Primary school in the Netherlands (Photo: Arianna Ardia)
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Primary school in the Netherlands

Compulsory education under Dutch law applies to children of all nationalities from 5 to 18 years who are residing in the Netherlands. Primary school starts at the age of four and is obligatory from five years old. In this article a basic explanation…
Amalfi
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26 Places to Visit Before you Die

Last month online magazine Architecture & Design has made a ranking of their 26 Places to Visit Before you Die. 2 of them are in the Netherlands, very close: Amsterdam and Lisse. Such gorgeous places... I have visited some, others are…
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…