Flower Parade
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Flower Parade Bollenstreek 2015

The Bloemencorso Bollenstreek, or Flower Parade of the Bollenstreek (Bulbs Area) is one of the most famous parades in the world. More than a million people come to see the beautiful flower praalwagens (floats). The Flower Parade Bollenstreek…
sexual culture shock
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Sexual Cultural Shock

“Is he good in bed?” Oh my Lord, did he just say that?? How dare he! The question shocks me and nearly knocks me off my feet. And then he follows, “how does he compare with black men?” I was astounded. This comes from a random Dutch…

Top 12 English words reinvented by Italians

Being Italian, I have always been using these English words. Only after coming to the Netherlands I discovered that they are reinvented by Italians. Here's a top 12. 1. FOOTING Footing. We know that the whole country is football mad.…
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Spring in the Netherlands is: kids as pavement artists

Walking out the door this morning I played hopscotch, with askew numbers, drawn by childish hand, in pink and green chalk. Right – Pink, Left – Green.... Right – Pink, Left – Green. My bag was jumping on my hip, a lady with…

Challenges of Expats – Interview of the month April

In my goal to support expats, I present you this month’s interview. Let me introduce you to Lidia. She is originally from the city that was not built in one day: Rome. Being an Expat, is it easy or challenging? Why did she leave her native…
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Are you looking for a nice gift for Easter? We have a tip: the Easter Fokke & Sukke Podium Cadeaukaart (Easter Fokke & Sukke Stage Gift Card) with the most popular ducks of the Netherlands. Surprise your friends, family or acquaintances…

Serial will make you wish your commute was longer

“For the last year, I have spent every working day trying to figure out where a high school kid was for an hour after school one day in 1999.”
partial solar eclipse
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Today: visible eclipse, supermoon and the spring equinox

Today is a special day: partial solar eclipse, supermoon and the spring equinox. The solar eclipse will probably be visible in the Netherlands after all, weather bureau Weerplaza said on Thursday afternoon. The partial eclipse of the sun will…
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Teen sex in Holland

Would You Allow Your Teen to Have Sex at Home? One of the most challenging and satisfying aspects of expat life is discovering and considering new traditions and ideas about life that are perhaps different from what you’re used to.…
Interview month

Challenges of Expats – Interview of the month March

In my goal to support expats, I take regular interviews, bringing you true stories. Being an Expat: Easy or Challenging? How do you become an Expat? What is the reason? Some hope to find a job, some join their partner, others are relocated…
wine cats

No plans this weekend? Have a wine with your cat

First, there was an organic beer for dogs, Dawg Grog.  Now there is a wine for cats called Nyan Nyan Nouveau. Neither contains alcohol. The beer for dogs is made from spent grains, vegetable broth and a supplemental powder. It's meant to be…
Dutch stairs
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My troubles with Dutch stairs

Since I have been in the Netherlands, I have troubles with stairs. I fell down  from the stairs of my house several times, the last one just yesterday: I slipped down and  I made the last five steps with the lower back. I can assure you that…

About beauty and why I couldn’t see it in the Netherlands

When you own just 2 cents, you should buy a loaf of bread with one and a lily with the other one”. In this ancient Chinese saying, in my opinion, we can find one of the engines that move the Universe: as human beings, we need beauty…

Miss Judged: More than meets the eye

"This is a CD, do you know what a computer is?" This was my first encounter with unmasked ignorance in Europe, more specifically the Netherlands. It was merely my second day in this wonderful country I have grown to love and I was already feeling…
Dutch Wedding

Planning a Dutch Wedding: One Big Adventure

By a miracle some foreign brides find themselves a romantic Dutch man (yes, romance + Dutch are in the same sentence!). Knowing having a wedding in the Netherlands could have some shortfalls like dry cake with marzipan or fondant, high chance…
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The best 5 tips for effective speed cleaning

As an expat mother, I do not always have the time and /or the energy to keep the house clean. While we are running after the children, trying to keep the deadlines and work and still squeezing friends visit in our weeks, it is one of the nightmares…
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Did you miss “Random Acts of Kindness” Week?

Random Acts of Kindness Week took place 9-15 February, 2015. But that’s o.k. if you missed the news – there’s never a wrong moment to be kind. And who couldn’t use some kindness in their life. My favorite RAK is receiving unexpected…
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Dutch man is bad lover

Dutch men are the second worst lovers in Europe. They are worse than French, Spanish and Swedish lovers. At least, according to the female members of Ashley Madison, a site for people with a relationship. The booby prize goes to the…
Nonviolent (Photo: Imgarcade)
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In Search of Clarity and Connection (what Nonviolent Communication can bring)

There I was, inside a circle of 30 workshop participants. I’ve never liked being in the spotlight, never saw myself teaching, and I was feeling quite nervous and scared. And then, within the span of about one minute, I felt calm, safe, and…
Challenges of Expats

Challenges of Expats – Interview of the month February

In my goal to support expats, I present you this month’s interview. Let me introduce you to Joyce Poorter. She takes us all the way back to her Australian roots.  Being an Expat, was it easy or challenging? Why did she leave her native…

Things NOT to Say to an Expat

ExpatsHaarlem's friend & worldwide known comedian Daniel-Ryan Spaulding just made a new video in which he gives directions for small-talk with an Expat. About Things NOT to Say to an Expat. And suggestions about what to say instead. Watch…
Long-distance relationships ( Photo by Flickr user liquene)

Long-distance relationships

Working as psychologist in Amsterdam I often meet people who have relationship issues: long-distance relationships, mixed couples and mutual adaptation, migrant couples struggling to reinvent themselves. The therapeutic environment is a good…
house netherlands

Looking for a house in the Netherlands: you’re not doing it right

You are in the Netherlands. Great! You are one step from realizing all your dreams! Well, you think you are but I’ll not be the one to tell you that actually you’re (so) wrong. Anyway, now that you’re here, you probably need to find…
energy lable
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Energy label mandatory for all properties in the Netherlands – And this time they really mean it!!

Actually, in 2008 it was already mandatory but, as it was rather complicated and no one was checking if you had it or not, everyone sort of agreed to ignore it!  However: From 1 January 2015 all properties in the Netherlands need an…
prostate-cancer-screening (www.delhidailynews.com)
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Prostate screening would save 300 lives a year

A two-yearly prostate cancer test for men would save 300 lives a year, according to European research led by Erasmus University in Rotterdam. The best results would be obtained with men aged aged 55-59. Every year, 2,400 men die from prostate…
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Euro Bridges appear in the Netherlands

Whether you realize it or not, all of the architecture on the Euro banknotes is fake. In 2002 Austrian Robert Kalin designed bridges for the bills that were intended to represent periods in time such as Baroque, Classical, Gothic, Romanesque,…
Number of expats in Haarlem above national average
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Number of expats in Haarlem above national average

Most expats live in the Randstad and around university towns. This results from a first exploration of the CBS (Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek). LocalFocus put in a row the share of foreign-born workers with high wages compared to the…
Expat wife picture: Recognisable or not?

Expat wife picture: Recognisable or not?

I found this pic on the web. And was wondering: is this recognisable to you or not?
Challenges of Expats – Interview of the month January (Photo: Livia Maria Galassi)

Challenges of Expats – Interview of the month January

In my goal to support expats, I started regular interviews, bringing true stories to the surface. Being an Expat: Easy or Challenging? How do you become an Expat? What is the reason? Some hope to find a job, some join their partner, others…
What changes in 2015? The main new laws and taxes
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What changes in 2015? The main new laws and taxes

As every year, a string of changes to taxes, employment law, housing and other laws come into effect on January 1. Most were announced in the September budget or were scheduled in previous years. Here is a round-up of the main changes. Work The…