The site of Expatica is devoted to the expats living in The Netherlands (or, if you wish Holland), Belgium, France, Germany and Spain and serves them in the English language with plenty advice about the respective countries, advice that is also useful for the foreign traveler.
Some highlights I find interesting:
- 18 January 2006
The Dutch put Australia on the map Australia celebrates Dutch ties
Australia, the land first put on the map by Dutch explorers, has opened a year of celebrations to mark the 400-year history between the two countries. Australian Ambassador Stephen Brady outlined the jubilee events for the year during a press launch in the ‘Des Indes’ hotel in The Hague. The countries have been linked since the Dutch East Indies vessel ‘Duyfken’ sailed from the port of Batavia (now the Indonesian capital Jakarta) four centuries ago to map out the unknown territory south of the Dutch Indies.
- 3 March 2006
Suitcase loss costs KLM EUR 200,000
Airline KLM is fined EUR 200,000 for losing a passenger’s suitcase and damaging his credibility more than seven years ago. Dr JosÃ© Tiongco was traveling with KLM as an envoy of the Philippine authorities in November 1998. He was scheduled to give a lecture at a conference held by the World Health Organisation in Kazakhstan. He flew from Amsterdam to Frankfurt with KLM but his suitcase did not follow him. This meant he had give his lecture in jeans, t-shirt and sneakers â€” something that damaged his credibility, the judge agrees.
- 25 August 2006
Dutch release 12 ‘terror jet’ passengers
Dutch justice officials have released the 12 passengers arrested when the cabin crew of an American plane bound for India thought they were acting suspiciously. The Northwest Airlines flight to Mumbai, with 149 passengers, was escorted back to Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport by two Dutch F-16 fighter jets. The 12 Indian men were taken into custody and questioned by prosecution officials. The men were released from the detention center at the airport later in the evening.
- 10 November 2006
Mass emigration slows Dutch population growth
In the first nine months of this year, almost 100,000 people left the Netherlands to settle elsewhere, 12,000 more than the same period last year. About half of the emigrants were Dutch natives, the national statistics office CBS says. If the trend continues, more than 130,000 people will have left the country by the end of this year. For the third successive year, the number of emigrants substantially outnumbers immigrants. The net effect means the Dutch population was reduced in the 2004-06 period by 75,000. In the preceding three years, there was a positive net migration of 75,000.
(Note by GJE:) And this on a total population of approximately 16.5 mio in this densest populated country of the world.
- 30 November 2006
Amsterdam orders prostitution windows shut
Red light windows to close
A large amount of the window prostitution in Amsterdam’s red light district will be shut down as the city council gets tougher on criminal activities. Amsterdam City Council said investigations had revealed about one-third of the prostitution sector is allegedly involved in money laundering. About 100 of the 350 prostitution windows in the Dutch capital’s red-light district will be forced to close by the end of the year. The operators of the sex windows can still appeal, however, against the city council’s decision to withdraw their permits. A total of 33 permits were revoked.
Finally a link to an expat blog of a lady from the Philippines: Dutched Pinay which means Philippine becoming Dutch who is reviewed here on Expatica.
Just on the threshold of 2007 I found Droomkerk (Dutch for “Dream Church”) in Barsingerhorn, a little village just east of Schagen which is located approximately 40 km north of Amsterdam.
In a recently renovated church there are two luxury suites with capacity for 4 persons to stay (with a minimum of two nights stay). It looks promising, although their site is as yet only in Dutch. It is also fit for a small wedding ceremony and as a honeymoon suite.
Update December 2007:
I have deleted the link as it doesn’t work anymore. It is even obscure whether the project is still alive!