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The XPAT JOURNAL summer 2009 issue

Contents

IN THIS ISSUE 3

From the Editor

4 20

From the Point of View of... Michele Visser It’s Good to Talk

8

Health Care Act

10

Go Backstage

12 16 18 22 24 26 72

Dealing With Your Doctor Useful References Health Care Insurance Dental Care in the Netherlands Fit to Travel and Work Abroad The Counseling Services Network of ACCESS Passionate Parenting

28 32 30 38 44 48 64 34

INTRODUCTION INTERVIEW

TAX

LEGAL

HEALTH

BEAUTY

Release the Beauty Within No Pain, No Gain, No Sweat Approach to Slimming & Anti-Aging

HOUSING

Willemspark - Comfortable Living in the Center of the City

LEISURE

Four Idyllic Escapes Diary of Events

ART

Art Diary Peter Funch - Dream Artist for Dream Amsterdam 2009

EVENT

70

North Sea Jazz: Joining King Louie’s Jungle VIP Taste of Amsterdam Diversity & Discovery - Uncovering The Hague Festivals 2009 International Culture & Leisure in Holland 2009/2010 Jewels in the Amstel

58

Connecting The World

52 54 68

60 62 66

TELECOM TRAVEL

bmi - From Local Player to Airline with Global Reach

RECOMMENDED READING

ABC Summer Top 5

CULTURE

Museumtickets.nl - Making Life a Little Less Complicated

74

The Public Secret: Losing Weight Won’t Help

COOKING

78

Funny You Should Ask About... Health Care

80

SERVICE

COLUMN

THE XPAT JOURNAL

1


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letter from the

The XPat Journal ® The premier magazine for expatriates in the Netherlands Published quarterly since 1998 Volume 12 Number 2 June - August 2009 ISSN 1388 932 X PUBLISHED BY The XPat Journal c.v. Bert van Essen Van Boetzelaerlaan 153 2581 AR The Hague, the Netherlands Tel.: +31(0)70 306 33 10 Fax: +31(0)70 306 33 11 E-mail: info@xpat.nl Website: www.xpat.nl EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Stephanie Dijkstra E-mail: editor@xpat.nl CONTRIBUTORS Alison Agudo, Shirley Agudo, Nancy van den BergCook, Dallas Brown, Stephanie Dijkstra, Caroline Hunt, Christopher Mead, Robin Schalekamp, Jan-Koen Sluijs, Deborah Valentine, Dennis Verhoeve, Hayley Wakenshaw, Pierre Wind

Editor

At the start of the Dutch May vacation, almost no-one had ever heard of the swine flu, or the Mexican flu, as the Dutch prefer to call it. Three days later, there were hundreds of infected people and dozens of casualties in Mexico and a few outside of Mexico. As the days wore on, the spread of the disease was simple to follow as it made its way across the globe, at times traceable to a single person on a single flight from Mexico. Pandemics come about easily in this era of global travel, whereby people fly to the other side of the world for a mere week’s vacation. In that sense, global connectivity represents a threat; viruses have a selection of hosts to latch on to, who will take them wherever they please. However, global connectivity also provides access to information - which is also how, with the combined efforts and a quick and effective exchange of information, medical knowledge and medication - the authorities were able to halt the quick and worldwide spread of the disease. Hopefully for good. Still, there are some places you’d rather be when you hear about the outbreak of a disease than others. For instance, a place where medical care is close by, is reliable and is up-to-date. And, if possible, where you can communicate easily with your doctor. And complain though people may about some of the practical, logistical aspects - you need to go to your GP first,

ADVERTISEMENTS The XPat Journal Tel.: +31(0)70 306 33 10 Fax: +31(0)70 306 33 11 E-mail: sales@xpat.nl

before seeing a specialist; annual medical check-ups are not standard - if there’s one thing

TRANSLATIONS Across Borders, Driebergen

hands here.

GRAPHIC DESIGN Studio Ferry Bridié BNO, The Hague PRINTED BY Offset Service, Eindhoven SUBSCRIPTIONS To subscribe for € 19.50 per year please visit: www.xpat.nl For subscription service, change of address and back issues, e-mail: subscriptions@xpat.nl © 2009 The XPat Journal c.v. All rights are reserved. No part of The XPat Journal may be reproduced or used in any form without permission in writing from the publisher. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information in this publication was correct at the time of going to press. However, the publisher and writers cannot accept any responsibility for the accuracy of the information included. The content of The XPat Journal is not intended to serve as legal, immigration or tax advice. Readers are encouraged to consult with professional advisors for advice concerning specific matters.

that’s for sure, it’s that the doctors in this country are right up there with the best - in fact, one of our personal friends is flown across the world to perform surgery in other countries as he is one of the best in the world. Not only that, the equipment used is of the highest standard, as are the hospitals. Should you be in search of medical reassurance, then you are in very good Yet, of course, everything is new and slightly different in the Netherlands. Which is why we have included a number of articles on the medical and insurance system of this country. In Dealing with Your Doctor you can read about finding a GP, visiting a specialist, having a baby, and (alternative) medicine. In Dental Care you can read about… um, dental care; in Health Care Act, you can read about the social security and health care legislation; in Health Care Insurance... What Choices Do You Have to Make? you can find out about the various types of insurance plans available and what choices you have; while if you have trouble dealing with culture shock or other more psychologically-related issues, you can read about what ACCESS can do for you in our feature on this important organization. Taking good care of yourself also involves taking time out for a little R&R, something entertaining or fun, a little beauty care, or a good meal. You will find plenty of things to do in this issue, ranging from a good book, to The Hague festivals, to Taste Amsterdam, to beauty salons, to the Hermitage for Children, and much, much more. However, what will probably do all of you a world of good, will be the time you spend relaxing while enjoying summer vacation this year. Be sure to soak up a good deal of fresh air, sun, culture, sleep and good, healthy food, but most of all… don’t forget your vaccinations if you are traveling far, take your malaria pills, wash your hands and avoid tap water and ice cubes! Oh, and don’t worry too much. Stress wears you out and lowers your resistance...

VISIT WWW.XPAT.NL THE XPAT JOURNAL

3


INTERVIEW

Photography Ruud Visser

From the Point of View of...

Michele Visser

M

Michele Visser’s childhood was one that many people dream

companion on the bus. They started out in the Arnapura range,

of. Born in the outskirts of Sydney, Australia, she grew up on

where there was “really only one path, so that we met the same

a semi-rural property where they had several horses. “It was

people every day,” she says. “One of them was Ruud,” whom,

wonderful,” she tells, “the altitude was high enough for there to

one day, Michele would marry, “he was a really gentle person,

be stone fruits, yet it was warm enough for citrus fruits as well.

but there was nothing romantic yet, at the time. We walked

If I was out horse-riding, I’d live off the fruits that I picked. My

and talked, and the environment was so beautiful, it was quite

daughters love these stories so much that they keep on asking

humbling. It is one of the best experiences in my life. Ruud had

me when we’re moving there,” she laughs.

traveled overland through Africa and India and was on his way to New Zealand and Australia. I remember sending a postcard

School Bus

to a friend, saying; ‘I’ve met a really nice guy, but unfortunately,

Michele’s parents did not have great ambitions for their son

wouldn’t you know it, he’s traveling in the opposite direction.’”

and daughter. “They took me out of school at age 16 and enrolled my in hairdressing school. When I dropped out after

Driver

a few months to go back to school - because I wanted more

Michele goes on to tell: “Judy and I had paid for an overland

from life - my father told me I was a great disappointment,”

trip by bus from Delhi - where she was waiting for me to rejoin

she says wryly. Nonetheless, she persevered, going to nursing

her - to London, but the driver had terminated his contract just

school in Sydney. “That was very exciting, because I moved

before the bus was to leave from Kathmandu, where I hap-

from the country to the city.” This is where she eventually met

pened to also be and from where I would be traveling to Delhi

her first serious boyfriend. “He was eight years older than me,

on the same bus. In order to solve this problem, the owner of

very intelligent and I was a little in awe of him. We set out to

the bus sent his brother from England to do the driving. This

travel across the country, in an old school bus we had con-

poor man had never driven a bus outside the UK, which is, of

verted into a camper, but never got much further than the Table

course, very different. One might say he was definitely inexpe-

Lands in northern Australia. We fell in love with the area, and I

rienced. He was a little panicky and he drove around with his

got a job at a local hospital. It was a fabulous experience,” she

foot constantly on the brake - instead of one hand on the horn,

says. “If a patient came in, the doctors had to be called in from

as most Indian bus drivers do. He was also a little spastic,

mustering their sheep, or some other activity - and this was in

which somehow completed the picture,” Michele adds with

the pre-mobile phone days! You did whatever you could, and

some humor. “But he wouldn’t let anyone else drive the bus

I worked in IC, the recovery room, but also helped out in the

and, as we were traveling through the pre-monsoon heat, he

operating theaters in case of an emergency.”

was perspiring profusely all the time, and we took turns putting wet cloths on his bald head, stopping every 50 kilometers for

Humbling

him to recover. We slept at Indian truck stops, guarded by men

Eventually, the relationship did not work out and Michele went

with guns.”

back to Sydney to nurse for a time before deciding to go down

4

to the Snowy Mountains, where she worked as a chamber

Camel

maid and skied. She then got a job as an agency nurse and,

The group that was to travel overland to London had sent in

as she says, made lots of money. “I bought a one-way ticket

copies of their passports to Islamabad while still in Nepal, in

to Singapore, from where I was going to travel through the

order to arrange the necessary visas. “The idea was to pick

Far East with my friend Judy. We spent four days in Singa-

up the visas in Islamabad, but when we got to Delhi, we heard

pore, then traveled up the west coast of Malaysia to Thailand.

that nothing had been done about them. We were expected

Thailand was everything we expected. From there we went to

to wait two weeks for them to be issued, but the bus couldn’t

Calcutta and on to Nepal, where Judy became temporarily ill.”

wait for us. Our kind driver then offered to take our excess

Judy decided to stay behind for a while, and Michele opted to

luggage with him on the bus, and to travel alone back to Eng-

go trekking through the Himalayas, meeting a new traveling

land. It turned out to be quite a trip; he managed to run over

THE XPAT JOURNAL


In the articles entitled “From the point of view of...�, we tell the story of an expatriate who is living in the Netherlands. In each edition, we interview an expatriate, each time from a different country and each time in a different position (the person who was placed here by the employer, came here on his or her own initiative, the partner, the family members, etc.) For this issue of The XPat Journal we interviewed Michele Visser, who works for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, as occupational nurse.


INTERVIEW

someone’s camel in the desert and get thrown into jail - until

to see him in person again. I remember feeling how the hall

he reimbursed the owners - and was harassed at every border

with the luggage belts felt like being in a fish bowl, knowing

crossing, as the customs control went through all the luggage

that he was out there somewhere. I was so nervous, my lug-

he had with him. Also at the English border, he was picked out

gage kept falling off the cart,” she looks a little sheepish. “On

by customs upon his arrival in Dover, for being drunken and

the way back from a trip through northern Spain and France,

disorderly, because he looked a little harrowed and still had

Ruud proposed,” she tells. And Michele said yes. Two people,

those twitches.” Michele shakes her head in disbelief. “And

traveling from opposite sides of the globe, met in the middle,

it certainly didn’t help his position when the customs people

danced solo around the globe a bit more, but eventually found

went through all this luggage on the bus and found, shall we

each other again - for keeps.

say, the odd item of ‘smoking paraphernalia’ - not my own!” she hastens to add. From Islamabad, Michele went to Northern

Traveling Cake

India, Kashmir, Pradesh, etc., eventually ending up in Delhi. “It

Michele continues: “We were going to go on a skiing trip in

was dreadfully, dreadfully hot there,” she says, “so much so

Austria with a group of friends and decided to have our wed-

that I didn’t even want to go to the Taj Mahal anymore. I took

ding there. As I was back working in Saudi Arabia, and Ruud

a flight to London, instead.”

in Holland, it was a bit complicated, organizing a wedding in Austria. We got the actual letter confirming that we would be

Saudi Arabia

allowed to go through with it on the morning of our depar-

In England, after working for a short while as a nanny in Lon-

ture.” Just in case it would all work out - and presumably to

don, whilst waiting for her nursing registration, Michele went on

simplify matters? - Michele had already made the wedding

to work as an agency nurse before accepting a job in Riyadh,

cake herself, in Saudi Arabia. From there, she took it with her

Saudi Arabia. First she worked at an American-based hospi-

to London, where she planned to look for a wedding dress.

tal for the Security Forces, but later, after a short four-month

This paints an interesting picture; a woman on a plane out of

break, during which she went sailing around Ibiza and visited

Saudi Arabia, with a wedding cake, on her way to Austria, via

Formentera and mainland Spain, she joined the British-based

a wedding store in London and a stopover in Holland. It really

hospital for the Armed Forces, where she stayed for two years.

does make perfect sense. Would that we were all so inventive.

Back in England after her Spanish travels, she received a card

However, in London, she was pickpocketed and lost the 300

from Ruud, inviting her to visit him in Amsterdam - “which I

pounds in traveler cheques she has just cashed, plus her credit

did, after going to a house-warming party in Edinburgh,” she

card, so that she had very little money to speak of! So she

tells laconically.

picked up her cake and flew on to Holland, eventually getting married in something she put together from the contents of

Love

her suitcase - “Not nearly glamorous enough,” she accedes,

In Amsterdam, Ruud did his best to convince Michele to visit

“at least, that’s what my daughters say, when they look at the

his home of The Hague, eventually succeeding by claiming she

pictures now.”

needed to go there anyway to arrange her visa to go to France, the next leg of her journey. “Needless to say,” she notes, “you

Portable Career

arrange your visa at the Amsterdam or Rotterdam consulate,

If you feel breathless after reading this story, please keep in

and not in The Hague.” During that week in The Hague though,

mind that it is but a fraction of the tales Michele had to tell.

the last defenses came down and Ruud and Michele fell in

And imagine how absolutely amazed she is that she has been

love - but, she also had other plans. “And I was not going to

living in the Netherlands for nearly twenty years now. How did

change them for a man,” she mock-scoffs. “The last time I had

she ever get started with the traveling in the first place? “I used

done that, it had cost me the fantastic opportunity of traveling

to babysit for a couple up the road, Margaret and Paul,” she

across Scandinavia, backstage with a band, and I still regret-

answers, “and they would tell me about their wonderful trips

ted that.” She concludes: “If it was meant to be, it was meant

and adventures. At one point they invited me to go on safari

to be. I went back to Saudi Arabia, and it would be six months

with them, as their nanny, but my parents said no, I had to start

before I could get another holiday to go back to Holland.”

my hairdressing apprenticeship,” she still looks disappointed when she tells this. “When I left hairdressing just two months

6

Fish Bowl

after starting to go back to school, I knew wanted to become

“I was ever so nervous about meeting Ruud again,” Michele

a nurse. And Margaret, who by then had become like a second

recounts. “We had written each other a lot and it had been so

mother to me, told me that this would be a gateway to the

exciting during those months to go down to the letter box to

world; a portable career. And this is exactly what it proved to

see if there was anything there from him, but now I was going

be, as II am still nursing.”

THE XPAT JOURNAL


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TAX

By Robin Schalekamp

Health Care Act If you work and pay taxes in the Netherlands, you are subject to Dutch social security legislation. This also means that you are obliged by law to take out a health insurance policy; a Dutch insurance policy that covers regular health care costs and meets the requirements of the Dutch Health Insurance Act

T

(Zorgverzekeringswet).

bution is not reimbursed by your employer and differs per insurance company; amounting on average to approximately € 1,200 on a yearly basis. You can also purchase additional health care insurance. For this, you pay extra premium. However, insurance companies are not obliged to accept you for this additional package.

Finding an Insurer Employers in the Netherlands are not obliged to provide their employees with a private health care plan, nor can you be obliged to take out a policy with a particular company. Foreign insurance companies can also offer policies in the Netherlands, as long as the insurance policy complies with the Health Care Act, to which purpose a foreign insurance company can have its policy evaluated by the authorities

The Dutch Health Care Act came into force on January 1,

(Nationale Zorgautoriteit). If you are already insured for health

2006, and changed the Dutch health care system radically.

care costs in your home country, you will still be required to

Any person who works in the Netherlands and is subject to

take out health insurance in the Netherlands, unless your

Dutch wage tax, is compulsory insured for the Dutch Health

home country plan qualifies here.

Care Act. Please note that this is regardless of nationality. Only

Some employers offer their employees collective health

if you have a so called E-101 declaration, in which it is stated

insurance at a reduced rate; it might be interesting to join such

that you are covered by the social security system of another

a scheme. You can take out a policy for the family members

country, will you not be covered by the compulsory insurance

also. Please note that you do not owe a premium for children

of the Netherlands.

under 18 years of age.

Costs

Compulsory Excess

The Health Care Act works as follows. In principle, you are free

As of January 1, 2008, for insured persons age 18 and older,

to choose a (Dutch) insurance company and your health care

the Health Care Act contains a ‘compulsory excess’ of € 155

your insurance policy. The insurance company cannot refuse

per person per year for the basic health insurance package.

you the basic insurance, regardless of age or state of health.

This means you have to pay the first € 155 of your health care

This basic insurance covers care by general practitioners and

costs yourself. This does not apply to general practitioner

specialists, hospital care, medication, maternity care, IVF, den-

care, natal care, maternity care and the dental care youth

tal care up to the age of 22, specialist dental care and dentures.

package for young people up to the age of 22, nor does it

Your employer pays a contribution in the premium, the

apply to children up to the age of 18.

amount of which depends on your wages - this contribution is

You can also opt for a (higher) a voluntary excess. In this

called the income-dependent contribution and is maximized.

case you will pay a lower premium. However, you will have to

The normal rate is 6.9%, over a maximum premium base of

pay part of the costs yourself.

€ 32,369. As a result, the maximum contribution is € 2,233

As you can tell, the Dutch health care system can be a bit

annually, a net amount which your employer is to withhold

complex, as various parties (the employee, employer, Dutch

on your income and to transfer to the Dutch tax authorities,

tax authorities and health care insurance companies) are

normally on a monthly basis. Please note that the premium for

involved.

the Health Care Act that is reimbursed by your employer is considered taxable wage for Dutch wage tax purposes. However, you also pay an income-independent contribution, also referred to as the nominal premium. This contri-

8

THE XPAT JOURNAL

If you need assistance or in case you have questions you can contact BDO (info@bdo.nl) or Robin Schalekamp (robin.schalekamp@bdo.nl).


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Legal

Go Backstage

Understanding the Ins and Outs of the Dutch Health Care System A concerted effort to understand health care insurance and the related regulations is something we rarely make; admittedly, most of us loathe reading through the small print and evaluating the

N

consequences of our choices. Nevertheless, efficient health care goes hand in hand with sound rules and regulations and one is best advised to make an effort to explore as much as possible this seemingly endless terra incognita, especially when one is based in a foreign country.

At present, more and more Dutch health care providers

are reaching out to their international clients, in an effort to help them shed some light on how to access and make the best of the Dutch health care system. However, little is known about the legal framework all health care providers must operate within. To better understand the present - that is, you opening the next bill coming from your health care provider and not really knowing how and why to reclaim your expenses from your health care insurer - this article offers a brief tour behind the scenes of Dutch health care regulations. In 2006, the Dutch health care system underwent a change that was rather revolutionary in light of the historical concept of equal care for all: in order to bring the rise of

market forces was envisioned, leading to an overall improve-

prices to a halt and to improve the overall quality of services,

ment of quality and costs.

the Dutch government introduced a model that was to allow market forces to follow their course - more or less - freely.

In theory, fair competition within health care sounds desirable, logical and straightforward. In practice, however, it can be a bumpy road, mainly due to the desire of the government

The new concept was based on the paradigm of offering

10

to safeguard public interests at all levels of society.

health care services that were better targeted towards the

These dilemmas and challenges became evident a few

demands of the end users, by way of less planning and inter-

years ago when the Minister of Health proposed removing

vention by the government. Thus an unfolding of competitive

the reimbursement of dentures from the compulsory health

THE XPAT JOURNAL


By Jan-Koen Sluijs

insurance. He was immediately reprimanded in Parliament:

Achieving co-operation between these bod-

“Are we soon going to see who’s rich and who’s poor by

ies is a delicate balancing act, which requires

looking at their teeth?” asked the Socialist Party representa-

constant fine-tuning. Occasionally, in spite

tive. And, presto, back went the dentures into the health

of the best of intentions on all sides, the

care package subsidised by the State. This small, rather

actions of one body may affect the outcome

pragmatic, example highlights all the challenges of the mat-

of the actions of the other ones. An example

ter in one go.

to illustrate this: a few years ago two hospitals in Zeeland

Common sense confirms that health care should not

announced their intention to merge, aimed at improving their

be an arena in which market forces are unleashed without

services, especially in paediatrics and intensive care. The

restraint, and all agree that the government must carefully

NMa - the supervisory body that monitors fair competition

supervise and steer the process, if the outcome is indeed

conditions - opposed the merger, deeming that it would limit

to improve. In the Netherlands, this is now done by means

choices for patients, whilst leading to an unwanted concen-

of a complex reimbursement system that ties the amounts

tration of influence in the region, thus negatively impacting

reimbursed to the services provided. Health care providers

prices. “What else is new?” one would ask, hearing this well-

recover their costs by using a set of codes that describe the

known mantra of any supervisory body.

medical procedures carried out in greatest detail. At present,

The hospitals re-wrote their merger plans and the NMa

the Dutch ‘cure’ sector (hospitals), uses some 30,000 such

eventually gave its blessings to the merger. What had

codes, called DBCs (diagnose behandeling combinaties - or

happened behind the scenes was that the IGZ - the body

diagnosis-treatment combinations). For the same reason,

engaged with health care inspection - had concluded in their

the Dutch care sector uses targeted care packages (ZZPs,

evaluation report of 121 pages, that the mere existence of

or zorgzwaartepakketen).

both hospitals would be under threat, should the NMa further oppose the merger, as their individual financial resources

A DBC registers the health services received by a patient

were nearly depleted and they were barely able to provide

using four codes, indicating the type of need/ailment, the

even basic health care within the region as it was.

care, the diagnosis and the treatment. It lists each and every

Pure-bred economists and legal professionals might

action, from the very first contact to the last follow-up visit,

smile indulgently at such reasoning - still, the NMa bowed

from surgery, medical investigation and therapy to second

to the judgement of its sister body, agreeing to the merger,

opinions, specialist consultations, recovery days and more.

stipulating a series of conditions to be met by both hospitals.

Each of these actions has its own price tag, the sum of which will eventually add up to the price of a certain DBC.

One of these conditions required that the cure and care

Health care providers recover their costs from the health care

service packages that could be negotiated freely within the

insurers by listing the DBCs for the cure and care provided

B-segment were not to surpass average Dutch levels. How-

to a patient. Under the new governmental provisions, provid-

ever, if no other adjustment is made, in practical terms this

ers and insurers may freely negotiate the price, quality and

means that the prices that can be claimed by the ‘new’ hos-

extent of certain DBCs, within the so-called B segment.

pital have been frozen for an unlimited period of time, includ-

At present, the B-segment comprises about 34% of the

ing prices for services that are added in the future (since the

health care sector and is growing steadily, the target envi-

B-segment is to grow up to 70% of the health care sector, in

sioned by the government being close to 70%. In order to

the government’s view).

attain this, hospitals must become more market-oriented, entrepreneurial entities.

Notwithstanding the best efforts of the supervisory body to maintain and guarantee fair competition conditions, this

It goes without saying that the supervision of such an

one condition could succeed in excluding the ‘new’ hospital

intricate system is complex. Several organisations have

from the field, since its prices could likely turn out to be

joined forces for this task: the Health Care Inspectorate

higher than those of all other players who are under no obli-

(Inspectie voor de Gezondheidszorg - IGZ) supervises the

gation to freeze their prices.

practical implementation of mandatory quality standards

Ah, the blessings of rules and regulations - the more cyni-

within the care provided. The Dutch Care Authority (Neder-

cal among us might say... Rest assured, this play is far from

landse Zorgautoriteit - NZa) watches over the quality, acces-

having reached its final act.

sibility and price of care, whilst the Netherlands Competition Authority (Nederlandse Mededingingsautoriteit - NMa) keeps an eye on fair competition conditions within the health care sector.

Jan-Koen Sluijs is a senior lawyer at GMW Advocaten and can be contacted at 070 - 361 50 48 or j.sluijs@gmw.nl. For more information, visit www.gmw.nl/en.

THE XPAT JOURNAL

11


HEALTH

Dealing With Your Whether you are coping with the common cold, appendicitis or something more intimidating, you need to know that you are not only in good hands, but that you can communicate and are understood. One of the great benefits of living in the Netherlands as an expat is that not only is the level of medical care excellent, but almost all - if not all - doctors master the English language more than well enough to understand your description of your symptoms and needs and to

I

explain to you in plain English what will happen next. In order to help you prepare for your interaction with the

his assistant, who has followed special training) with your

person who will help you back onto the road to good health,

question or request.

we have put together this summary of the Dutch medical system. This article is based on the chapter on medical care

Medication

in The Holland Handbook, see our list of references.

The GP can recommend medication and give you a prescription (recept). If you live in a country where you leave the

Huisarts - Family Doctor, or GP

doctor’s office with a prescription for at least three types of

The Dutch word for family doctor or GP is huisarts - which

medicine no matter what you have, then you had best be

literally translates into ‘house doctor’. This does not mean

prepared. The Dutch doctors are firm believers in giving your

that he or she will come to your house if you are sick - though

body a chance to cope with the problem - especially symp-

huisartsen do make house calls in the case of an emergency.

tom relievers are considered largely redundant. Being asser-

To find a GP, visit your gemeentehuis or city/town hall.

tive and clear is the best way to get what you feel you need.

There you can ask for a gemeentegids (a booklet issued

Prescription drugs are filled at an apotheek (pharmacy or

by your municipality containing information on just about

apothecary). They computerize your prescriptions and keep

everything relevant to the town), which will have a list of all

a close watch on the drugs you are taking in order to avoid

the local GPs. Of course, you can also simply ask around

drug interaction. Many bill your insurance company directly for

among other expats to see which doctor they go to. Or you

the costs of prescription medicine. Alternative medicine such

can check the Yellow Pages of your phone book under Art-

as acupuncture and homeopathy are also very popular in the

sen - huisartsen.

Netherlands. For more information, get in touch with the Alternatieve Geneeswijzen Infolijn (www.infolijn-ag.nl) or look in the

Spreekuur - Visiting Hours

Gouden Gids (Yellow Pages) under Alternatieve Geneeswi-

If you have a medical or psychological questions or ailment,

jzen. Home opathic medicines can be purchased at either an

your GP will ALWAYS be the first one you call. Some GPs

apotheek, drogisterij or a reformhuis (health food store).

have walk-in consultation hours, with others, you make an

12

appointment. You discuss your medical problem with your

Payment

GP first and he or she will refer you to a specialist or therapist

Under the new insurance law, you have a choice between

if necessary. You cannot simply call a specialist and make an

taking out health care insurance ‘in kind’ (natura) or based

appointment without having seen your GP first; the insurance

on ‘restitution’ (restitutie). In the latter case, you will have to

company will not cover the expenses - see further on.

pay your medical bills yourself and then ask you insurance

For simple questions, or to request a refill for your

company for a restitution, in the former the insurance com-

prescription, most doctors have a telefonische spreekuur,

pany will pay your medical bills directly. For more on this, see

whereby you can call in and speak to the doctor (or, at times,

our article on page 18

THE XPAT JOURNAL


Doctor

.

Getting a Referral

questions). This information will go into the computer and

The GP, if he thinks you need more specialized expertise,

also onto a little credit card-sized plastic card, called a pon-

will recommend you to a specialist. Most often, this will be

splaatje, which you must bring with you every time you go to

someone at the nearest hospital. He will give you a referral

the hospital as it is used, among others, to find your records,

notice for the hospital and specialist he feels you should see.

mark forms, send your bills to your insurance company, and

This does not mean that you do not have a say in what (type

to print out labels for lab tests.

of) specialist you get to see or which hospital you would like

Many hospitals are in the process of replacing the ponsp-

to go to. Most GPs are quite flexible and all you have to do

laatje with an electronic card, called the electronische patiĂŤn-

is say what (or who) it is you want.

tenpas. This card contains more extensive medical data on the patient in question.

The Referral Notice - Insurance Company Do keep in mind that, for your insurer to cover the expenses

Your Visit With the Specialist

involved in your visit to the specialist, they will want to see a

Once you arrive at the hospital for your appointment, you

copy of the referral notice, proving that your doctor deemed

give the referral notice to the specialist’s assistant. Along

it necessary that you see a specialist. Often, the hospital

with the referral notice you will hand in an envelope contain-

keeps your referral notice and forwards a copy to the insurer

ing a short description of your ailment, allowing the special-

along with the bill they submit on your behalf. If, however,

ist to gain some preliminary insight into your condition. The

you declare your own expenses with the insurer (either after

specialist will then discuss your situation and treatment with

paying them yourself, or along with a request for your insurer

you, and arrange the necessary tests.

to pay the bill), then you will have to send (a copy of) the referral notice yourself. Without this referral, the insurer will

Hospitals

likely not pay the bill.

There are many fine hospitals in the Netherlands, all with the latest in technology - eight of them are university hospitals

Polikliniek and Ponsplaatje

and others are run by the community or religious organiza-

In the Netherlands, most specialists work out of hospitals

tions. In principle, all Dutch hospitals offer the same spe-

and not private clinics. When you visit him/her at the hos-

cializations so that going to one hospital is as good as going

pital, you look for the sign Poliklinieken, and the correct

to the next. The only thing that can be said about university

department. If this is your first visit to the hospital, you reg-

hospitals versus community or religious hospitals is that, on

ister at the front desk. There you will be asked a few initial

the whole, more research is carried out at university hospitals

questions (your name, address, insurer, GP, and a few other

so that they can be more up-to-date on recent (experimental)

THE XPAT JOURNAL

13


Health

medical developments. However, there are also non-univer-

your baby at the hospital. If you have been under non-

sity hospitals that specialize in certain conditions / ailments

hospital verloskundige supervision, you will only deliver in

and that can also be expected to be completely up-to-date

the hospital if there are complications (detected either prior

on all the newest developments and to have the latest medi-

to or during delivery).

cal equipment. Ask your GP whether there is a hospital that is specialized in your condition.

You can also opt for what the Dutch call a poliklinische bevalling (out-patient hospital delivery) attended either by a

Though waiting lists are being worked away, keep in mind

midwife or gynecologist; you then voluntarily have a hospital

that for some surgeries there might be a long waiting period.

delivery, but are in and out of the hospital within 24 hours -

While all hospitals have children’s wards, there are also

barring complications.

several excellent children’s hospitals throughout the country.

The Consultatiebureau Having a Baby

Whereas in most countries, routine check-ups are carried out

Many newcomers to the Netherlands are taken aback by the

by a GP or kinderarts (pediatrician), in the Netherlands this

non-interventionist approach to perinatal care and are often

service is provided by the local Consultatiebureau up until a

told that everyone delivers at home with a midwife. In fact,

child is 4 years of age. During the first year you will visit the

only about 30% of deliveries take place at home, the rest

Consultatiebureau approximately eight times. After that initial

take place in a hospital under the guidance of a midwife or

year, you and your child will visit the Consultatiebureau on a

gynecologist. You may also find it reassuring to know that,

yearly basis.

according to the World Health Organization, the Netherlands is one of the world’s safest places to have a baby.

Preventative care is the Consultatiebureau’s main goal. Through screening - motor and cognitive development, speech, hearing and sight - abnormalities can be detected

The Midwife

early on and monitored. One of the more important respon-

The first step when you are pregnant is to make an

sibilities of the Consultatiebureau is carrying out Ministry of

appointment with your local verloskundige (midwife). A mid-

Health’s - ipv Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports’ vac-

wife is an independent practitioner who can legally practice

cination program. Although it is not mandatory, 95% of all

obstetrics without the supervision of a medical doctor. And

parents do indeed opt to have the clinic perform this service.

unless complications arise or there is a previous medical

Once your child has reached school age, this health serv-

problem - in which case you will be referred to a gynecologist

ice is transferred to the local health office of the Gemeentel-

- the midwife will be your sole health care provider during

ijke Gezondheidsdienst, better known as the GGD (Municipal

pregnancy, labor, delivery and the initial postpartum period.

Health Service). Both the Consultatiebureau and the GGD-

You will visit the midwife approximately 12 times during

services are offered free of charge.

pregnancy and except for the first visit, which should last about a half an hour, most visits will be no longer than a

Physical Therapy / Alternative Therapy

quarter of an hour.

For physical therapy, manual therapy, haptonomy, chiro-

Although it is not standard Dutch practice, should you

practics, cranial-sacral therapy and more, check the Yellow

prefer to be cared for by a gynecologist during your preg-

Pages under Fysiotherapeuten, or ask your GP. Alternative

nancy, labor and delivery - and therefore in a hospital setting

medical care is not covered by the basic insurance policy.

- then this can be arranged, but you will need a referral from

If you have an existing insurance policy, or are participat-

your midwife. First check with your medical insurer regarding

ing in a collective (company or educational institute) policy,

reimbursement policies, as most medical insurance poli-

make sure you check with your insurance company whether

cies do not cover hospital birth unless there is a medische

they cover the costs and the medical care provider. And do

indicatie (medical condition warranting special gynecologi-

not forget that they often require that you hand in a refer-

cal care). If your midwife feels that you or the baby are at

ral notice from your GP, stating that you need this type of

medical risk, she will also refer you to a gynecologist, under

therapy, before they are willing to cover the costs.

whose treatment you will, if necessary, be for the remainder of the pregnancy. In that case, this will be fully covered by

Again, medical care in the Netherlands is in a league with the

your insurance.

best of the world - so rest assured, no matter what you have to deal with, you are in excellent hands.

Where Will You Have Your Baby? If you have been under specialist (hospital) supervision during your entire pregnancy, then you will most likely deliver

14

THE XPAT JOURNAL


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Health

Health Care

References

EMERGENCIES

MEDICATION

Centre Medical Francophone

expatriates in the Netherlands

Laan van Middenburg 2,

with a special section on Health

In case of an emergency, call the

2275 CC Voorburg

Care.

Consumed b.v.

national emergency number 112.

Tel.: 070 386 21 91

Internet: www.xpat.nl

Het Spaarne 7, 8253 PE Dronten

State whether you need an

Internet: www.cmfonline.nl

ambulance, the police or the

e-mail: info@consumed.nl

HAVING A BABY 

Internet: www.consumed.nl

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE

fire department and they will

Topmedicalservices

connect you with the correct

Tesselschadestraat 4,

department

1054 ET Amsterdam

International Confederation of Midwives

Tel.: 088 00 62 800

Supports the interests of

Internet:

pregnant women, mothers and

www.topmedicalservices.nl

midwives

Dutch Association for Classic Homeopathy

Eisenhowerlaan 138,

P.O. Box 710,

2517 KN The Hague

2400 AS Alphen aan den Rijn.

Tel.: 070 306 05 20

Tel.: 0172 49 96 95

Internet: www.

Internet: www.nvkh.nl

GENERAL Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports Parnassusplein 5, The Hague

RECOMMENDED READING

P.O. Box 20350,

internationalmidwives.org

Tel.: 070 340 79 11

The Access Guide to Health Care in the Netherlands

Internet: www.minvws.nl

Published by Access This publication concisely covers

Stichting Thuiszorg (national home care association)

a wide range of health topics

Tel.: 020 581 05 00

3815 BJ Amersfoort

from birth to death, insurance

Internet: www.thuiszorg.nl

Tel.: 033 472 60 03

2500 EJ The Hague

INTERNATIONAL HEALTH CENTERS

to legal rights, home care to

Association for Natural Therapists Liendertseweg 112-2,

Internet: www.vnt-nederland.nl

International Health Centre The Hague

hospitals, special services to social services.

Pregnancy Yoga (zwangerschapsyoga)

Prins Willemstraat 41,

Internet: www.access-nl.org

Central Registration of yoga-

MENTAL HEALTH

Tel.: 070 306 51 00

Babies and Toddlers

pregnancy course Samsara

Internet: www.ihch.nl

Published by Access

Tel.: 075 687 17 57

Nederlands Instituut voor Psychologen (Dutch Institute for Psychologists)

Information for parents of babies

Internet: www.yoga-nl.nu

P.O. Box 9921,

2584 HT The Hague

teachers qualified to teach

Bronovo Hospital

and toddlers in the Netherlands.

Bronovolaan 5,

Topics include pregnancy, child

2597 AX The Hague

health and safety, activities,

Tel.: 070 312 40 16

support groups, childcare

E-mail: expat@bronovo.nl

services, recommended reading,

Dutch Association for Acupuncture

etc. Internet: www.access-nl.org

P.O. Box 2198,

1006 AP Amsterdam

ACUPUNCTURE

Tel.: 020 410 62 22 Internet: www.psynip.nl

3800 CD Amersfoort

Nederlandse Vereniging voor Psychiatrie (Dutch Association for Psychiatry)

Hofcampweg 65,

The Holland Handbook

Tel.: 033 461 61 41

Lomanlaan 103, Utrecht

2241 KE Wassenaar

Published by XPat Media

Internet: www.acupunctuur.nl

Tel.: 030 282 33 03

Tel.: 070 512 72 00

The indispensable guide for

Wassenaar Health Centre

16

THE XPAT JOURNAL

Internet: www.nvvp.net


Psyq Expat

Tropencentrum AMC

Laan van Meerdervoort 70,

For vaccinations and medical

2517 AD The Hague

examinations

Tel.: 070 391 82 82

Meibergdreef 9, Amsterdam

(ask for expat program)

Tel.: 020 566 38 00

E-mail: expats@psyq.nl

Internet: www.tropencentrum.nl

Internet: www.psyq.nl

WEBSITES Parnassia (Psycho medical centers in the The Hague region)

www.rxlist.com -

Tel.: 070 391 63 91

www.pharma-lexicon.com -

Internet: www.parnassia.nl

a dictionary of over 200,000

Internet drug index

medical, pharmaceutical,

Addiction and Mental Health Trimbos Instituut: www.trimbos.

biomedical & healthcare acronyms and abbreviations

nl (which also has English-

www.food-info.net -

language information)

a multilingual site with information on food, food

DENTAL CARE

components, ingredients, e-numbers, etc.

www.tandarts.nl

www.dereisdokter.nl -

www.tandarts.pagina.nl

medical information for

www.tandartsplein.nl

travelers www.apotheek.nl -

FOR TRAVELERS

independent information on,

National Coordination Center for Traveler’s Advice

www.cradle.nl -

a.o., medication

The central organization in the

on Dutch postnatal care and having a baby abroad

Netherlands that occupies itself

www.dokterdokter.nl -

with the prevention of disease

for questions on illnesses,

among travelers P.O. Box 1008, 000 BA Amsterdam

afflications and medication www.gezondopreis.nl information health and travel

Tel.: 0900 95 84

www.ggd.net -

Internet: www.lcr.nl

joint ggd-site with health

KLM Health Services

www.medlook.nl -

Gebouw 133, Stationsplein N.O.,

to open an own medical file

information for travelers

1117 BV Schiphol-Oost Tel.: 020 64 95 187 Internet: www.klmhealthservices.com

and add your own data (also available in English) www.medischestartpagina.nl to find information on, a.o., patient associations, medicine,

Travel Clinic Havenziekenhuis

governmental organizations

Haringvliet 2,

and symptoms

3011 TD Rotterdam Tel.: 010 412 38 88 Internet: www.havenziekenhuis.nl

THE XPAT JOURNAL

17


LEGAL

Health Care Insurance

What Choices Do You Have to Make? As of January 1, 2006, all residents of the Netherlands are obligated to arrange their own health care insurance. As you can read in our article on page 8, to pay for the insurance, everyone pays a fixed contribution of approximately € 1,200 and an

T

income-dependent contribution.

to select your own huisarts, or GP), which means that you must verify that such a contract exists between the medical care provider you wish to select and your insurance company before you make use of his or her services - or else run the risk of paying the bill yourself. The restitutie policy is slightly more expensive, but does give you the freedom of choice as to whom you wish to turn to for medical assistance. With the restitution policy, you pay the bill yourself and then submit it for compensation with your insurance company. Some insurance companies offer a combination of the two types of insurances.

The income-dependent contribution is compensated by your

Exceptional Medical Expenses Act

employer, and is due up to a maximum amount that is deter-

The AWBZ is a national insurance scheme that insures per-

mined annually. If you are unemployed or self-employed, you

sons against risks that cannot be covered by individual insur-

receive no such compensation. Also if you are receiving a

ance - its name translates into ‘Exceptional Medical Expenses

benefit or old age pension, you pay an income-dependent

Act’. Everyone who resides and works in the Netherlands

contribution - whether this is compensated, depends on

legally has a right to coverage by this insurance. It is meant

your social security institution or pension plan. Children are

to cover steep medical expenses that are not covered by a

covered free of charge and the government offers financial

regular health insurance and that are simply not affordable,

assistance (called zorgtoeslag) to persons whose income lies

such as long-term home care, or admittance to a nursing

below a certain level.

home or a home for disabled persons. The same health care insurance company with which you have placed your ‘regular’

Comparative Shopping

health insurance also takes on your personal coverage by this

The cost of a basic insurance is pretty much the same across

insurance. You owe a social security contribution to pay for

the board; doing a little comparative shopping becomes

the AWBZ, which is calculated over - and withheld from - your

worth your while if you are interested in additional coverage.

salary and some types of benefits. You also owe a contribution

You may change insurance companies every year; visit www.

for this insurance over income from self-employment.

zorgplanet.nl to compare insurance companies and coverage.

18

Issues that are of interest to look at when doing comparative

Dental Care

shopping are: how much own risk you can take out, what the

We mention dental care here separately because it is no

coverage is if you are abroad and fall ill or otherwise require

longer included in any basic package (with the exception of

medical care, level of dental care offered, alternative thera-

dental care for children up to the age of 18 and ‘specialist’

pies, etc. Another very important issue is described in the next

dental care, including dentures). You must take out an addi-

paragraph.

tional dental policy to cover standard dental care.

Insurance In Kind or Restitution

Medication

When you are arranging your insurance, you will run into the

Also medication deserves special attention: in your policy you

terms ‘natura polis’ or ‘restitutie polis’. If you take out a nat-

are likely to find something along the lines of “we only cover

ura policy, your insurance will pay your medical bills directly.

GVS medication”. This is a consequence of an arrangement

However, they will only pay out these bills to medical service

whereby types of medication have been ‘clustered’, after

providers they have entered into a contract with (you are free

which a maximum price has been determined for this cluster.

THE XPAT JOURNAL


If you are prescribed medication, then the cluster-specific maximum price is covered by the insurance. If your medication is more expensive than that, you will have to pay the difference. You can, however, discuss with your doctor and/or pharmacist whether a cheaper - and equally as effective - alternative is available. Homeopathic medicine is not covered by the ‘GVS’-system, so that you will have to pay for it yourself.

The cost of a basic insurance is pretty much the same across the board; doing a little comparative shopping becomes worth your while if you are interested in additional coverage

if your midwife, GP or specialist has determined that, for health and safety reasons, the baby should be delivered in the hospital. As of June 4, 2008, pregnant selfemployed mothers will have a right to 16-weeks of paid pregnancy leave, based on the Zelfstandig en Zwangerregeling (Self-Employed and Pregnant Regulation). How much you receive depends on the number of hours you

Check with your insurance com-

worked in self-employment the previous

pany whether you can take out an addi-

year. You also have a right to this benefit

tional policy to cover these extra costs

if you work for your partner / spouse (’s

as well as the cost of homeopathic/

company).

alternative medication.

Students Pregnancy and Childbirth

Students will often find that their host institution has made sure

During pregnancy, you visit a midwife with increasing fre-

that they are insured - as everyone is required by law to have

quency up to and including delivery; this is covered by your

health insurance - though you should verify this, of course.

insurance. The costs of a hospital delivery are fully covered

Special arrangements for students are available.

Healthy business travellers, optimum performance Fit to travel and work abroad Health risks can seriously undermine the performance of business

the journey, Fit to travel and work abroad is top quality. In a medical

travellers. Fit to travel and work abroad is the perfect remedy.

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With a unique, total package of health services that can be called

a chance when you can choose Fit to travel and work abroad?

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...for a healthy return

THE XPAT JOURNAL

19


INTERVIEW

By Caroline Hunt

It’s Good to Talk All across the world, there are expats dealing with different social norms, codes and behaviours. The novelty of a foreign culture often adds to the appeal of living abroad - however, sometimes

Y

the frustrations of expat life can lead to problems both in the workplace and at home. Yet, there is still a taboo connected to the word ‘therapy’ or,

Zita describes her time in Japan as one of mixed emotions.

heaven forbid, ‘shrink!’ Fortunately this taboo is being pushed

“At first I interacted only with the Japanese and although

aside by the realisation that you don’t have to be foaming at

I really liked Japan and the Japanese, I soon realised the

the mouth or wearing a straightjacket to seek a little guidance.

importance of everyday communication with someone from a similar cultural background. After three months I grabbed

‘Expatriate Counseling’, founded by Robbert Nuis in 2003, is a

the first westerner I saw and desperately said ‘Talk to me!’”

network of coaches, counsellors and therapists that is geared

Adapting to the overly polite culture was also tough, “I found

toward expats. Robbert, a hypnotherapist and Master in NLP

myself walking on eggshells, afraid to offend. The Japanese

(neuro-linguistic programming), considers himself a ‘citizen of

are so circumspect, I never knew where I stood. Now when

the world’, having been an expat all his life. Today his network

I speak to my Japanese clients, some of them tell me how

stretches across the globe with practitioners in Europe, the

shocked they are at how openly critical the Dutch can be, and,

US and Asia.

having experienced the opposite side of the coin, I can fully

It was during a hypnotherapy training session in San Fran-

understand what they’re going through.”

cisco that Robbert decided to combine his love of helping people with his life experience as an expat. “When people

As far as Zita is concerned, mental preparation is key to a

move to another country they don’t want to ask a stranger

smooth transition when moving abroad; “People really need

‘hey, can you recommend a good therapist?’. 95% of our

to go to a psychological level and look at what it means for

clients approach us via our website where they can search for

them as an individual to be transplanted into a new culture.

a suitable counsellor anonymously.”

An awareness of where you come from is just as important as

In the Netherlands, there are five such practitioners con-

an awareness of where you’re going. By knowing yourself and

nected to Robbert’s network. They offer very different servic-

your cultural background you can interpret life from outside

es, including counselling, creative therapy, confidence coach-

your own social frame.”

ing and even spiritual guidance. Robbert insists that each

Zita’s expat clients include couples, overworked profes-

specialist has three things in common - a background as an

sionals, people with addiction problems, career-climbers and

expat, two languages and a flexible work attitude. Zita Meijer,

those who simply feel they’ve reached a sticking point in their

a psychologist who is fluent in Dutch, English and Japanese,

life. Her method involves investigating the thoughts that cause

certainly meets these criteria. Having lived and worked in a

stress. Through a process of self-inquiry, she encourages her

number of countries, Zita now practices in both Amsterdam

clients to analyse those thoughts that stand in the way of hap-

and The Hague.

piness or potential.

Zita’s Amsterdam practice overlooks a quiet canal near the

adapt. “There’s usually a honeymoon period when people

city centre. The atmosphere is relaxed as she talks enthusias-

move abroad, but then it tends to dip, and for the non-working

tically about her work. She has a particular interest in Cultural

partner it can dip very low. The working partner often goes

Psychology and became fascinated by how culture can influ-

straight from one international company to another; this

ence the psyche during her three-year stay in Japan. She now

familiarity means they may not feel the impact of the change

runs workshops for people planning to move to Japan and

very much. Meanwhile, the non-working partner is in direct

wishes she’d had a similar opportunity to prepare for her own

contact with the host culture... shopping, paying bills and

big move.

dealing with the public. These diverging experiences can lead

Zita often speaks to expat couples who are struggling to

20

THE XPAT JOURNAL


Zita Meijer counseling (the person in the picture is not an actual client)

to frustrations. I practice dialogues with couples so that they

place of desperation or stress doesn’t work. Real loneliness is

can improve communication. Sometimes I also ask them to

being disconnected from yourself.”

keep a journal of their thoughts.” So it seems that adapting to new environments and life in Perhaps it is easier for the working partner to settle into a new

general is much easier when you really know yourself. “We

country, yet the workplace itself is not without its emotional

can see everything of ourselves - but we can’t see our own

pitfalls either. Zita helps her clients deal with the many anxi-

face; the counsellor acts as a mirror,” says Zita. “I don’t have a

eties that arise. “I see people who hate their job but feel they

magic pill but I am able to help people question themselves.”

can’t quit, others who lack self-esteem and some who find it

Zita emphasises her final point with quite some passion:

difficult to communicate with superiors who don’t share the

“People shouldn’t ignore their worries because they’re too

same cultural background.” Fear of public speaking is another

ashamed to talk to a professional. Sometimes it takes just

common issue: “In these sessions, we replace lies by truth,

one session to really see yourself, and apart from anything

and examine the thoughts that accompany giving a speech.

else it’s so nice to have someone to confide in when you

Once the client sees that they are just un-true thoughts, a

move abroad.”

massive improvement occurs.” A successful work life can be accompanied by a lonely pri-

Perhaps we could all benefit from a quick glance in the mirror from time to time.

vate life. “I’ve seen this among highly-educated career women who haven’t found the right partner. I try to guide my clients

For more information, visit: www.expatriatecounseling.com

back to themselves, because looking for someone from a

THE XPAT JOURNAL

21


HealTH

Dental Care in the Netherlands In the Netherlands, dental care is provided by university-educated dentists, all of whom are government-registered. The quality of the care provided, compared to other countries, is without a doubt, excellent. Of course there are exceptions in both directions but, this being the Netherlands, these are never very extreme.

T

The Dutch visit their dentist on a regular basis - approximately 85% go once or twice a year. Consequently, you won’t see many people with poorly cared-for teeth.

Types of Practices Almost all dental practices in the Netherlands are private, there are no state practices. Most of them are modest undertakings, with one dentist and one assistant. In the larger cities there are larger practices, including several dentists, assistants, and dental hygienists; this allows the practice to diversify its services. Many of the Dutch practices are full and can hardly - or don’t - take on new patients.

Rates The government determines the rate for services rendered, which makes these rates, generally speaking, lower than in most wealthy countries. Anything a dentist might carry out is described in uniform (so-called UPT) codes that allow the insurance company to determine the related costs. All dentists who work in the Netherlands must adhere to these codes.

Insurance Dentistry is privatized in the Netherlands, meaning that you are responsible for paying for the related costs and not your insurance company. However, if you are covered by a Dutch basic health insurance, your insurance company will fully bear the costs of all dentistry for your children through the age of 21 as well as dental surgery for all adults. All other dental care (the majority of the care you receive!) can only be insured by taking out an additional insurance. This supplementary insurance can cover up to 75% of the cost.

22

THE XPAT JOURNAL


by Dennis Verhoeve

For the exact coverage, check the policy terms or contact

anesthetic before a painful treatment. Laughing gas is sel-

the insurer.

dom used and, if so, only by a limited number of specialized dentists.

Specializations In Netherlands, you can find all regular dental specializations.

Finding a Dentist

The best-known are dental surgeons, who are usually affiliated

New practices, who still take on new patients, often have a

with a hospital, and orthodontists, who usually have a private

website. Make sure to do some comparison shopping before

practice. We are also seeing more and more paradontolo-

you decide on one. Issues to take into consideration are:

gists (who specialize in gums), endodontologists (root canal

philosophy of the dentist/practice, opening hours, is there a

specialists), implantologists and children’s dentists. You can

dental hygienist, do they follow relevant new courses, what do

only visit one of these if you have been referred to them by a

they specialize in, does the staff speak English, etc.

regular dentist. More and more (but certainly not all!) Dutch dentists

In short, the Dutch dentists follow a thorough training, make

employ the services of a dental hygienist. Particularly in the

use of modern equipment and run a clean shop. In other

larger cities there are also separate dental hygienist practices.

words, if the Netherlands turns out to be your new location,

You can visit these without a referral from your dentist.

dental care should be the least of your worries.

Other Issues of Interest All dentists in the Netherlands must comply by the rules set by the Dutch government on hygiene - so you will have little to worry about there. And most dentists will give you a local VPMadv93x127.pdf

16-05-2007

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Dennis Verhoeve runs an international dental clinic in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw neighborhood. His practice is focused on expats and there are many employees of multinational businesses among his clients. For more information, visit: www.theinternationaldentist.com.

Utrecht Headoffice T. +31 (0)30 - 246 85 36 Amsterdam Office T. +31 (0)20 - 403 76 80

info@expatax.nl / www.expatax.nl

THE XPAT JOURNAL

23


HealTH

Fit to Travel and Work Abroad As an expat or a family member of an expat you

such as dengue fever, malaria, yellow fever and diphtheria. Nowadays, we also have to contend with new illnesses

probably travel a lot, for both work and pleasure. However, extensive travel can pose health hazards,

such as the new influenza A (H1N1) and bird flu. l

when stress is involved. When it comes to our biological clock, the human body can only cope with a shift of

particularly when you travel to exotic destinations,

approximately an hour-and-a-half to two hours in one day, at the most. It is no coincidence that more accidents occur

or when you are exposed to less exacting standards

on the roads after the transition to summertime, mainly as a result of increased stress. Moreover, the incidence

of hygiene or infectious diseases, or when you have

F

of heart attacks increases by five percent in the first week after this transition (source: University of Groningen, Pro-

to contend with different climates and time zones.

fessor Dr D. Beersma, 24/03/09). l

Services can help.

The Hazards of Business Travel All too often employers and employees think too lightly of the health risks involved with travelling. The reality, unfortunately, is that an illness during a journey can be both inconvenient and very unpleasant. According to the 2008 Schiphol Survey, between one and two out of every ten travellers visit tropical regions without taking effective anti-malaria measures, and half of all travellers still start out on their journeys with inadequate protection. The death of a Dutch traveller of malaria in November 2008, for example, could probably have been avoided. This survey also highlighted the importance of being well-informed. This has now resulted in 20% more travellers being protected against hepatitis A. The risks that confront business travellers are extremely diverse in nature and depend on the destination, the duration and frequency of travel, the nature of the work carried out and the state of the traveller’s health. A few of these potential risks are outlined below: l

The bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites in tropical regions are different from what we are accustomed to in western countries. They can cause infectious diseases

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THE XPAT JOURNAL

Sitting for prolonged periods during a long flight can disrupt the flow of blood to the legs, increasing the likelihood

For all these reasons it is important to remain alert and take the necessary precautions. And this is where KLM Health

Crossing several time zones can cause fatigue, particularly

of a thrombosis. l

A lack of hygiene in kitchens and hotels can lead to abdominal and stomach complaints and diarrhoea, which can also, incidentally, be caused by drinking contaminated water.


Taking Care of KLM’s Travelling Personnel KLM entrusts the health care of its flight crew, business travellers and expats to KLM Health Services, a travel organisation with specific expertise in the area of travel and health. This organisation keeps employees informed on the risks and on the preventative measures that they can take. These include vaccinations, malaria prevention, the consequences of poor hygiene, sleeping and waking patterns and safety aspects. KLM Health Services provides the latest, up-to-the-minute information about a certain destination immediately before departure. In the case of the new influenza A (H1N1), for example, the flight crew and other KLM employees were given daily updates about the situation and the measures they could take. In addition to all this, at Air France-KLM-Delta destinations around the world, the company has a network of local doctors that meet KLM’s quality requirements. In the event of medical problems, employees can make use of this network of doctors, or indeed, fall back on the medical telephone helpline at Schiphol. Moreover, because pilots and expats undergo periodical medical examinations, any potential health issues or problems can quickly be identified. If an actual health problem is discovered, the relevant treatment is swiftly administered, in collaboration with specialised hospitals. Preventative hygiene audits are also carried out at Air France-KLM-Delta destinations and, in collaboration with KLM, KLM Health Services sets up policies for dealing with health risks, such as the

they can always fall back on the medical care that is available

repercussions of a pandemic. These measures can be broken

specifically to them.

down into the various stages of a journey: the preparation prior to departure; the journey itself; and upon returning home.

Experience with Other Organisations

This broad approach leads to a greater level of awareness

In addition to KLM, KLM Health Services also works for other

among employees of the health risks. It also provides a sense

international clients, such as development organisations,

of reassurance: if employees have health problems, they know

international companies, other airlines and offshore companies. In organisations in which travelling is not part of the core business, the responsibility for health and travel often rests with the individual employee. These companies run risks, particularly when the frequency of travel is significant, if they do not take enough or any preventative measures at all, and are totally dependent on the available help and information in the event of a calamity. Market research has shown that employers are keen to have their employees properly taken care of by a professional organisation such as KLM Health Services.

Travel healthily... and a Healthy Return! This is the slogan of KLM Health Services, and is probably also one that echoes your own sentiments and those of your employees! Contact KLM Health Services and arrange for them to drop by and present themselves and their health care services that are ideally suited to your organisation.

Contact: KLM Health Services - www.klmhealthservices.nl Telephone: 0800 22 555 47, or, from outside the Netherlands: +31 20 649 6040. - E-mail: contact.health@klm.com

THE XPAT JOURNAL

25


HealTH

By Nancy van den Berg-Cook and Christopher Mead

The Counseling Services Network of ACCESS

A Safety Net for Expats Since 1986 Most families and individuals who relocate to the Netherlands realize they may have to face some degree of culture shock and other challenges that can’t even be imagined ahead of time. But they also look forward to the adventure of living in Europe and soaking up a foreign culture to a degree that isn’t

A

possible on holidays abroad.

Individual Attention and Help Finding the Right Professional Even if we had been whisked by a Genie to the Netherlands, perhaps we or someone in our family already had psychological or psychiatric problems before the move, requiring immediate support. The ACCESS CSN was established in 1986 precisely for this reason: to assist English-speaking expats in finding reliable and highly qualified mental health support, including psychotherapy and counseling given by fluent English speakers. Or perhaps before moving, we weren’t having any special difficulties, but now find that we are feeling very different, not coping well, or are plagued by sadness or anxiety. We might wonder, is it something in the water?! Or has the move itself brought this on and if so, why? If we don’t know what

And often, the person whose career is taking him/her abroad,

is wrong, how can we ask for help, especially in a foreign

is looking forward to a career advancement and expanded job

country? A good first step is to telephone the CSN counselor

opportunities in the future.

on-call, who can be found at www.access-nl.org/our_services/counselling.htm or by calling either ACCESS office: The

Pitfalls and Getting the Right Kind of Support

Hague +31 (0)70 346 2525 or Amsterdam +31 (0)20 423 3217).

Naturally, some pitfalls lay ahead and are impossible to avoid.

The CSN is unique in the Netherlands in offering the chance

For example, the effort needed to make the move and set up

to speak immediately, at no cost, with a fully qualified English-

a new life - finding a place to live, school(s) for the children,

speaking psychotherapist/counselor who can help determine

furnishings for a home that may be temporary, not to mention

what kind of help the caller needs and make an appropriate

making arrangements for house and property that get left

referral. When needed, they will refer callers to therapists in

behind - can be exhausting. The very concept of ‘adventure’

their network, or if necessary, help them find the appropriate

can begin to feel like a naïve dream: “When will we ever have

medical or other kinds of help.

the energy and time to start enjoying ourselves?” But even if we could avoid the move, say we could be

The Individual Counselors in the CSN

magically lifted, home and all, by an all-powerful Genie, then

The ACCESS Counseling Network consists of mental health

gently placed down intact in the Netherlands, the feelings of

professionals - psychologists and psychotherapists, mental

enjoyment and adventure could still remain out of reach. This

health counselors, psychoanalysts and Jungian analysts, clini-

is because the worries and challenges of daily life come with

cal social workers, etc. - with practices all across Holland. All

us on that ride in the hands of the Genie! And some aspects of

counselors have a minimum Master’s level degree with at least

being an expat can actually intensify the normal every-day life

two years’ supervised work experience, and hold international

difficulties. One important aspect, that is very hard to recognize,

or Dutch licensing. They counsel and support individuals,

and can therefore tend to sneak up on us and cause problems

children, families and couples, and come from a variety of

without our knowing it, is culture shock. Perhaps ‘shock’ is too

different cultural backgrounds and, in addition to English, a

strong a word, but being immersed in a different culture usually

number of them speak other languages, including Dutch, Ger-

does effect us in a powerful way. That is why it is so important

man, Spanish, French and Italian.

for expats to have access to counselors and therapists such as those in the ACCESS Counseling Services network (CSN) who understand how culture shock works in the Netherlands and have learned to recognize and deal with it, for themselves but also as highly trained psychologists and counselors.

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THE XPAT JOURNAL

For more information: ACCESS: www.access-nl.org Nancy van den Berg: www.jungpraktijkvandenberg-cook.nl Christopher Mead : http://christophermead.net


Naamloos-1 1

Make the Right Choice Our first class facilities, combined with a diverse British international curriculum, make the BSN a stimulating learning environment for every child. We welcome children aged 3-18 years and will soon be opening admissions for our new Day Care Centre for 0-3’s which will start in January 2010. We also now offer both A Levels and the IB Diploma Programme to students from 16-18 years. With 85 nationalities on our roll, we are experienced in helping children settle, whatever school system they come from, and provide dedicated English Language support for those who need it. To find out what British international education at the BSN has to offer, contact our admissions team: Tel: 070 315 4077 Email: admissions@britishschool.nl www.britishschool.nl

L

The International Choice

in store now! Kelly’s Expat Shopping Your International food supplier

“Tim Tam” Australia’s NO.1biscuit in store now!

Pace Salsa Sauces A1 Steak Sauce

These spacious rental apartments feature • luxuriously appointed bathrooms with separate shower room • floor heating

Stunning three- and four-room apartments are available for rental in the opulent Cats’Heuvel building, located in the majestic Statenkwartier, one of the safest and most sought-after areas of the royal city of The Hague. The apartments are furnished to the highest standard and are surrounded by beautiful parks, museums and galleries, and some of the finest shops in the city.

• fully equipped inbuilt SieMatic kitchen • high-quality oak parquet flooring • “Woongemak” services, including video intercom, personal alarm, and courier and delivery system

That’s the splendour of Cats’Heuvel. Nelisse Residential Desk Statenlaan 128 2582 GW Den Haag

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ORGANIC Top Brands also available online!

Kelly’s Expat Shopping Piet Heinstraat 105 2518 CE The Hague 070-3469753

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mon-closed Tue-Fri.9.30-19.00 Sat.9.00-17.00 Sun.10.00-17.00

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18-5-2009 19:41:22

T 070 - 3143000 I www.beeuwkes.nl E rental@beeuwkes.nl

For further details, please visit www.catsheuvel.net


BEAUTY

Release the Beauty Within The first thing you notice when you meet Katrien Verheye is her skin: its freshness and healthy glow... not a bad calling card for a skin therapist! Yes, therapist, not beautician, but a step beyond, which is another thing you discover once you have undergone

S

a session at the Juno Beauty Salon. Skin Therapy is a relative new area of study in the Netherlands that enables the practitioner to treat a variety of skin problems, facial or otherwise, ranging from scarring to oedema therapy. This means that for whatever reason you decide to visit Juno, you can be assured of a treatment or advice best suited to your longer-term needs - not simply the immediate. A good facial is a combination of product and person, with an emphasis on the latter. No matter how good a product is, if the person applying it does not pay attention to you - your skin, your concerns, your questions - then how can you be sure the products will deliver what they promise? How often have you had a facial that consisted of one cream on, then off, another on, then off; steam (in which your specialist disappears for 15 minutes of your session); another cream on, then off... then ‘thank you ma’am, look forward to seeing you again’. Sure, in

subsequent application of the appropriate products for the

between there may be a great massage, and there is always

requested attention (with continued attention, as they do not

the feel-good feeling of having taken time out for yourself...

make use of a steam machine, but rather perfectly warmed

BUT, there can be so much more to a good facial treatment

cloths on your face to maintain moisture) and concludes with

experience.

the added relaxation of a head and shoulder massage. You

There are many reasons to have a facial - for some it is a necessity; their skin requiring extra attention for some particu-

can also take the experience a step further and have a connective tissue massage (bindweefselmassage).

lar reason; for others it is maintenance, caring for a delicate

Connective tissues fill the spaces in the body between

organ in order to ensure it looks its best over time; and for

muscles and fibers, forming a protective layer around the

others it is a little indulgence in oneself. In each case, the

blood vessels. They are very delicate and do not take stress

individual to whose care you submit yourself determines the

well; by massaging the connective tissue of the face, the blood

level of satisfaction. Their knowledge, skill and personalised

circulation required to make us look healthy is enhanced. Fur-

attention mark the path that is followed in the continued care

thermore, a connective tissue massage is also used to restore

of this most central organ of the human body.

the suppleness to the fibrous tissue, improving the strength and overall health of the complete facial system. Regular

28

That is not to say that Katrien does not also provide you with

visitors are instructed by Katrien on some of the simple tech-

that same self-indulgent feeling. At Juno, a full hour-and-

niques of taking care of their own skin - and outer beauty -

a-half session is spent on a short analysis of your skin, the

while also learning a few stress release techniques.

THE XPAT JOURNAL


By Deborah Valentine

So far I have sung the praises of Katrien and her professional

them in the care of their skin - male or female - I highly recom-

background and skill. However, another essential part of the

mend a visit to Katrien Verheye at Juno Beauty Salon. I know

experience was the effect of the products she uses. At Juno

this may sound a bit much, but I can only say - comfortably,

Beauty Salon the product of choice is hannah, a Dutch brand

openly and with conviction, from personal experience: a ses-

which has been on the market for

sion at Juno, in the hands of Katrien

more than 30 years and which

Verheye, will make you shine from

was originally developed to care

within.

for damaged skin, but has proven

It is alternatively said that ‘beauty

equally effective on un-damaged

lies within’ or ‘beauty lies in the eye

skins. The motto of its founder,

of the beholder’. Imagine having an

Hannah Hakze, is: “It is not about

experience in which the beauty from

what you do for your skin, but how

within is released, so when you look

you do it.” Hannah is one of the pio-

in the mirror, you yourself can see

neers in skin therapy and the con-

the beauty that lies within you!

nective tissue massages practiced

Make some time for yourself -

by Katrien, one of which has been

and know you are also making a

scientifically proven, and patented.

long-term investment, that will last

After a week of using hannah’s

longer than the facial itself.

products and having been in Katrien’s care I am happy to say that the experience has been a most positive and rewarding one. For those who have recently

Juno Beauty Salon, Frambozenstraat 43, The Hague, www.schoonheidssalonjuno.nl.

arrived, or are still looking for someone to guide and coach

Enjoy the panoramic view of the North Sea!

Delicious dishes and refreshing drinks, combined with a panoramic view of the North Sea. This is only possible at the Terrace of the Steigenberger Kurhaus Hotel. Come to the historic Kurzaal to enjoy a wonderful dinner with four persons and pay for three. Our three course menu is available from € 32,50 p.p. Restaurant Kandinsky is the perfect place for an evening of fine dining at the North Sea. Reservations for the Kurzaal Restaurant or Restaurant Kandinsky: telephonenumber +31 (0)70 41 62 713 or e-mail restaurantreservations@kurhaus.nl

www.kurhaus.nl haut E

cui S iNE

Steigenberger Kurhaus Hotel . Gevers Deynootplein 30 . 2586 CK Den Haag/Scheveningen THE XPAT JOURNAL

29


Housing

Willemspark

Comfortable Living in the Center of the City The Willemspark-complex is in the Mesdag quarter of The Hague, on the corner of the Javastraat and the Zeestraat. From here, it is but a short walk to the Peace Palace and to the Scheveningse Woods, as well as to the city’s fashionable

N

shopping district.

Not only that, it is a mere 200 meters from the tram and bus stops that will take you to the city center, The Hague Central Station or the beach of Scheveningen. Also by car, via the Javastraat, you exit the city within minutes, on your way to Amsterdam, Utrecht, Rotterdam, or the airport. This early twentieth-century Willemspark building (designed in 1928) used

to house the Ministry of Social Affairs, but has now been converted into a monumental apartment complex that is surrounded by historical 19th-century buildings. It is divided in 66 luxurious rental apartments, varying in size from 70 to approximately 285 m2. More than anything, living comfortably means having control over your

environment. The high-tech facilities of the complex assure you of this. There is a video-intercom connection with the entrance, the doors and windows are fitted with high-quality locks and hinges, while the apartments have an alarm installation, a three-point lock on the front door and a safe. The grounds are surrounded by a six-foot high gate. Furthermore, the complex has a facility manager who lives by the building. Great care and attention has been paid to noise and heat insulation, including special sound-absorbing floors and other sound-absorbing measures. Double glazing, well-insulated roofs and outer walls ensure optimum heat insulation, resulting in lower heating costs and a pleasant indoor environment. Of course, you can regulate the temperature in your apartment with your own heating controls. The property has 91 parking spaces and 11 garages on the grounds and the decorative gates can be opened by remote control. Tenants can make use of the fully-equipped gym in the basement. On the grounds, you will find 150-year-old trees, dating from when the Willemspark was first created. Today they still stand, contributing to the complex’s stately feel. The new plants and trees, as well as the ponds and the lighting will contribute to the restoration of the grounds to their former glory, and the beautifully landscaped and restored gardens will help you find peace of mind in the middle of the lively city of The Hague.

For more information: www.palladium-group.nl You can contact Palladium Nederland at 070 - 350 72 02 or info@palladium-group.nl

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THE XPAT JOURNAL


Willemspark and surrounding


BEAUTY

No Pain, No Gain, No Sweat Approach to Slimming & Anti-Aging At Beauty Corp, the adage of ‘no pain, no gain’ is a thing of the past, with regards to beauty, slimming, fitness and body treatments. Combining years of experience, with the latest in technology, Nina Kalliopohja and the team at Beauty Corp bring to The Hague a whole new approach to slimming and anti-aging treatments.

First and foremost at Beauty Corp is personal attention. Without a personal analysis and personal guidance in the use and application of the technology at their disposal, no treatment offered can be expected to deliver the promised results. Everyone is unique, and discovering the uniqueness of each client is at the core of what Beauty Corp can offer. Beauty Corp offers a wide range of services and treatments in the field of beauty, fitness and wellness. Services and treatments that take into consideration the fact that for many, time - or rather, the lack of it - is an issue that stands in the way of accomplishing goals regarding health and well-being. Today, with the revolutionary technology behind Power Plate®, time need no longer be a factor in preventing you from fulfilling your desires for looking, and feeling, better. Based on technology originally developed for the Russian Space Programme, aimed at preventing the wasting of the astronauts’ muscles and bones in space, Power Plate® has evolved into a treatment for anyone who wishes to improve their muscle tone, fitness, figure and overall health. Power Plate® uses the principles of Acceleration Training™ to stimulate the body’s natural response to vibration. These vibrations transmit waves of energy throughout the body, activating muscle contractions between 25 and 50 times per second, enhancing overall performance in sessions as short as 15 minutes a day, 3 times a week.  Under the guidance of a personal trainer, trained in the use of Power Plate®, Beauty Corp ensures that the available technology is used to its best results in the areas of physical therapy, longevity and anti-aging, sports rehabilitation, beauty and wellness, alternative medicine, fighting osteoporosis and far more. Areas in which regular independent studies have shown it has had positive effects. At Beauty Corp, the effects of Power Plate® can furthermore be enhanced with the application of related

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THE XPAT JOURNAL


technologies such as a Power-Wrap速, Body Sculptor速 and the Power NARL 517 Method to provide effective, visible and lasting results in less time than would otherwise be spent on exercising and dieting. Additional treatments at Beauty Corp include permanent hair removal with the latest technology, as well as permanent makeup and anti-aging and facial treatments - including the Madonna treatment, otherwise referred to as an oxygen facial. Its founder, Nina, has combined her passions and background as a beautician and fitness trainer to provide a centre in which complete solutions can be offered to men and women who are looking for a way to improve their fitness and well-being that can fit it into their busy schedules. She tells that it is in fact possible to come in for a session and to leave 20 minutes later to go straight back to work... all these benefits without breaking a sweat! Nina in the

For more information, call 070 - 326 29 26, or visit www.beautycorp-denhaag.nl. For a FREE introductory session, drop by Willem Witsenplein 7, The Hague, Mon-Fri 9 A.M. - 9 P.M., Sat 9 A.M. - 4 P.M.

middle, Marente left and Tony on the right

new! Dutch

for English-speaking Expats This complete course book can be used for self-study and is suitable for beginners through to advanced learners. The accompanying CD-rom with Mp3 audio files, vocabulary lists and the answers to the excercises, provides you with the essential tools and practice you need to be able to speak, read, listen and write in Dutch. Start today and enrich your expat experience!

ISBN: 978-90-77698-14-3 www.nederlandsalstweedetaal.nl


North Sea Jazz

Joining King Louie’s Jungle VIP Remember the scene in the movie The Jungle Book, in which Baloo the Bear is spying on King Louie and his apes, but is gripped by the beat of their music? He cannot stop his body from succumbing to the seductive rhythm and finds it dancing away from underneath him, as he says “I’m gone, man, solid gone”.

T

Three solid days of being ‘gone, man, solid gone’ are what is in store for you this summer at the North Sea Jazz Festival - as always. From the

early so as not to miss a minute. The theme Jazz from Japan

moment you start approaching the main entrance and feel the

has allowed the North Sea Jazz festival to invite some of the

excitement and anticipation rising among the people around

most striking and exciting ensembles, such as the swinging

you, as the sound of the beat from inside reaches out and grabs

Quasimode, as well as the founders of the Japanese club jazz

you by the ear to pull you in, you will have no other choice than

Kyoto Jazz Massive Live Set. On Sunday, the veteran of the

to give in to the lure of pure musical joy.

Japanese free-jazz scene, Satoh Masahiko, will play, as well as piano virtuosos Hiromi and Akiko Yano.

Disney World

34

Enter the halls and visit the Disney World of jazz, funk, blues,

Great Names

hip hop, soul and... Japanese jazz. Those of you who went

And then there are names such as ‘the patriarch of blues’, as

last year might recall the amazing performance by the ener-

they call him, BB King; or the ‘grandmaster of the trumpet’,

getic SOIL & “PIMP” SESSIONS. We are delighted to see that

Wynton Marsalis; as well as Burt Bacharach; Steve Winwood,

they have come back this year and will be sure to be there

and George Benson who will be bringing A Tribute to Nat King

THE XPAT JOURNAL


By Stephanie Dijkstra

Once again, the North Sea Jazz Festival has selected a remarkable Artist in Residence: John Zorn, Photo: Oliver Heisch

Cole. But there will also be young talent, among whom Adele,

Special projects

Duffy and Jamie Cullum, and soul stars Anthony Hamilton,

This year, North Sea Jazz will also be presenting a large

Erykah Badu and Raphael Saadiq. Raphael Saadiq gave

number of special projects. The concert of American jazz

an electrifying performance at North Sea Jazz a few years

legend Herbie Hancock and the 26-year-old Chinese clas-

ago, and has worked together with artists such as Whitney

sical pianist Lang Lang will be one of the most noteworthy

Houston, Mary J. Blige, The Isley Brothers, Macy Gray, Angie

and amazing partnerships. Not to be missed is the special

Stone, Snoop Dogg, Marcus Miller, and many, many more.

performance by saxophonist Lee Konitz, together with pianist Brad Mehldau, bassist Charlie Haden and drummer

Dutch Jazz

Jorge Rossy. Bass guitar greats Stanley Clarke, Marcus

For those of you interested in experiencing Dutch jazz - now

Miller and Victor Wooten will be joining forces in ‘SMV’.

that you are living here - you will be surprised to find out how

And the singers Dianne Reeves, Lizz Wright and Simone

familiar some of the names on this year’s line-up sound; Eric

will pay tribute to the music of the legendary Nina Simone

Vloeimans, Benjamin Herman, Wouter Hamel, Yuri Honing,

in the ‘Sing the Truth’ project. Trumpeter Roy Hargrove will

Toots Thielemans, Candy Dulfer, Greetje Kauffeld, Sabrina

be visiting North Sea Jazz for the first time with his New

Starke and the Susanne Alt trio, among others, will be gracing

York big band.

the stages of the festival as well.

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35


Adele

Artist in Residence Once again, the North Sea Jazz Festival has selected a remark-

Duffy

able Artist in Residence: John Zorn, an American composer,

Photo: Unive Max Dodson

saxophonist, arranger, record producer, and multi-instrumentalist, who has hundreds of album credits as a both a composer, performer, and producer. His work includes a wide range of musical genres, and he is often referred to as a ‘chameleon artist’, mixing a variety of musical types in one single composition, though he is best-known for his avant-garde, jazz, improvised and contemporary classical music. The six projects he will undertake during the three festival days each have their own different quality. On Friday, he will open with the accessible The Dreamers, and combine Jewish music with present-day jazz with his ‘Masada Sextet’. On Saturday, the festival visitors will be able to enjoy his adventurous Bar Kokhba, and, later that evening, Zorn will perform with bassist Bill Laswell and free-jazz drummer Milford Graves. On Sunday, we will see the European premiere of a remarkable selection of his collection Filmworks, while he will end the festival with the unique Zorn project, Cobra.

Nominees Paul Acket Award

Website

The Paul Acket Award is presented each year to an artist or

Navigating is one of the joys of the North Sea Jazz-website.

group who contributes to the development of jazz music.

When you open the timetable, you can click on select genre

The award knows two categories: Special Appreciation and

and then select the type of music you are looking for. This will

Artist Deserving Wider Recognition. The nominees for 2009

then be highlighted on the schedule, making it easy for you to

are: Tineke Postma (saxophone), Esperanza Spalding (bass),

piece together your ideal evening.

Stefano Bollani (piano), Christian Scott (trumpet) and Marcin Wasilewski (piano). The award winner will be announced before the start of the festival. On July 10, during the North Sea Jazz Festival, he or she will receive the prize.

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Dates: 10, 11 & 12 July Location: Ahoy Rotterdam, for more information on how to get there, visit the website www.northseajazz.com.


Vroondaal, the exclusive, new residential area in The Hague

Vroondaal is the exclusive, new residential area in The Hague. Located on the sunny south side of the city, between the city’s southern green belt and the sand dunes and sea, this extraordinary development still affords convenient access to the pleasure and convenience of city life, which is just a short distance away. Vroondaal offers the opportunity to experience luxurious living, tranquillity

and open space and provides generous plots on which your house can be built in complete harmony with your own personal wishes. For those who aspire to the quality and unique character of Vroondaal, but who don’t want to go through the process of private commissioning, a limited number of spacious, semi-detached, modern villas will also be developed.

www.vroondaal.nl Would you like more information about Vroondaal? Please contact our Vroondaal advisors or visit our website. Tel: +31 (0)70 – 341 01 24 or E-mail: info@vroondaal.nl Vroondaal is a joint initiative of Bouwfonds Development, Synchroon and the City of The Hague.


Leisure

By Shirley Agudo

Four Idyllic Escapes If you’re looking for places to stay for some very special summer outings right here in Holland, here are four diverse hotels/B&Bs that are fabulous. One is a newly renovated, lakeside, designerdécor B&B only 11 minutes from Amsterdam; another is a Dutch farmhouse haven in the idyllic province of Drenthe (northeast Holland); another is an historic property oozing with character along a river and bay near Nijmegen, and the last is a romantic haven in the woods of

L

Lage Vuursche. All are superb for biking, walking, and exploring nature. Enjoy! Lakeside B&B near Amsterdam: Inn on the Lake, Broek in Waterland

ing property, inside and out, for only € 130/night (minimum

I’ve found it - the absolutely perfect lakeside, luxury-for-a-

2-night stay) or € 150/single night, including a gourmet

reasonable price, just-opened, historic (1670), stunningly ren-

breakfast. And, for a limited time, owners Pamela (British)

ovated B&B, and the best part is that it’s only 11 minutes from

and Karel Van der Schaar (Dutch) have a special offer for

the center of Amsterdam! You can take a bus roughly every

spring and summer, through their association with Erfgoed

three minutes from there, and be in the center of Amsterdam

Logies, an umbrella organization for the most fabulous his-

before you can catch your breath. Or, you can hop on the

toric lodgings in Holland (see below). For an all-in-one-price

owners’ private sloep and Karel will take you into Amsterdam

of € 200/person, you can get a 2-night stay with a 3-course

via some marvelous waterways.

arrival dinner (Pamela is a superb cook), a boat trip to

Inn on the Lake (www.innonthelake.nl) is a breathtak-

Amsterdam on their sloep, Inn on the Lake

or a car trip to the nearby fishing

villages

of

Mon-

nickendam and Marken, a special walking tour through Broek in Waterland, where the Inn is located, and a bus/ tram ticket for that quick journey into Amsterdam… and of course a full-course breakfast (the smell of fresh croissants beckons). As if that weren’t enough, for only € 24.50, the hosts can provide a very stylish picnic basket or ‘hamper’, as the Brits say, complete with salads, quiche, bread, fruit and a bottle of wine. The hamper fits on the back of a bike, which you can conveniently rent just down the street.


Inn on the Lake

mini-bars and digital safes. Each room has been adorned with luxurious fabrics from Ralph Lauren, Designers Guild, Nobilis, and G.P & J. Baker. The village itself, Broek in Waterland, is the picture-perfect Dutch village with winding streets and characteristic Dutch houses - many designated as ‘historic monuments’. 400 years ago this was the first stop for the ships carrying their cargo of tobacco, wines, sugar and many other products for trading with the Dutch. The village is very well preserved, and a dream to wander through and photograph. Pamela tells me that the well-known book, Hans Brinker or the Silver Skates, by Mary Mapes Dodge, was based on this village. The B&B sits smack on the village square, just opposite the church. In fact, the Inn was the vicarage in former days. Inn on the Lake is the perfect getaway and hideaway. Go and be swept away. Go and be pampered. Go. (Note: Don’t miss two very special galleries in the village: Erik Renssen’s at Roomeinde 10, with his Picasso-esque style, www.renssen-art.com, and photographer Olaf Klijn’s gallery, just across the street at no.13, www.olafklynphotography.com.)

Stunning Farmhouse B&B with Private Cottage and Sauna: ‘t Olde Hof, Westervelde (Drenthe) Need I say more? Well, I will anyhow. Rooms at Inn on the

I almost want to keep this one a secret, but I won’t. I’ve found

Lake are exquisite. There’s my favorite Black & White room

an incredibly beautiful B&B in the idyllic countryside of north-

(the Honeymoon Suite), with a gorgeous view of the lake and

eastern Holland. In fact, I call this one my ‘second home’.

a Villeroy & Boch designer claw-foot tub in the center of the

The name of this piece of heaven is ‘t Olde Hof (www.old-

room for those oh-so-romantic nights, or the Red, Blue or

ehof.nl), and it’s located in the province of Drenthe, one of the

Taupe rooms. All rooms have 5-star amenities, including rain-

prettiest parts of Holland - an area also known for its gorgeous

style showerheads, state-of-the-art private bathrooms with

biking routes, and ‘hunebedden’ - mysterious granite boulder

heated floors, Vi-spring beds that are to die for, flat-screen TV,

formations that are actually older than Stonehenge!

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39


't Olde Hof Photo: Shirley Agudo

Located in Westervelde, near the town of Assen, this B&B offers luxurious rooms either in the sprawling, typical Dutch

persons sharing; weekly rates also available. (No credit cards accepted, but definitely worth a trip to the bank.)

farmhouse from 1860, or in a private, separate cottage, the floors, a newly remodeled kitchen, top-of-the-line bathroom,

Nestled in the Woods: De Kastanjehof, Lage Vuursche (Utrecht)

front deck (with barbecue grill) facing the pool and tennis

If I had to choose a romantic spot for a getaway, De Kastan-

courts, and, this is the best part, your own private sauna!

jehof would be near the top of my list. Tucked away ever so

‘Achterhuis’, that easily sleeps five and possibly six - with two

The cottage is completely stocked with everything you’ll

discreetly in the heavily wooded, serene, teeny-tiny village of

need, from games to books, CD/DVD player, coffee maker,

Lage Vuursche just outside of Hilversum, this place is hard

and on and on. Believe me, owner Dirkje Heida will coddle

to beat. Perhaps it’s that I love the thick forests with dappled

you here, bringing breakfast in the morning at whatever time

sunlight peering through, or the long walks through those

you choose.

woods, hand-in-hand with someone special - but then I am the ultimate romantic…

And if you fancy something even more romantic, there’s also a thatched-roof honeymoon gazebo, the ‘Venhuis’, complete

With only 10 rooms, De Kastanjehof (www.dekastanjehof.

with fireplace and outdoor hot tub - situated along the water,

nl) is an adorable English-style hotel that sits at the end of the

all with your own pier! (Just so you know, the shower and

essentially one-street village of Lage Vuursche - a very popu-

toilet for the Venhuis guests are separate from the gazebo, in

lar destination for walkers, bikers and those inclined to kick

a small, adjacent building, but it’s first class. All other accom-

back at a café all afternoon amongst the trees.

modations here have state-of-the-art private baths en suite.) If you need somewhere to ‘tour’, Kasteel Drakenstein is in the

40

Biking, boating, fishing, swimming and tennis are all here,

neighborhood. If you really must bring the kids (just kidding),

with free parking - and babysitting! A few nights here, and you

there is a great mini-golf place - regarded as the best in the

may never want to go home. But you must book a good bit

country - just steps away. Some other recommended destina-

ahead for this place. This one’s a gem. Very reasonably priced

tions nearby include Baarn with its Kasteel Groeneveld and

with rates starting at € 50 per person, on the basis of two

park (ca. 30 minutes by bike from the hotel), Eemnes with its

THE XPAT JOURNAL


Leisure

De Kastanjehof

out there, the designer boutique Mecca of Laren is only a

For a very special retreat: Hotel Oortjeshekken, Ooij (Gelderland)

15-minute drive.

Hotel Oortjeshekken in the province of Gelderland is a special

stunning farmhouses along the polder, and for you shoppers

Special arrangements with very reasonable prices are

place that takes you back to former days, but also serves

worth considering (see the website). There’s also a High Tea

extremely well as a current-day retreat. In fact, it’s been a

for € 25 each, and a Wine Tasting upon request. Regular room

guesthouse/hotel since the 1600s, and when you see the

rates range from € 95-125, with small supplements for extra

location, you’ll understand why.

persons.

Hotel Oortjeshekken (www.oortjeshekken.nl) is only 6 km

The hotel has a very good restaurant, but I also recom-

from Nijmegen (a very historic town), but you’d think you’re

mend De Lage Vuursche (www.vuursche.nl), right next door.

in another world here along the Waal river and the Bison bay

Request a table in the cozy fireplace room - and the romance

(Bisonbaai) - perfect for biking, hiking, photographing or just

is complete.

lounging at Oortjeshekken’s outdoor terrace, all situated on

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41


Leisure

Uiterwaarden - Photo: Peter van Casteren

I’ve ever encountered, and the restaurant serves some of the most interesting and excellent food that I’ve ever had in Holland. Sounds expensive, right? Wrong. Rooms here are a very civilized € 37-51 per person, and include a complete Continental breakfast. A great value for sure.

More Choices If you do want to see more of the Ooijpolder nature reserve. The bay is directly across from

the Netherlands this summer, I highly recommend the above-

the hotel and the river just beyond, so everything is right at

mentioned Bed & Breakfast organization, Erfgoed Logies, with

your feet.

their stunning, historic lodgings in manor houses, castles,

Character is what we’re talking about here, and this place

farmhouses and canal houses. Two of the properties men-

is oozing with it. In fact, Oortjeshekken is so homey and so

tioned here - Inn on the Lake and ‘t Olde Hof - are part of that

quiet at night that I considered it tantamount to going on

organization. And if you want to go a bit farther afield, Erfgoed

retreat. My room (no. 1) even reminded me, in a very compli-

Logies also has properties in Belgium and Germany. Rates are

mentary way, of a monastic retreat. It was just what I needed

very reasonable, and the standards extremely high.

to clear away the cobwebs in my mind. Surrounded by a lush, green garden in a rural setting, I didn’t hear a sound as I drifted

A full-color booklet is available at www.erfgoedlogies.nl.

off to sleep.

For Belgian properties, see also www.erfgoedlogies.be.

All the rooms are different at Oortjeshekken, and new owners Margreet Hertsenberg and her husband Hent Scholten have kept the glory of it intact. If it’s a room with floor to

Shirley Agudo is an American author, editor, photographer and intercultural trainer.

ceiling windows looking out onto a gorgeous garden that you want, ask for room no. 14,

Hotel Oortjeshekken

the ‘serrekamer’, but do so

Photo: Peter van Casteren

well in advance, as this one is booked far ahead. If you need more space for your family, there’s an apartment with two rooms (no. 3). If you are a true romantic and want that perfect ‘room with a view’ - although they are all nice - no. 8 is exceptional in that regard, with a view out over the bay. All in all, there are 12 different rooms here - just tell Margreet your preferences but they can accommodate a total of 32 people altogether. An amazing staff of 50 is at your beck and call, with some of the best-trained and hospitable persons that

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THE XPAT JOURNAL


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XPAT JOURNAL– March 2009


Leisure

Diary of Events Summer 2009

The list of events contained here is only a selection of the many activities, shows, exhibitions, etc. taking place in the Netherlands between June and August. We do not pretend to be complete, but we do hope this list offers you an interesting and varied selection. For a more extensive list of happenings, we recommend that you visit: www.holland.com

visitors can enjoy a variety of free performances. Classical concerts are held on Thursdays. Dance performances are hosted on Fridays. Saturday afternoons are for the children, while Saturday evenings are for cabaret and light music. Sundays are for music, varying from world music to jazz, to urban, to local.

Dates: June 7 - August 23 Location: Vondelpark, Amsterdam For more information, please visit: www.openluchttheater.nl

Parade A travelling festival that brings a splash

Noah’s Ark - Towards Darwin

animal types, scientific facts on natural

of culture to several cities in the Neth-

One of the most important pieces in

selection, survival of the fittest, and the

erlands.There will be new theatre acts,

the museum is the Homo Diluvii testis,

extinction of the dinosaurs, making way

well-known musicians, young film mak-

a fossil of which it was thought that it

for the mammals that we know today.

ers and old talents - and, as always,

had seen and survived the biblical flood. There was no other explanation possible, as religion did not allow for the extinction of animals, as they had all been on Noah’s ark. In honour of the Year of

Dates: May 28 - September 6 Location: Teylers Museum, Spaarne 16, Haarlem For more information, please visit: www.teylersmuseum.nl

Darwin, the museum will pay special attention to the theories that existed in

Vondelpark Summer

the pre-Darwin era. The central theme

The Vondelpark Summer Festival fea-

is extinction and the long road to the

tures free theatre, cabaret, concerts,

freeing words of George Cuvier, who

dance and entertainment, suitable for

said that the mammoth was truly extinct.

all ages. It is held in Amsterdam’s larg-

Visitors of the museum can now - more

est green space, the Vondelpark, and

than 200 years later - compare stories on

its open-air theatre. During the festival, Vondelpark

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THE XPAT JOURNAL

De Parade will inspire, hypnotise and surprise both the unsuspecting first visitors as well as those who have come out of curiosity, attracted by its reputation. There will also be a section for children.

Dates and locations: June 11 - 21 (not on June 15), Rotterdam, Museumpark (in and around the NAi); June 26 - July 5, The Hague, Westbroekpark; July 10 - 26, Utrecht, Moreelse Park; July 31 - August 16, Amsterdam, Martin Luther Kingpark For more information, please visit: www.deparade.nl


Hofvijver, The Hague

Festival Classique

North Sea Jazz Festival

of you used to heading to The Hague on

From June 12-14, The Hague will host

In its 34-year history, the festival has

automatic pilot; re-programme it! For a

this wonderful festival, offering the very

hosted almost every jazz hero of our

more in-depth description, please read

best of classical music on the most

time. One of the largest and most well-

our article on page 34.

beautiful locations in the city. There will

renowned Jazz festivals in the world with

be dozens on concerts on more than

international artists playing the finest

20 indoor and outdoor stages. Opening

tunes for 8 hours of non-stop live Jazz.

night will be June 12, with the Resi-

In 2006, the city of Rotterdam took over

dentie-orchestra performing on a pon-

the role of hosting the Festival - so those

Dates: July 10-12 Location: Ahoy’, Ahoyweg 10, Rotterdam For more information, please visit: www.northseajazz.nl or www.ticketservice.nl

toon on the Hofvijver, or moat around the parliament. Some of the concerts

North Sea Jazz Festival

will take place on the famous historic squares of the city - for more information on the free-of-charge concerts, visit the website.

Dates: June 12-14, in the weekend, the concerts start in the late morning Location: various locations in the city of The Hague For more information, please visit: www.festivalclassique.nl

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45


Delft Chamber Music Festival War and Peace... the title of one of the most famous books of all time. These two extremes could be considered a summary of what occupies the human mind. But not only from a political point of view; also inner struggles can be violent, without requiring a single weapon. This dramatic theme of the Delft Chamber Music Festival is illustrated from all angles: from the light-footed exchanges between lovers to the entartete music from around WWII, from sacrifice to resistance, from Napoleon-adulation to

Alice TT Assen

ance Congratulations!, a groundbreaking

The Dutch Motor Grand Prix at the Dren-

work, in the same way that the oeuvre

the Circuit in Assen is one of the biggest

of Wen Hui is regarded as dangerous

events on the World Championship cal-

modernism by the Chinese authorities.

endar, attracting an incredible 170,000

Within Amsterdam, they are extending

spectators. The race, known as the Dutch

their area of activity to the south and the

TT, has taken place here since 1949 and

south east, so that Julidans will cover

is regarded as one of the Netherlands’

all of Amsterdam, from the theatres on

top sporting events. The Motor Grand

Leidseplein to the Bijlmer Parktheater.

Prix is one of the fastest, most thrilling

The organisers of Julidans see them-

sports events in the world. The races

selves as matchmakers, connecting old

are extremely competitive and the bikes

and new, well-known and unknown, east

can reach speeds of up to 310 kph (185

and west, centre and south-east, dance

mph). Unlike in Formula 1 racing, com-

and the new media.

petitors frequently overtake each other.

Dates: June 25-27 Location: Assen For more information, please visit: www.tt-assen.com

Julidans - Summer Festival for International Contemporary Dance Julidans is not merely interested in new, newer, newest. Those who have kept up with Julidans know that they like to show performances in which dance and other theatrical means are used to voice an outspoken view on developments in society. As is their tradition, there will be performances from Africa and the Far East (in Sutra by the Flemish-Moroccan Larbi Cherkaoui and the Chinese Shaolin Monks three continents meet!) Up till now the Middle East has been terra incognita for Julidans, but this will change with the Syrian perform-

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THE XPAT JOURNAL

Dates: July 1-11 Location: Amsterdam For more information, visit: www.julidans.nl Julidans, Photo: Hugo Glendinning

Liza Ferschtman


the rejection of power. This will be the first time that visitors can hear real ‘old music’ in Delft: Dutch flautist Erik Bosgraaf will shed light on this side of music history with the help of his ensemble. Shura Lipovsky will sing Yiddish songs, while the festival will also welcome musicians such as Elisabeth Leonskaja, Roger Vignoles, Renata Pokupic, Dmitry Sitkovetsky, the Aviv Quartet, Jennifer

Grachtenfestival

Pike, Jan-Erik Gustafsson, Nicolas Altstaedt, Jennifer Stumm, Charlotte Riedijk, André Morsch, Sharon Kam, Enrico

buildings. The concert on opening night

and classical music, opera, mime, chil-

Pace, Aleksandar Madzar, Kirill Gerstein,

is the highlight of the city’s Canal Fes-

dren’s theatre, street theatre and film. All

Stephanie Gonley, Amihai Grosz, Nicho-

tival and a hugely popular event. Arrive

performances are free.

las Daniel, and, finally, Dmitri Ferscht-

early if you want a good seat, as it usu-

man and Mila Baslawskaja.

ally attracts around 20,000 people. The

Dates: July 31 - August 9 Location: Van der Mandelezaal, Museum Het Prinsenhof, St. Agathaplein 1, Delft For more information, including a brochure and ticket reservations, visit www.delftmusicfestival.nl

11th Grachtenfestival/Concert

entire Festival offers a wide selection of classical music at various locations

Dates: August 28-30 Location: Museumplein, Amsterdam For more information, please visit: www.uitmarkt.nl

in the city.

Dates: August 15-23 Location: Pulitzer Hotel, Prinsengracht, Amsterdam For more information, please visit: www.grachtenfestival.nl

The nights of the Grachten Concert

Haags Uitfestival This festival offers a variety of attractions, including three stages on the Lange Voorhout, with cabaret, theatre, dance performances, music, and street performances and, of course, an infor-

(Canal Concert) are a magical time to

Uitmarkt Amsterdam

mation market on the coming season

find yourself in Amsterdam. Renowned

Amsterdam is a hub of cultural activity

of cultural events in The Hague and the

soloists perform classical music on vari-

and the Uitmarkt is a fine example of

opportunity to buy admission tickets at

ous locations within Amsterdam and on

the city’s artistic character. At the end

reduced prices.

the banks of the IJ River, with fairy-like

of August, the new season of Culture

lights decorating the canal sides and

commences with shows on outdoor and indoor stages all over the city. There is enormous variety on offer here, with

Date: September 6 Location: Lange Voorhout, The Hague For more information, please visit: www.haagsuitfestival.nl

previews of theatre, cabaret, dance, pop Uitmarkt Amsterdam

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47


Art Diary

Summer 2009

Tiffany Girls. A New Light on Tiffany

of a group of talented female designers

Singer Laren will be presenting the first

behind Louis Comfort Tiffany, to whom

major exhibition in a Dutch museum of

many successful Tiffany patterns can

work from the studios of Louis Comfort

now be attributed. The ‘Tiffany Girls’

Tiffany. In addition to Tiffany’s famous

worked in the Women’s Glass Cutting

lamps, the show includes stained-glass

Department under Clara Driscoll (1861-

windows, mosaics, enamelled ‘objets

1944) who, as it now emerges, was

de luxe’ and documentary material.

responsible for such popular designs as

Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1933) was

Wisteria, Dragonfly, Peony and Poppy.

the most important and most inventive

The exhibition sheds new light on Tiffa-

designer of applied art in America around

ny’s design practice as well as the social

1900 and became famous chiefly for his

position of working women in New York

stained-glass lamps and windows. With

around 1900.

his elegant and decorative designs he was a leader of the (American) Art Nouveau. Moreover, his objects are a perfect combination of artistry and functionality. Recent research revealed the existence

Dates: through August 30 Location: Singermuseum, Laren, province of North Holland For more information, please visit: www.singerlaren.nl

Dragonfly shade, probably designed by Clara Driscoll, before 1906

future. But Brazil has its downside too: the depletion of the rainforest, the enormous contrast between rich and poor, the favelas. These phenomena are culturally reflected in an exciting cocktail of high and low art, of street art and politically committed art, and of different art disciplines and traditional craftsmanship. The Nederlands Fotomuseum zooms in on the rapidly

Viva Favela

Visual Culture from Brazil

changing Brazilian visual culture with its mixture of high and

Three Rotterdam museums - Museum Boijmans Van Beun-

low, élitist and populist, artistic and applied. The exhibition

ingen, the Netherlands Architecture Institute and the Neder-

shows not only photography, but also other old and new

lands Fotomuseum - are bringing the rich culture of Brazil to

media, television and Internet, with an excursus on fashion

the city on the Maas.

and design.

Brazil is inspiring, astounding, amazing. It is one of the largest countries in the world, with vast cities of millions of inhabitants that defy the imagination. Brazil is also developing at breakneck speed and is one of the economic giants of the

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Dates: May 30 - September 27 - Location: Netherlands Photography Museum Rotterdam, Rotterdam For more information, please visit: www.nederlandsfotomuseum.nl


The exhibition’s central theme is ‘anthropophagy’ (cannibalism). The Brazilian poet Oswald de Andrade published his Manifesto Antropófago in 1928, stating that Brazil’s history of ‘cannibalising’ other cultures was its greatest strength. The visual artist Hélio Oiticica rediscovered the term and used it to describe the appropriation of foreign influences. Andrade and Oiticica used the term in a metaphorical sense. They made it clear that Brazil must not passively imitate Western art forms but must selectively rework them to create a unique, specifically Brazilian culture. Oiticica wished to get away from art as an elite fetish object. He sought ways to involve the complex totality of Brazilian cultural reality within art and thus to reach a broader audience. He actively sought connections with popular culture. Oiticica’s influence cannot be overestimated. This is clear from the fact that Brazil’s cultural development over the last

Rivane Neuenschwander

Exhibition Brazil Contemporary

few decades is best understood as a continuous attempt to

In the clouds,

The work of Hélio Oiticica (1937-1980) is the starting point for

absorb Western influences without losing its Brazilian charac-

Museum

an exhibition of Brazilian art at Museum Boijmans Van Beun-

ter. Indeed Brazil has used these various influences to create

Boijmans Van

ingen. The exhibition questions to what extent contemporary

a unique form of culture.

Beuningen

Brazilian artists are influenced by Oiticica and how this manifests itself. The exhibition includes works by Hélio Oiticica, Ernesto Neto, Rivane Neuenschwander, Cao Guimaraes and

Dates: May 30 - August 23 Location: Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam For more information, please visit: www.boijmans.nl

Ricardo Basbaum. Helmut Batista, Dona Marta, 2001

Magnificent and Thrilling Sublime Landscapes from the Dutch Romance Period Romance is more than red roses, a walk along the beach at sunset, or a can-

Wijnand Nuyen, Ship wreckage on a rocky coast, ca 1837, oil on canvas

dlelight dinner. Romance is about emotion, atmosphere and passion - losing yourself in the moment. Caspar David Friedrich’s sublime landscapes and William Turner’s seasides are foreign examples of this type of romance. It is less well-known that the 19th-century Dutch landscape painters allowed themselves to be led by their emotions. This exhibition shows that also they succeeded in depicting the magnificence of nature. There will be 150 oil paintings, sketches, watercolours and sketches by artists such as Barend Koekkoek, Johannes Tavenraat, Andreas Schelfhout, Wijnand Nuyen and Jacob Abels, focusing on a number of themes: endless panoramas, nighttime scenes, mountains and rivers, waterfalls, shipwrecks, stormy weather and huge forest trees.

Date: June 13 - August 30 - Location: De Hallen Haarlem, Grote Markt 16, Haarlem For more information visit: www.dehallen.com

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From Dürer to Kiefer - Five Centuries of Graphic Arts This summer, Kunsthal Rotterdam will be putting on display a large survey of five centuries of art on paper. This unique selection contains over 140 works of internationally renowned artists. The works belong to fifty museums from the federal state of Nordrhein-Westfalen and show a cross section of Western art history. Works by old masters like Dürer and Rembrandt, by modern artists like Toulouse-Lautrec, Edvard Munch and Picasso and by contemporary artists like Anselm Kiefer, Louise Bourgeois and Gerhard Richter have been brought together for the very first time. Due to the diversity of museums participating, the exhibition will be a rich collection of refined engravings, colourful aquarelles, pencil drawings, lithos, screen prints, photographs, etchings and monotypes, which are only rarely shown to the public as a result of their vulnerability. Amongst the earliest works is a beautiful engraving by Dürer (ca. 1498), a woodcut by Michael Wolgemuth (1493) and a chalk drawing by Rembrandt from 1657. Etchings by Emil Nolde and James Ensor and lithos by Odilon Redon and Maurice Denis illustrate the developments within international art around 1900. Modern art from Germany from the period between 1900 and 1950 is presented through works by expressionists such as Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Max Ernst, and by artists representing the so-called ‘Der Blaue Reiter’ group, amongst whom Wassily Kandinsky, Franz Marc and August Macke. Screen prints by Roy Lichtenstein and Joseph Beuys and drawings by Louise Bourgeois create an image of international contemporary art after 1946. From the 21st century an illustrated diary by Erik van Lieshout is shown. Albrecht Dürer, Hercules at the parting of the ways, ca. 1498

Dates: June 13 - September 13 Location: Kunsthal, Museumpark, Westzeedijk 341, Rotterdam

New Light - The Hague School Revealed Starting on June13 , the Gemeentemuseum will be holding an exhibition that will be taking at look at the Hague School from a completely new angle. It will focus primarily on the symbolism and meaning of the paintings of that era, and will revolve around the working and private lives of the people depicted in them. All stages of the human life cycle are represented, from earliest childhood, with parents introducing small children to the world, right through to lonely and melancholy old age. Shifting the focus from style to content immediately reveals the importance of symbolism in the work of the Hague School: an old man taking a walk is also approaching the end of life and a young shepherdess with a newborn lamb becomes a modern Madonna. The Hague School is famous for its atmospheric landscapes, but the fact that these form the setting for human activity of many different kinds has been largely ignored. New Light - The Hague School Revealed tells the stories behind the works. This exhibition comprises over 100 oil paintings and works on paper drawn from public and private collections. The Gemeentemuseum possesses one of the leading collections of Hague School works and sees it as part of its mission to hold regular exhibitions drawing attention to this milestone in Dutch art history.

Dates: June 13 - September 27 Location: Gemeentemuseum, Stadhouderslaan 41, The Hague For more information, please visit: www.gemeentemuseum.nl

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THE XPAT JOURNAL

Hendrik Willem Mesdag, Return from the fishing, 1895, oil on canvas


At the Russian Court

François Flameng, Portrait

On June 20, a major new European cultural des-

of Zinaida Nikolajevna

tination, the greatly expanded Hermitage Amster-

Joesoepova, 1894,

dam, will welcome visitors to its elegantly restored

oil on canvas

17th-century building in the historic heart of Amsterdam. Founded to bring the richness and grandeur of Russia’s artistic heritage to one of the West’s most charming capitals, this independent cultural institution will inaugurate its spacious new home - ten times the size of the previous building - with the exhibition At the Russian Court, a dazzling display of more than 1,800 treasures from the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg. Hermitage Amsterdam is the only dedicated, independently managed venue in the West of St Petersburg’s magnificent State Hermitage Museum. At the Russian Court - a scholarly researched exploration of the opulent material culture, elaborate social hierarchy and richly layered traditions of the Tsarist court at its height in the 19th century - will remain on show from June 20 in the new institution until January 31, 2010. Hermitage Amsterdam will then stage two large-scale, temporary exhibitions each year, drawing on the encyclopaedic collections and unparalleled scholarship of Russia’s museums to offer cultural riches that would otherwise be unavailable in Amsterdam.

Dates: June 20 - January 31, 2010 Location: Hermitage, Nieuwe Herengracht 14, Amsterdam For more information, please visit: www.hermitage.nl

Avant-Gardes ‘20 | ‘60 - Highlights from the Stedelijk Museum Collection This exhibition tells the story of the two most tempestuous decades in the history of twentieth century art - the Twenties and the Sixties - and of a shift in global cultural power relations. During the Twenties, the avant-garde still operated almost exclusively in Europe. Paris remained the epicentre of artistic innovation that it had always been thanks to the late Cubism of Picasso and Surrealism. But Germany and the Netherlands, too, saw the flourishing of a radically new concept of art spearheaded by the Bauhaus and De Stijl movements, among others. And much further to the East, in Moscow and Leningrad, revolutionary new movements emerged that became known as Russian. Constructivism, Picasso, Mondriaan, Van Doesburg, Schwitters and Malevich were among the key representatives of the avant-garde of this period. Forty years later, in the Sixties, key developments within the avant-garde also emerged in the United States, particularly in New York and Los Angeles. The land of unlimited opportunities gave birth to pop art, minimal art and conceptual art, with artists such as Warhol, Andre and Nauman. In western Europe, Paris remained an important centre with representatives of the nouveau réalisme, while cities such as Düsseldorf, Cologne and Amsterdam came to the fore. This overview of more than 60 works showcases not only the exceptional quality of the Stedelijk Museum’s collection but also relates - from a western European perspective - the story of the shift from east to west. Van Doesburg

Dates: June 26 - August 23 - Location: Van Gogh Museum, Paulus Potterstraat 7, Amsterdam - For more information visit: www.vangoghmuseum.nl

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51


LIFE STYLE

Taste of Amsterdam This Summer’s Ultimate Tasting Experience

From June 25-28

Taste of Amsterdam is a celebration of the finest cuisine the capital has to offer. Mingle with top chefs as you sample signature dishes from 15 prestigious restaurants. Improve your culinary skills and discover a stunning selection of fine wines and specialty food and drink, all in the beautiful surroundings of

G

Amstelpark.

de, Het Bos... Where else can you sample culinary magic of so many top restaurants in one sitting?

Don’t Miss These Great Features Okhuysen Wine Theatre A daily programme of tutored wine tastings in the Okhuysen Wine Theatre offers you the chance to educate your palate even further. Experts and connoisseurs will be sharing their knowledge as you learn to appreciate more about fine wines.

NET 5 Chef’s Theatre The greatest chefs will be performing in a continuous programme of live demonstrations. This will offer a range of fun interactive experiences, great educational tips live from the

Give your palate a truly enjoyable education by experiencing

experts and a number of enjoyable challenges.

all the special features of Taste of Amsterdam. You’ll have the rare opportunity to watch expert chefs in action, take part in

Tourism Ireland

tutored tasting sessions and buy exciting and unusual local

These guys have a surprise experience for you at the event

and regional produce.

and will be offering visitors a unique Irish experience. Irish

This unique event is part

of an international festival that began with Taste of London in 2004 and has since spread to some of the greatest cities worldwide - from Dublin to Cape Town, to Dubai, to Sydney, to Amsterdam, whose turn it is to host a celebration of the finest cuisine there is on offer, as well as champagne bars, cocktail shaking, live music, and interactive experiences Ron Blaaw, Sophia, Eau de Vie, Elkaar, Lute, Fifteen, Momo,

Sucre,

Posthorn,

Aan de Poel, Toscannini, As, Smartbites, Vis aan de Schel-

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THE XPAT JOURNAL


music, Irish food, Irish drink and of course the well-known Irish

Visitor’s information

hospitality. For a true flavour and Taste of Ireland come and

Taste of Amsterdam will take place from June 25-28. There are

enjoy a bit of Irish fun.

1- 2 sessions daily and tickets can be purchased for either the

 

afternoon or the evening session.

Fine Food Market The Fine Food Market offers a mouth-watering array of fine

Tickets

food and drink, with around 40 gourmet food companies,

Standard Admission: € 12.50 (presale)

allowing you to browse the area to find out more about unique

Tickets are € 15 at the entrance

products and ingredients and sample them before taking them

Premium Ticket: € 25 (including € 15 of Taste Florins)

home.

delicious.

These tickets are only available prior to the event, not at the door

delicious., the ultimate magazine for foodies, is getting ready to set up its table and lay out

Premium VIP Ticket: € 40 (including € 20 of Taste Florins,

its terrace so as to provide you with an unfor-

fast-track entry to the event, access to the VIP lounge with

gettable interactive foodie experience.

live music, a glass of champagne in the VIP bar and exclusive seating areas). Available on Saturday and Sunday only.

“I don’t think there is any place in the world which has this amount of talent. Chefs and restaurateurs don’t come together like this anywhere; Taste Festivals are a truly unique experience” Gordon Ramsay - International Chef and Restaurateur If you like eating out, make sure you reserve your place now amongst hundreds of likeminded people at Taste of Amsterdam.

Kids’ Tickets (age 6-12): € 7.50 (presale)

Buy your tickets now at: WWW.TASTEOFAMSTERDAM.COM

SPECIAL XPAT JOURNAL READERS’ OFFER: 2 TICKETS FOR THE PRICE OF 1 GO TO: WWW.TASTEOFAMSTERDAM.COM/ACTIE

THE XPAT JOURNAL

53


event

By Deborah Valentine

Diversity & Discovery Uncovering The Hague Festivals 2009

Under the umbrella of The Hague Festivals there are many, many, treasures to be found; treasures that celebrate the increasingly multi-cultural character of the city and treasures that reinforce The Hague as the capital of music - pop and jazz - in the

F

Netherlands.

For those still debating or planning their summer holidays;

ingly international and multi-cultural city. The Hague Festivals

keep June 12 - 28 in mind. The Hague will have enough on

actually comprises 29 independent events which vary in scope

offer to entertain, inform, relax and distract everyone in the

and length. There are those that last a single day, others that

family! If you don’t have to leave, take the time to investigate -

take place over several days and yet others that take place

making choices will be just as difficult as navigating the cheap-

over several days and in multiple locations. All totalled, there

est way to get home! So, stay, and invite family and friends to

are more than 200 singular activities that are sure to appeal

join you in a city which will vibrate with the sights and sounds

to every taste and age category! Among the events are those

of the world, and Holland.

brand new to the cultural scene of The Hague, and others

For the third year in a row, the Municipality of The Hague

Parkpop for kids

which are steeped in the history of this seaside city.

has provided the festival season of the city with a banner

Feel Free to Celebrate, is - according to the Press Release

under which to promote a variety of independent events. Such

for The Hague Festivals - not simply a slogan, but a reflection

an initiative ensures a cohesive image of the activities, but

of the idea that in this International City of Peace, Justice and

simultaneously provides the public with centralised informa-

Security, we are free to celebrate. Free to celebrate peace, and

tion. Whereas the focus three years ago was on events in the

free to revel in the city’s absolute diversity. For it is in diversity,

centre of the city, this year The Hague Festivals have expanded

in learning about other cultures - through music, food and

and capture the cultural breadth and wealth of this increas-

celebration - that we can in fact construct understanding and peace. Last year, more than 175,000 people enjoyed The Hague Festivals; 52,600 more than the year before. Every indication is that with the additions to this year’s programme, even more people will be able to enjoy and discover so much more. Whatever your interest, there is something for you - from experiencing shopping late on the longest day of the year, to relishing in the sounds of classical music twinkling over the water of the Hofvijver, to being among the first to hear new musical talents, to experiencing a music and dance experience geared towards raising an awareness of the world of the deaf or hardof-hearing, to witnessing the longest catwalk in the world that celebrates the varied backgrounds of the city’s population, to being exposed to the newest most innovative film makers and their craft. This only scratches the surface of what The Hague Festivals offers between June 12 and 28. The Hague has a reputation, national and international, for music. Whether it is the innovative pop scene or the new and

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THE XPAT JOURNAL


Festival Classique

The Hague Sculpture, Javier Marin old jazz, there is a continuous process of discovery of talent. Parkpop is a landmark, and in its 29th edition this year it will feature such performers as Sheryl Crow, Kim Wilde, Robin Williams and Elvis Costello in a free open air concert in Zuiderpark. Its younger cousin, Kinder Parkpop was last year’s winner of The Hague Promotion Prize and promises once more to thoroughly entertain the youth of the city in a fun-filled musical extravaganza with top acts that will appeal to the children of today. During The Hague Festivals, though, there is more than convention and known headliners; there are also podiums and opportunities for new talent and innovation. These are reflected in the Haags Pop Podium Live; Pop Hot Spot; Talent Event, the Ut Haags Notûh Festival; Fête de la Musique and the X Stage. Each offers a particular opportunity for new talents to present themselves, share their musical and cultural heritage, and reveal that the music scene of the city will continue to be dynamic for a long time. For the more conventional musical traditions, there is the Festival Classique, offering classical music and renditions of classical sounds and traditions throughout the city -in open air venues and in theatres. There will also be a preview of Pure Jazz; a floating jazz concert on the canals of the city (Jazz ’in de gracht) and a special midsummer night concert (Haags Grachtenconcert) on June 21. A particularly innovative event, which has grown significantly since its maiden success last year, is the Mute Sounds programme at the Paard van Troje. This year, through film and music produced by, featuring or about the deaf and hard-ofhearing, Mute Sounds will continue to provide visitors with a view into the world of perception and imagination of the deaf. The Festivals are much more than music though. On June 13, the world’s longest catwalk (3km) will be woven through the city, featuring more than 300 designs - in red - by more than 50 designers, reflecting the cultural diversity living in the


Parkpop, photo Den Haag Marketing

city. A Red Line (Een Rode Draad) is a project, which aims to

the Buitenhof will celebrate Love, Art and Passion in celebra-

contribute to solidarity and cultural interchange between the

tion of the 2009 Art Cities theme and be on view from June

various communities of The Hague and is but one example

14-August 28; and throughout the Festivals, and the summer,

of such an event. There is 1001 Kleurrijk Den Haag which will

the Ooievaart and Vlietvaart will provide a unique opportunity

take place in a local Asian setting and is geared towards chil-

to discover The Hague and the surrounding region from the

dren and their families, as well as The Hague African Festival

water.

- each designed to share the sights, sounds and flavours of

The Hague Festivals is diverse, dynamic and innovative.

communities that consider The Hague home. The Shoot Me

They also have a traditional and historic side. During the

Festival, which presents original stories brought to the screen

Festival period, Veterans Day, June 27, will give veterans who

by independent film makers, has a summer version and this

have been a part of the Netherland’s history the space and

year will be working with Mute Sounds, promising even more

attention they deserve. Throughout the country, activities will

creativity and surprises.

be organised to honour the men and women who have served

For those looking for a reason to visit the recently renovated

their country, and The Hague is no exception. The Malieveld,

Lange Voorhout, there will be a festive opening celebration on

Hofvijver, and Plein of The Hague will be the venues in which

June 12, and this year’s open air sculpture exhibit will feature

a number of activities will take place to honour and educate,

the works of Javier Marín. Under the majestic trees of this

and for those wishing to witness something unique, at 1 P.M.

part of town, his voluminous sculptures in bronze, marble

on Friday, June 26, 10 parachutists are scheduled to make a

and polyester resin will be sure to capture your attention. The

spectacular landing on the Hofvijver. Finally, a most local of

Lange Voorhout will also be the stage of Pink Saturday on June

traditions, Vlaggetjesdag, on June 13, will mark the arrival of

20 - which in many countries is also known as the Gay Pride

the first catch of Herring and will be colourfully celebrated in

Parade, designed to raise the awareness and acceptance of

the harbour of Scheveningen. For one and all, this is an oppor-

the homosexual community. Pink Saturday will close a week-

tunity to take part in a very local tradition and will be sure to

long programme of activities including debates and lectures.

entertain all members of the family - as well as visitors.

Then there are the exceptions to the festival - exceptions simply because they fit into none of the categories mentioned

No single article can relate ALL there is to do during The Hague

above, yet reflect the playfulness and innovation of the city, the

Festivals and so for those not sure where to start, what to see,

diversity of interests and talents. On June 20, the Prinsestraat

where to go, I recommend a timely visit to www.thehaguefes-

will be converted into an adult playground - with childcare

tivals.com for a full listing of each and every event and all the

facilities so parents can play; on three consecutive Saturdays

related activities. Information is available in French, English

the well known comic duo Sjors & Co will, for Dutch speakers,

and German. Keep in mind that many, though by no means all,

use their humour and playful manner to provide a unique tour

of these events are free - which is of course encouraging, but

of The Hague; June 25 will be Shopping Night, offering visitors

means you should also get there on time!

the unique experience of being able to shop till midnight - with

56

catwalks, DJs and open air concerts to break the monotony for

Enjoy the longer, warmer days. Enjoy The Hague and by all

the non-shoppers (!); the building of a giant sand sculpture on

means, enjoy The Hague Festivals.

THE XPAT JOURNAL


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telecom

Ortel Mobile

Connecting the World Would you like to stay in touch with your family, friends and loved ones abroad? Ortel Mobile offers a prepaid mobile telephone service, which provides

O

a top-quality connection at very low rates.

hidden costs and you are in complete control of your calling budget. Ortel Mobile was founded in 2005 in the Netherlands and is the number one provider of prepaid mobile telecommunications services for the expats, foreigners and the multicultural communities who temporarily live in the country. In 2006, Ortel Mobile expanded their

Ortel Mobile enables you to manage your own

prepaid telecom services to Belgium and

budget, while using its services for calls in the

Germany.

Netherlands, to your home country or to any

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THE XPAT JOURNAL

other country in the world. Being a prepaid

Not only does Ortel Mobile offer its cus-

service, there are no monthly charges and no

tomers the possibility of staying in touch


Queen Election

by mobile phone, it also enables them to meet each other ‘live’. It truly ‘connects the

Ortel Summer Carnival

world’ through its partnerships with multi-

The most colourful and tropical party in the Netherlands. Similar to the carnival in Rio, it

cultural events, where people of all cultures

is a huge event, attended by nearly one million visitors from all across Europe, who come

and backgrounds come together. This is why

to dance to Latino music and look at the colourful and startling costumes and floats in

Ortel Mobile is the main and name sponsor of

the big street parade. Participants from Rotterdam’s many ethnic groups, especially

both the Ortel Nelson Mandela Festival (which

those from Cape Verde, the Antilles and Surinam, give the event its own unique atmos-

takes place on June 28th in Rotterdam) and -

phere. As this is the festival’s 25th year, it promises to be an exceptional one!

for the fourth consecutive time - of the ‘Ortel

Dates: July 19 (Queen Election), July 24 (Battle of the Drums), July 25 (Street Parade). Location: City Centre Rotterdam For more information: www.zomercarnaval.com

Summer Carnival’ in Rotterdam. The latter is the largest outdoor event in the Netherlands with nearly 1 million visitors, which will take place between July 19 and 25. Don’t miss the

Ortel Nelson Mandela Festival

famous ‘street parade’ which will take place

The Ortel Nelson Mandela Festival was created in 2004, when a number of Rotterdam

on July 25 and where more than 140 nation-

inhabitants, entrepreneurs and younger people of the Dordtselaan and environs decided

alities come together.

to work together towards placing their daily lives - a life of cultural diversity - in a positive light. To them, Nelson Mandela is an icon of the essence of the festival: fraternisation,

Especially for expats, Ortel Mobile offers very

collaboration and a positive sense of involvement are at least as important as the quality

low rates for calling all countries around the

of the programme and the happy faces in the crowd. Thus, it symbolises the ideal Dutch

world. International calling starts at € 0.12

society: a society in which all nationalities can live together in peace and with mutual

per minute.

respect. The programme includes debates, lectures, dance, and music - a diversified progamme that is inspired by the many cultures of Rotterdam.

For more information about all rates, events and product availability, please visit our website www.ortelmobile.nl.

Date: June 28 Location: Afrikaanderpark, Rotterdam For more information, visit: www.nelsonmandelafestival.nl

THE XPAT JOURNAL

59


bmi

From Local Player to Airline with Global Reach

bmi is the second largest airline at London Heathrow, one of the world’s busiest and bestconnected international airports. From its early developments as a local player, network expansions have extended bmi’s global reach, making it an

O

important player on the international market.

T1, a New Travel Experience The consolidation of all of bmi’s Heathrow operators in Terminal 1 guarantees that transfer times are brought to an absolute minimum. It provides a spacious and relaxing area where families or larger groups can check-in at a more leisurely pace. Business Class and Premium Economy customers along with Diamond Club Silver and Gold card holders can take advantage of the Premium Check-in Area, offering a fast and hasslefree check-in service. Business Class flyers can also make the most of this 30 minute check-in.

Frequent Flyer Programme bmi’s Diamond Club offers customers one of the most gener-

Operating a modern fleet that flies to 24 destinations in 15

ous frequent flyer programmes in the sky. Loyal customers

countries, bmi also provides excellent onward connections

enjoy a whole range of benefits, including free flights with

within the UK and for customers flying in from Ireland and

bmi and its partner airlines, free hotel accommodation, car

continental Europe via London Heathrow to destinations in

rentals and exclusive lounge access. Diamond Club members

Africa, Central Asia and the Middle East. Recently, bmi added

can earn and redeem miles with all Star Alliance airlines and

Kiev to its list of destinations from London Heathrow, doubled

other partners.

its flights to Riyadh to six per week, and increased the number

60

of flights to Tel Aviv to two per day.

Company Rewards

From Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, bmi offers 4 daily flights to

In order to reward the regular clients among small and

London Heathrow, and from Groningen, bmi offers one direct

medium-sized companies, bmi has also developed Com-

flight to Aberdeen during week days.

pany Rewards, a flexible loyalty scheme, allowing them to

THE XPAT JOURNAL


Travel

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like double Dutch, then you need the book A Dictionary of Dutchness.

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Star Alliance

l What is the official name of bmi’s frequent flyer programme?

bmi is a member of Star Alliance, established in 1997 as the

l Which other route than Amsterdam - London can you fly directly from

first truly global airline alliance aimed at offering customers

the Netherlands

worldwide access and a smooth travel experience. The Star

l bmi passengers flying with a premium economy ticket can take

Alliance network offers 17,000 daily flights to 916 destinations

advantage of a check-in benefit at Schiphol Airport. Which benefit is

in 160 countries.

this?

For more information, please contact your travel agent or visit flybmi.com.

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XPAT JOURNAL– June 2009

THE XPAT JOURNAL

61


Recommended Reading

ABC Summer Top 5 In 1972, a couple of young enthusiastic Americans came to Amsterdam, the city where anybody, anything and everything goes, and decided to open a store with American erotic magazines and

T

book remainders bought for 10 cents a pound dry weight. That was more than three decades ago. Today the American Book Center has grown into one of the

teria grips the United States. Charlie Chaplin is believed to

biggest, maybe even the biggest source of American (and

have been seen in 800 different places across America at

British) English-language books and magazines on continen-

the same time. Sunnyside follows the stories of three men

tal Europe. For general information about the store and their

connected to the event: Leland Wheeler, son of America’s

stock, visit www.abc.nl.

last and worst rodeo star, who has dreams of going to Hollywood, but ends up fighting the Bolsheviks in France; Hugo

Especially for the readers of The XPat Journal, the staff

Black, an aristocrat who joins the infantry on a whim and

of the ABC has compiled a list of books while on summer

finds himself fighting in a secret war against the Russians;

holiday that will provide you with a gripping, enjoyable and

and of course, Chaplin himself, who is engaged in his own

entertaining read while on holiday - or simply in your com-

more personal struggles with his studio, depression, his

fortable chair at home.

heart, his patriotism, and most terrifying of all, his mother. Gold darts between these characters and a multitude of

AZINCOURT - Bernard Cornwell € 9.95

others, both real and imagined, including Douglas Fairbanks,

The Battle of Agincourt was one of the most famous and

Mary Pickford, Russian princesses, girl scouts, critics, and

dramatic victories in British history. Henry V led his men into

even, in some of the most entertaining passages, Rin Tin Tin.

France to claim the crown, but was beaten by the French at

He captures a pivotal moment in social history when the war

the siege of Harfleur. Convinced that God was on his side,

to end all wars was in full swing, and the new and exciting

and determined to win, he marched onwards to Calais,

phenomenon of cinema was just beginning.

where his debilitated troops were trapped and forced to

Gold’s highly anticipated follow-up to Carter Beats the

fight their enemy. The English were outnumbered six to one

Devil is at times labyrinthine, and in parts feels both overam-

but won the battle, thanks in large part to their use of a new

bitious and overcomplicated. These faults are easily forgiven

weapon: the longbow.

in an author with so much talent: Sunnyside is alive with

Cornwell is best known for his Sharpe novels, ripping yarns rich with historical detail. Using the skills which have

details, full of wonderful prose, memorable imagery and witty dialog. A demanding book with rich rewards.

made him one of Britain’s most popular authors, he tells the tale of Agincourt through the eyes of lowly longbow archer

GONE TOMORROW - Lee Child € 16.99

Nicholas Hooks. After falling foul of the law in England,

Former military policeman Jack Reacher is convinced that

Hooks has escaped hanging by joining a band of mercenary

the woman he has spotted on subway car is a suicide bomb-

archers defending the English town of Soissons in France.

er. He confronts her and finds no bomb, but a gun with which

Eventually he is drafted into Harry’s army and fights at Har-

she blows off her own head. As a witness to the suicide, the

fleur and Agincourt. As always with Cornwell, narrative style

authorities question Reacher, convinced that the woman

and characterization play second fiddle to the breathtaking,

imparted vital information to him before her death. Switching

brutal and bloody battle scenes, but if you like your fiction

backwards and forwards between past and present, Jack is

fast and furious, you’ll be too busy enjoying the read to

launched on a mission that takes him via New York, the US

notice.

Senate, the Russian war in Afghanistan, and modern war on terrorism to an exhilarating and gory finale.

SUNNYSIDE - Glen David Gold € 19.99 On a winter’s day in 1916, a strange incident of mass hys-

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THE XPAT JOURNAL

It may take you a few pages to get used to Child’s staccato style, but Gone Tomorrow is irresistible right from the


By Hayley Wakenshaw

first sentence. Low on techno-babble, high on excitement,

To many others however, this haunting tale of love, loss and

with tight plotting and vivid details, Gone Tomorrow is a

renewal will be a rich, rare treat

heart-stopping thrill-ride.

THE BELIEVERS - Zoe Heller € 9.95 THE WINTER VAULT - Anne Michaels € 19.99

Unlikable characters, a plot that could have been lifted from

Avery Escher and his wife Jean have recently moved into a

a soap opera, and a less than satisfying conclusion: not

houseboat on the Nile. It’s 1964, and Avery is an engineer

many authors could pull it off. But as she proved with her last

working to move an ancient temple before the valley in which

book, Notes on a Scandal, this is what Zoe Heller does best.

it sits is flooded by a new dam. The people who lived in the

In post-9/11 New York, a dysfunctional family of Jewish

area below the dam have been relocated, but must leave

liberal intellectuals implodes when the patriarch, high-flying

behind their homes, their histories, and their dead. A more

socialist lawyer Joel Litvinoff, falls into a coma. As some

personal, but no less tragic event occurs in the lives of Jean

rather upsetting secrets about him are revealed, the Litvinoff

and Avery. In its wake they return to their native Canada,

women battle their demons and each other as they decide

to lead separate lives that continue to be haunted by the

who they are and what they believe in without Joel.

specter of dislocation, before finally finding each other again.

Joel’s wife Audrey is the main focus of the book and is a

This is Michaels’ second novel, coming almost 12 years

delightfully horrid protagonist: a foul-mouthed champagne-

after her bestselling and critically acclaimed Fugitive Pieces.

swilling socialist who dreams of a liberal Utopia while being

She works mainly as a poet, and this is evident in her fiction;

unable to say a single kind word to her two daughters. The

words bejewel the page in streams of lush, sibilant prose and

characters around her are only slightly less awful, but Hel-

carefully constructed metaphors. The story is slight but the

ler paints them with such deliciously bitchy brushstrokes

themes are grand and philosophical. Michaels is very much

that you find yourself eager to read more about them. The

an acquired taste and will seem overwrought and fussy to

Believers is not only mordantly funny, but also supremely

those looking for the sort of book into which you can escape.

well-crafted. One of the most enjoyable books of the year.

THE XPAT JOURNAL

63


Babel Tales - Memory Lane

Photographer Peter Funch Dream Every year, Dream Amsterdam Foundation invites an internationally renowned artist to create works of art to be displayed in the nation’s capital. Peter Funch, this year’s artist, was preceded by Spencer Tunick, who photographed thousands of nudes in 2007, and Ryoji Ikeda, who designed poetic light installations in 2008. This photographer, a native of Denmark, made the series Amsterdam Stories, which will be in display on various locations in Amsterdam this summer.  Peter Funch (pronounced Funk) is one of the most important contemporary photographers. He lives and works in New York. The series Babel Tales, which he created there, is a turning point in his work. This series illustrates daily patterns and interpersonal relationships in an almost anthropological way. Funch has won many international prizes and his work has been on display worldwide, in museums and galleries, and at festivals and art fairs, such as the Photography Festival in Arles, the Zoo Art Fair in London, and the VOLTA show in Basel and New York. As was the case for Ryoji Ikeda in 2008, Funch’s project for DREAM AMSTERDAM 2009 is his first large-scale project in a public space and represents a next step in his career.  

Amsterdam Stories It took Peter Funch six weeks to make Amsterdam Stories for Dream Amsterdam Foundation, during which time he made a series of photographs on 15 noteworthy locations in the city. He created his poetic compositions by photographing random passers-by at various moments. He then created one single picture by joining together the more than 10,000 photographs, using the latest technology.

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Babel Tales - En Passent


art

Amsterdam Stories will be an important document of the times of the city. It shows the diversity of Dutch society. For Peter Funch, this artistic project is ‘about people and for people’.  

Exhibitions You can admire Peter Funch’s Amsterdam Stories from June 5 - August 9, at special and prominent outdoor locations in the city of Amsterdam. A map of these locations and the route can be downloaded from the site www.dreamamsterdam. nl, starting June 5. The Ron Mandos, Prinsengracht 282, in Amsterdam, will be hosting an exhibition, providing an overview of the artist’s work.   

Dream Amsterdam DREAM AMSTERDAM is by the Dream Amsterdam Foundation. The aim of this event, created by director and curator Jamain Brigitha, is to provide an internationally renowned artist with the opportunity to use the city of Amsterdam as a source of inspiration, studio, subject, décor, and exhibition space. It takes place outside museum walls, goes to the streets and presents art in such a way that you almost trip over it. This fresh view of the city provides the city with new meaning. Like in a dream. The result is art that is the result of an interaction between the artist and the city, the locations and the people. Art in which the people themselves are participants.  

Websites: www.dreamamsterdam.nl, www.peterfunch.com, www.ronmandos.nl

Artist for Dream Amsterdam 2009

THE XPAT JOURNAL

65


Culture

By Dallas Brown

Museumtickets.nl

Making Life a Little Less Complicated This is a story about a busy mom and the website that made her life easier, and much more fun! When my consulting firm proposed an international transfer

T

to our Amsterdam office, I was psyched.

to restaurants, others only to festivals, and tons that focused just on Amsterdam. There were other cities in Holland, weren’t there? Just as my head was beginning to spin and I was resigning myself to weekends of rented movies and aimless wandering, I came across www.museumtickets.nl. Talk about helpful! The website was beautifully laid out, but more importantly, it was informative and clear. There it was, all of the information that I had been searching for. I was particularly anxious to visit one of

To me, the offer on the table was an opportunity for my Ameri-

the many renowned and quirky museums Holland is so famous

can kids to grow up bilingual (something there would be very

for. Of course I had heard about the Van Gogh Museum and

slim chance of happening in the US) and the adventure of a

the Rijksmuseum, but on museumtickets.nl I learned about

lifetime. I immediately began researching my new home, the

smaller venues that I had never would have found, like the Tas-

Netherlands.

sen Museum. An entire museum devoted to bags and purses!

Like a good expat, I read everything I could find on the

All the information on mueumtickets.nl was useful and

legal, financial, and personal implications of moving to a

straightforward. I read about museums in several big cities and

foreign country. I read expat blogs, made to-do lists and cal-

small towns in the Netherlands, and then purchased tickets to

endars, and took great satisfaction in crossing off each item

the venues that interested me. It couldn’t have been easier.

from my long lists. I was ready. After all this preparation, I felt

So, on the first of what would become many family outings

surprisingly calm on the cab ride to San Francisco Interna-

exploring Holland, I printed our e-tickets, loaded the kids in the

tional airport. My husband and kids were thoroughly impressed

bakfiets and we headed out with purpose. When we arrived to

by their usually stress-case mom’s placid demeanor. “Yeah,

the Rijksmuseum, our first attraction of the day, I realized what

we’re moving to another country,

a convenience it was that I had my tickets in hands. Smugly

so what? I’ve taken care of eve-

bypassing the seemingly endless lines, smiling sympatheti-

rything,” I thought. There’s simply

cally at mothers who were trying to entertain their little ones

no reason to be stressed.

through during a lengthy wait, we walked right up to the front

We arrived at Schiphol one

door. After the museum we chose a restaurant from the rec-

exceedingly wet morning and

ommended options listed on the e-ticket. The pre-screened

immediately got down to the

venues came with descriptions of the food and ambiance, and

business of settling in. After bank

even a small map of the neighborhood. The kids had a great

accounts were opened and pre-

time and we all starting feeling at home.

schools enrolled in, it was time to see the sights. But where

Museumtickets.nl is certainly not the only website on

to begin? I realized that I had been so busy preparing for the

the cultural attractions of the Netherlands. In fact, there are

physical move that I hadn’t considered how was I going to

an almost overwhelming number of them! But what makes

access the cultural life of my new home. I didn’t know where

museumtickets.nl uniquely helpful is that after you read the

to start.

wonderful information about the places you’d like to visit, you

Since I’ve become so dependent on the Internet, I looked

can actually purchase tickets for them. Purchasing tickets to

online once more for answers. With two young kids, simplicity

multiple venues from one website was a huge time saver. In

has become my mantra and best friend. I wanted a country

between Dutch lessons and learning to cycle through traffic

guide, one central website with information on museums and

in the rain, we could all use a tool that makes life a little less

attractions in Holland, and the tickets I needed to get into

complicated - museumtickets.nl does that.

them. What I found was bits of information here and there, and no time to put it all together. There were websites devoted

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For more information, please visit: www.museumtickets.nl.


Looking for a dentist in Amsterdam?

Founded in 1978, The British School of Amsterdam is an independent, co-educational day school offering education in English to children of all nationalities between the ages 2 and 18 years based on the U.K. National Curriculum. For further information please contact the Principal Mr. M.W.G Roberts OBE MA MBA The British School of Amsterdam Anthonie van Dijckstraat 1 1077 ME Amsterdam Tel: + 31 (0) 20 6797840 www.britams.nl info@britams.nl

A new school, a new language project As from September 2009, the French school will be located in the Pijp in a beautiful new building, closer to the city centre, with bright and spacious classrooms and a secure playground. A new language-orientated education project: l Priority to English by opening a bilingual French/English Preschool class as of the age of 3 l 4 hours of English per week for 6 to 11 years old. l ICT facilities l Dutch language and culture lessons Qualified and committed teachers (French Ministry of Education) and all language teachers are native speakers. Website : www.lyceevangogh.nl Email : diramsterdam@lyceevangogh.nl

We are now welcoming new clients. Call (020) 672 47 47 for an appointment or visit our website: www.tandartspraktijk-dezuidas.nl Pieter Baststraat 21-27 Amsterdam Oud Zuid, near Roelof Hartplein


EVENT

Feel At Home In The Hague Presents: International Culture & Leisure in Holland 2009/2010 City Hall, The Hague

F

For the fourth consecutive year, www.TheHagueOnLine.com is

expat and international community tends to view the Rand-

organising a fair for the 60,000-strong expat and international

stad as one big city, comparable in population and size to

community in The Hague region called Feel at Home in The

Greater London. In these big cities, a trip of an hour to see

Hague - The International Community Fair. The Fair, which will

an top event is considered normal. This Fair will allow them to

be held in the atrium of the city hall, is expected to attract

find out all about the major cultural and leisure events that are

over 4,000 visitors - and around 200 organisations that will

taking place in the Randstad in one go. There will be stands

have their stands there. Due to the success of the event, the

showcasing the major cultural & leisure events happening in

Fair was nominated for the Den Haag Marketing Promotion

the big four Randstad cities - Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The

Prize 2008 in the category Tourism/Economy by The Hague

Hague and Utrecht - as well as other interesting cities such as

Marketing & Events office. This prize is awarded each year to

Delft, Leiden and Zoetermeer.

a person or organisation who or which has made a significant positive contribution to promoting the city over the past year.

Furthermore, there will be a podium with live entertainment showcasing the diversity of the cultural offerings in Holland.

This year, the organisers have decided to extend the reach

Each visitor to the Fair will receive a guide listing the major

and the scope of the event. The 2009 fair is entitled Interna-

“Dutch no problem”-culture & leisure events happening in Hol-

tional Culture & Leisure in Holland 2009/2010, its goal being

land during the cultural season 2009/2010.

to provide information on culture and leisure events that are

The Feel at Home in The Hague - The International Com-

taking place in the Randstad region. The fair will be a sort of

munity Fair will take place in the Hague city hall on Sunday,

international cultural market for the estimated 120,000 expats

September 20. The hours are from 11 A.M.-5 P.M.

and international community of the entire Randstad. As the municipalities in the Randstad are discovering, the

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THE XPAT JOURNAL

For more information, visit: www.FeelAtHomeInTheHague.com.


Do you need assistance with the Dutch residence and immigration procedures?

XCent Expat Support is the answer! XCent Expat Support; Professional service for companies, that wish to employ foreign employees in the Netherlands and educational institutes, that wish to enable foreign students to study in the Netherlands. Do you want your foreign employees to start working as soon as possible? Do you want their relocation to the Netherlands to be organized efficiently? Do you want all of the residence procedures for the relocation of your students to be completed as efficiently and smoothly as possible? XCent Expat Support is your professional partner in Dutch residence and immigration procedures! XCent Expat Support offers the strength of expert consultants who have years of experience in working with various local and regional authorities. We will advise you on how to complete the various residence and immigration procedures as efficiently and smoothly as possible. Your foreign employee will be able to start working as soon as possible while you don’t have to worry about a thing. For an overview of our full range of services or for a free consult with one of our consultants, please contact: XCent Expat Support P.O. Box 152 5201 AD ’s-Hertogenbosch Phone: Fax: E-mail Internet:

e XC E N T E

0031 (0)73 – 68 68 608 0031 (0)73 – 68 68 606 expatsupport@xcent.nl www.expatsupport.eu

www.expatsupport.eu

ARE YOU A GOOD LISTENER? Registration open now for the MA in Counseling at Webster University in Leiden. Contact our admissions team. Start date August 24, 2009

+31 (0)71-516.8000 Boommarkt 1 2311 EA Leiden www.webster.nl

XPAT SU

PPOR T


EVENT

Enjoy Exclusive Jewels in the Amstel Hotel

Sales Exposition Jewels in the Amstel 2009 From Friday, June 12, through Sunday, June 15, Jewels in the Amstel will be taking place, an exclusive sales exposition of the most renowned jewelers,

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goldsmiths and antique dealers of the Low Lands. The unique fair has truly earned its right to be. And how could it not have. After all, Jewels in the Amstel is a fair with character,

Once again, the stylish Amstel Hotel, the Grande Dame

aimed at people with their own distinct personality. A personal-

of Amsterdam, has been selected as the location for this

ity they express by means of jewels, be these an extravagant

wonderful event, as this provides the perfect backdrop for

necklace, or a mechanical watch. The diversity of the jewel col-

showcasing both the antique as well as the modern collec-

lections on display at Jewels in the Amstel reflects the colorful

tions on display.

variety in human nature. Glass display cases with jewelry, diamonds, and exclusive

watch brands fill the impressive rooms of this stately hotel on the Amstel. Antique dealers who specialize in exclusive vintage jewelry and watches complete the selection of participants. While enjoying a drink and a bite to eat, visitors can enjoy the beautiful jewelry collections. Aside from modern jewelry and watches, there will also be goldsmiths who can fulfill your special wishes and create a piece a jewelry according to your specific wishes, while you can also admire watches of the best Swiss brands.

Fair: Dates: Location: Hours: Admission:

Jewels in the Amstel Friday, June 12 - Sunday, June 14 InterContinental Amstel Amsterdam (Amstel Hotel) Friday, June 12, from 4-10 P.M. Saturday, June 13, from 11 A.M.-6 P.M. Sunday, June 14, from 11 A.M.-6 P.M. â‚Ź 35 per person, including canapĂŠs and drinks

Ticket sales via: www.juweleninhetamstel.nl

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No Ocean Too Deep for Havestate Sailing Its exceptionally professional and yet extremely comfortable 53 ft aluminum race yacht The Silver Lion (Scheveningen), Havestate Sailing offers you trips, training sessions or events to your liking, on the North Sea and beyond - for a maximum of 12 persons. Training? Team building? Vacation? Want to learn how to sail? Want to take a trip out onto the sea? Want to see fireworks? If you are interested in any of these, be sure to contact Marc Kraan of Havestate Sailing, at 010 - 436 60 88, or e-mail: info@havestate.nl. p

g

Tel Fax E-mail Adres

+31(0)10 - 43 66 088 +31(0)10 - 43 66 087 info@havestate.nl P.O. Box 23105, 3001 KC Rotterdam

Expat professionals! Segment Relocation & Expat Services Employees from abroad can strengthen your organisation and are often essential to its success. That’s why your international staff – whether temporary or permanent – deserves a warm welcome. Preparing for an expatriate’s arrival is no easy task. This specialised area often involves complicated procedures and official red tape. If you are looking for advice on transferring expatriate staff to The Netherlands, Segment Relocation and Expat Services can help you. We will guide your expatriate staff through the whole procedure. You can then focus on welcoming your new employees and their families. More info on

www.segment.eu or contact us at (033) 434 50 99


Kids

Sanity-saving Help Parents in The Hague are Looking For… Raising children can be one of life’s most rewarding activities, yet it can be chaotic and stressful. That’s why Passionate Parenting of Den Haag  is offering a  series of seminars in English to help desperate

talk. Now, to accommodate working mums (and Dads!), PP is arranging more evening seminars and even repeat talks. This year, there is a super line-up of 90 minute talks. Some topics are repeated to cater to the international / expat parents and are delivered in English. The next three talks are on:   1. “Raising Bilingual Children” by Eowyn Crisfield-Burr on March 10th

expatriate parents to cope with bringing up kids in a

2. “Global Nomad Families & Expat Kids” by Graciela C. de

foreign country.

3. “Death in the Netherlands: Wills and Testaments are NL

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Mussini (clinical psychologist). specific” by Yolanda Bokhorst (family lawyer), who will discuss what happens to your children (and money) if both

Says Soul Robertson, the founder of the company: “We par-

parents die, May 25th.

ents are constantly wondering whether we are doing it right. We are alternately enchanted and enraged by our kids’ inde-

Then, general parenting topics, that can get us enthusiastic

pendence, their behaviour and the things they say and do. We

and impart skills to help us parent, starting with Katherine

wonder: will our child grow up happy, secure and successful

Fortier (Educational Psychologist) who will talk to parents

as in this competitive world? Can we play a role to ensure

about “Defiance: Dealing with Disobedience” on March 16th

their progress through life’s growth stages?  Can we help them

and again later in May (11th) “How to raise a Confident Child”.

to face up to  the many challenges ahead of them? Can we

Vardit Kohn (Natural Nutritionist) will deliver her inspirational

help them to be themselves in spite of influential peers, who

expertise in “Ten Top Tips to Turn around your Child’s Diet”

might otherwise lead them astray?”

on April 6th.

Robertson says most parents are aware that behaviour is a

parents to read more to their children, in her talk about “Dia-

result of nature and nurture and that the parents’ role is pri-

logic Reading: a Key to future Academic Success”. Marie de

marily to nurture.

Wulf (professional coach) will talk about “Raising your child

Fiona Curtis (Speech and Language Therapist) will inspire

“There are hundreds of magazines, books, blogs and arti-

with your Values”.

cles about raising happy kids. Advice and tips abound, yet

“Passionate Parenting” in The Hague, is a community serv-

many mums and dads feel alone in the task. They want more

ice for parents run by Soul Robertson. She is a South African

face-to-face help and that is what our seminars offer. Parents

full-time “mumpreneur” with three children.

who attend can quiz real experts on a variety of subjects and

 

can compare notes with each other.”

These seminars are either from 9:30am - 12pm or 7:30 - 10pm

Judging from enrolments to Passionate Parenting’s 2.5hour

and cost Eur25 - 30 per person. Half  of the profit on these

seminars in 2007 and 2008, there is clearly a desire for more

seminars is donated to small charities in South Africa that help

expert parent support in English, in Den Haag and surrounds.

needy, abused, abandoned and HIV-infected children.

These seminars bring experts and parents together for coffee, socialising, a 90 minute presentation, followed by Q & A session, more coffee and chatting. Initially, PP  held its  workshops on Monday mornings, with a creche for babies and pre-schooler. It hired experienced au pairs to look after the kids for, while mum could focus on the

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For more info on these seminars (or if you are keen to get involved in planning and managing these events), please send an e-mail to passionateparenting@gmail.com, visit the website www.passionateparenting.nl or phone Soul on 064 185 7773. Discount offered for “early bird” and more than 3 registrations (conditions apply).


Malelaars Ass.pdf

21-05-2007

14:02:17

WE KNOW HOW TO MAKE YOU FEEL AT HOME!

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As an expat you want to feel at home and settle in as soon as possible. Finding yourself a suitable house or apartment is priority number one! Due to our personal touch and extensive experience, the Rental Department will be able to find you the appropriate accommodation and advice you on all aspects of the rental market.

Time to move forward? Considering buying or selling your property? The Makelaars Associatie offers you professional advice on all aspects of real estate: selling, buying, rental, letting, property management as well as mortgages and insurances. We have the know-how, you get the service!

Stevinstraat 201, 2587 EG Den Haag T (070) 352 68 00 F (070) 352 22 61 E info@makas.nl W www.makas.nl

The French school Vincent van Gogh in The Hague and Amsterdam welcomes enrolments for the 2009-2010 school year.

In addition to the standard French curriculum, we also offer English, Dutch, Spanish, German, information technology, sports and arts.

For further information, visit now our website : www.lyceevangogh.nl


COOKING

TEXT AND PHOTOGRAPHY: TV CHEF PIERRE WIND

The Public Secret: Losing Weight Won’t Help One thing is for sure: there is no crisis in KiloLand. To the contrary. Losing weight is in. Again. Don’t get me wrong: I don’t have any objections against waving those excess kilos goodbye; after all, this country is slowly becoming a ‘fat’ attraction - a nation of skippy balls on feet’. A new type of Disney World with human fatboys (what’s in a name?) and slides. The high point of the park being an hour of liposuction.

I

new weight loss theory comes on the market that gives us the illusion that being able to lose those pounds is no dream and that all we have to focus on is attaining the ideal weight. In the history of the pound, we have seen Atkins, Montignac, Bakker and now Terpstra. Believe me, she doesn’t know it herself, but Sonja Bakker is out. Erica Terpstra is the new pound deity. And though I like her very much, and think she is beautiful, I’m sure also her diet is not the be all and end all. With time, also

Incidentally, the best motivation to lose a little bit of weight is a

she will start gaining weight again. Though I hope this doesn’t

weekend in Disney World in Florida. In fact, I suggest making

happen, of course, because Erica Light is so happy. And I am

this trip part of the insurance packages on offer here, because

happy for her.

after visiting this festival of the obese, there is only one thing

I have been saying this for years, but no one seems to

on your mind: ditching those excess pounds. I’m not kidding.

want to listen: you can only drop the pounds forever if you

What you see there is what lies in store for us. Live horror.

don’t diet. Just adjust your pattern of living - forever - but

Armies of overweight people with out-of-proportion fat tires

don’t go on a diet. The battle against the bulge is easy. You do

wrapped around their bodies. Even Mickey has a fat bum.

not need expensive pills or books. Just eat three good meals

Normal chairs can’t accommodate the average body anymore.

a day, at regular hours. Use primarily pure, fresh products,

What is really shocking is watching these lard balls sup-

avoid granulated sugar at all times and spare your body the

plement their mass. Without any shame, they happily shovel

light products. Truly, light products are pure poison, as far as

in a quart of ice cream. I’ve seen them eat out of buckets that

I’m concerned. And furthermore, the best medicine of all is

contained

only

exercise. If you don’t exercise, then I guarantee you that your

one quart, but two.

weight will continue to yo-yo. And with exercise I don’t mean

And children, hoist-

running circles around your house in your leopard-print tights

ing around a similar

in order to collapse on your couch and demand mouth-to-

container. This adds

mouth resuscitation. No, I mean that exercise must become

a

part of your daily routine.

new

not

perspective

to packing on the pounds.

And

newsworthy? Then all I can say is; you are absolutely right.

you see people eat-

Because the solution to being overweight is really quite sim-

ing huge chicken legs

ple, boring and nothing new. Every research reaches the same

or spare ribs on the

conclusion. Yet the people in Holland are getting fatter and

go. To the average

fatter, while overweight people continue to fool themselves,

Disney World visitor,

exchanging the simple and cheap solution for the regime of

a Flintstone bone is

the latest diet guru.

what a lollipop is to

But don’t forget, fat isn’t all bad. Especially women drive

us. By the way, where

themselves, but particularly also each other, nuts. It is per-

do they find these

fectly natural for older women to develop a little layer of fat

bones?

aver-

around her waist as the years go by. A little layer in the shape

age Dutch chicken is

of a pear. It isn’t necessarily unhealthy. To the contrary, we

smaller than one sin-

should worry about fat in the shape of an apple. Or in the

gle chicken leg there.

shape of a beer belly. And not all men have a ‘beer belly’,

Of

THE XPAT JOURNAL

Did you find this last paragraph boring and not very

then

The

course

it

is

hard to ditch those

74

pounds, but why do we fool ourselves? Every three years, a

either. Also that is a myth. If you have an apple belly, you are a walking time bomb.


Mix well. Remove the spinach with a skimmer and set aside. Add the raw egg and the olive oil to the bouillon. Beat lightly. Add the flour. Mix until smooth. Use a spatula to mix in the spinach, hard-boiled egg, garlic, pepper and salt. Bake the pancake on a flame that is not too high, in a non-stick pan. Do this by heating up the pan to a considerable temperature, then first scoop in the spinach and spread it evenly over the bottom of the pan, then quickly pour in the rest of the batter. Place a lid over the pan every now and then to speed up the process. When the bottom is golden brown, flip over. Decorate with a cherry, and some sun-dried tomatoes and/or slices of egg.

Recipe of the Day: Flattened Filet of Chicken in a Coconut Jacket and Bimis for 2

Do something about it. Do not be a food terrorist; don’t blow

10 branches of bimi (little branches of broccoli with a long stem) • 1 filet of chicken (appr. 160 gr) • 300 gr boiled rice • 200 ml crème fraîche • 1 flattened tbsp of curry • 50 gr vegetable bouillon • pepper and salt to taste • 40 gr butter • package of flour • 1 part grated coconut (appr 20 gr) • 1 part bread crumbs (appr 20 gr) • 1 beaten egg white

yourself up. On the other hand, I always say; it’s up to you. If

Boil the rice al dente and drain. Leave it in the pan, with

you want to be a walking bowl of jell-o, go ahead. Yet I hope

the lid on, but turn off the flame. In a bowl, mix the grated

that you will remain among the minority.

coconut and bread crumbs. Slice the filet of chicken lengthwise and through the middle, so that it has the form more or

Recipe of the Day: Bell Pepper Juice (1 glass)

less of a schnitzel. Sprinkle on salt and pepper to taste. Run

1 large bell pepper • 50 ml of water or cold vegetable bouillon • 1/10 Spanish pepper, remove the seeds • salt to taste • large drops of lemon juice to taste • 3 ice cubes

the chicken through the flour and shake it out a little to get rid

The average bell pepper has four times as many vitamins

of the excess flour. Then run it through the beaten egg white and the coconut-bread crumb mix. Heat up the 20 gr of butter in a non-stick pan.

as an orange. And... they really taste good. All the more reason

Place

to start drinking pepper juice. You can also prepare it without

in the pan and bake

removing the skin of the peppers, but it tastes even better

until golden brown,

without the skin. There are a various ways of doing this (in

then flip over and

boiling water, in the oven, in the microwave, with a paint peeler

place on a low flame,

- but do this with care!). After removing the skin, dry off the

until done. Heat up

bell pepper with paper towel. Remove the stem and the seeds.

20 gr of butter in a

Dice the pepper. In a fruit blender, mix the bell pepper, Spanish

small pan and add

pepper, vegetable bouillon, salt, lemon juice and the ice cubes

the tbsp of curry.

(crush them first), until the mix has become a smooth juice.

Stir well and add the

Pour into a glass. Decorate the glass first, if you want.

crème fraîche and

For variety, you can use orange juice, or mango juice, or any other type of juice instead of vegetable bouillon.

the

vegetable

chicken

bouillon.

Stir again. When this has come to a boil,

Recipe of the Day: Spinach Pancake for One

add in the bimis and

75 gr of sifted flour • 1 egg • salt and pepper to taste • 125 ml of vegetable bouillon • 1 raw egg • 15 ml olive oil • 1 hardboiled egg • 25 gr rinsed spinach, remove the stems • 1/4 clove of minced garlic • 3 cherry tomatoes • 3 slices of sun-dried tomatoes or of egg • tomato salsa, of your own recipe

cook until al dente

First prepare the tomato salsa (or buy it). Chop up the

bouillon mix as a

boiled egg. Place the rinsed spinach in the vegetable bouillon.

(appr three minutes). Stir every now and then. Serve, using the crème fraîchesauce.

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75


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Funny You Should Ask About... Health Care Let’s be honest with ourselves for a second... there are very few justified moments of self-pity for us expatriates. We travel the world, experience new cultures, learn new languages, meet fascinating people, and expand our story-telling repertoires exponentially. However, we are still human, and

I

therefore our moments of woe are inevitable.

and we know exactly where to go for treatment. Eh... most likely false. This is precisely my moment of dread every time I transplant my body into a new country. A list of doctors, dentists and other health care providers is virtually non-existent for expatriates when they arrive. And even if such a list were available, how would you know which health care provider is best? Beyond that, you wonder once again how long will it take before your new doctor really knows you and your ailments. I have lived in six different cities in five different countries on two different continents since I was born just a short 23 years ago. I do not have the figures on how many new doctors I have had during that time, but I can assure you it is in the double digits. And

It is usually the same scenario when moving to a new

what, you may ask, is so

country. We have landed in a foreign place and every-

bad about that? Am I not

thing is wonderfully new and exciting. True. We settle

just getting a wider variety

into our latest home and feel a sense of accomplishment as we flatten the last cardboard box and place our final picture frame on the wall. Also true. We begin meeting other expatriates who have plenty of useful words of wisdom and

insight

regarding

our host culture. Most likely true. We begin to feel more and more accustomed to the once odd behavior that our

78

neighbors display. True. We get our first seasonal cold or flu

THE XPAT JOURNAL

of medical care? Perhaps you may argue that


By Alison Agudo

more diversity is good when it comes to medical care and the

lost in translation, as I am sure we have all experienced. In this

experience of different doctors with individual approaches.

regard, and many others, patience truly is a virtue for expatri-

I will give you that, but hear me out. It is not just the initial

ates. This is because regardless of what country you are from

panic of “whom do I call when I am sick?”- it is everything that

or where you have been transferred to, having an open mind

comes after that too.

and extra time to kill is truly helpful in many situations.

Unfortunately, I was not as meticulous as I should have

But, I suppose, if all that we expatriates have to complain

been in keeping records of vaccinations and medical care in

about is a few extra ‘clinical update’ minutes we spend with

one single book that would travel with me to the countless

our new health care providers, then we really do not have

doctors I would encounter; therefore, each new physician has

much to complain about. Without exception, however, every

to essentially ‘start from scratch’ with me. However, over the

relocation (and I am absolutely certain that there will be more

years I have learned a few new tricks and I now find myself

in my life), leaves me bemoaning the fact that I must once

trying to professionally speed-date my doctor at my first con-

again be on the prowl for health care providers in yet another

sultation, mostly likely due to the voice in my head that says

foreign country.

that this one too will soon be history. Discussing personal medical information in depth and at incredibly rapid speeds in extremely short periods of time with

Woe is me. Perhaps I can discuss this with a therapist - when I find one.

a person who will never really learn the proper pronunciation of your last name - or you his - is perhaps further complicated by the language barrier most of us expatriates find ourselves stuck in as we pantomime symptoms and pray that the diagnoses match the presented symptoms. After all, a lot can be

Alison Agudo is an American writer currently studying for her Masters in Counseling at Webster University in Geneva, Switzerland, and interning at Swiss Style Magazine. She often writes about travel and expatriate life based on her own experiences.

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79


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