Home / The Netherlands

The Netherlands

Life in the Netherlands through the eyes of Amsterdam’s most sarcastic expat.

Rotterdam Bans Fireworks

pigs flying as Rotterdam bans fireworks

Rotterdam First Gemeente to Ban Fireworks on NYE What does it take to get a firework ban in the Netherlands? An estimated 16 million euros worth of damage Several firework-related deaths wreckless attacks on first responders It’s taken all of the above to convince the VVD the party in power …

Read More »

The Five Unwritten Rules of Dutch Society

The Netherlands symbols

What are the unwritten rules of Dutch society? A member of the Amsterdam Shallow Man Facebook group asked the following question.     There were so many helpful responses that I’ve decided to pick the five most useful answers. The things I do for my readers! 1. Don’t use any …

Read More »

Dutch Word of the Week Plofkraken

photo of a plofkraak

Plofkraken and the closing of ATMs at night in the Netherlands The term ‘plofkraak’ and it’s plural form ‘plofkraken’ is a combination of the words ‘plof’ which means explosion and ‘kraak’ which means ‘break-in’ or ‘robbery’. Plofkraak/Plofkraken is the term used for an increasingly common form of ATM robbery whereby …

Read More »

Duindorp Burning

Dutch cavemen carrying fire

Duindorp burning In case you’ve never heard of Duindorp, it’s a new town in the Hague. It’s full of social housing that was built for the families of fishermen in the 1930s. It’s known as a ‘witte enclave’ where the only black residents tend to be of a ‘been down …

Read More »

Sinterklaas versus Santa Claus a SWOT Analysis

Sinterklaas versus Santa

Sinterklaas versus Father Christmas a SWOT Analysis It’s that wonderful time of year in the Netherlands when football hooligans and neo-nazis attack people who protest against Zwarte Piet. Yes, it’s the Sinterklaas season. Meanwhile, in large parts of the western world, the countdown to Christmas is about to begin. With …

Read More »

Dutch Service: A Dutch Chef Strikes Back

Chef telling off staff member

Dutch Service a Dutch Chef Strikes Back! Dutch Service has been a running gag on the Shallow Man page for years. I’ve written posts and created MEMES about it and for good reason. Dutch service is often indifferent, incompetent and frustrating. However, after my latest MEME on the subject, a …

Read More »

My First Week in the Netherlands

first week in the Netherlands surprise hagelslag

My first week in the Netherlands Today we have another post from Polish expat Maja who has already written about her experiences with Dutch healthcare and some of the patronising things Dutch men often say to Polish women. In today’s post, she writes about her first week living in the …

Read More »