yes. queue jumping is the national sport of london.
The language that we speak is Dutch (which sometimes can resemble German). However almost all Dutch people speak reasonable to very good English.My company relo'ed me to Denmark. I think the hardest thing to get used to is the cost of living here. I pay almost half of my salary to taxes and everything I buy is taxed at 25%. The thrift shops here aren't like they are in the US and the sales and deals that I'm used to just aren't available.
We pay 52% in income tax. To be quite honest I only know of about 1 or 2 thrift shops in Rotterdam. Our VAT is 6 (for food) and 19% (for most everything else). Eating out is expensive here.
Cars are very expensive, after paying the 25% VAT, there's a 180% registration tax based on the car's value. So you basically have to buy the car 3x over, then pay about $8/gallon for gas. I walk, ride a bike, and take the bus, but t he bus only runs 1x/hour and it costs $6 each way to work, so it's not that great.
We also have a sort of tax built-into the price of a car which makes a car here very expensive also our gasoline is very expeneive too - around $8.00 per gallon. Because I live in a city we have VERY good public transport. We have to pay (for my car) around $135 each month on road tax.
I'm a vegetarian and I miss the availability of vegetarian ingredients. Only one shop here sells tofu and it's very expensive. I haven't been able to find tempeh and other specialty ingredients, but I'm adapting.
We have a LOT of vegetarian products here as well as a large choice in organic foodstuffs. They are slightly more expensive than 'normal' foods.
I watch all of my US shows online, didn't have cable in the US, so I don't miss it.
We get a LOT of US shows here and just as many British shows. The trouble is though that almost all of these shows run a couple of seasons behind the original country. We do have cable (around 125 channels).
I love that it's easy and inexpensive to travel around Europe. I can get deals to most major cities for well under $500 including transportation and 2-3 nights in a hotel. Plus I get 6 weeks vacation from work.
I am lucky enough to be a freelancer and I only do a contract for 6 weeks then I choose whether or not to continue. My dh (because of his position in the company) has in principle unlimited vacation days however he tries to limit them to around 6 weeks. It still amazes me that we can get a train at our central station and be in Paris in 3 hours.
People have less and live in less space. I bought a 108 square meter flat and everyone thinks that's huge for one person and a cat. Many live in flats that are less than 40 square meters. It was very difficult to find a suitable place because Europeans aren't used to gourmet kitchens and fancy bathrooms the way we are in the US. I really wanted a soaking tub, but in a country where most people shower in the middle of the bathroom and mop dry the floor, a tiled shower stall is luxury.
I think that we may be the exception here because we have a gourmet kitchen and 2 (quite fancy) bathrooms plus we have airco in our bedroom. However even though it isn't really the norm here, we are seeing it more and more. Also we have (for Holland) a large house - 2500 sq. ft.
It's definitely slower paced and safer here. Things close around 5 on weekdays and 2 on Saturday, and do not open on Sundays. I have to go to several shops to do my shopping... grocery, green grocer, asian, middle eastern, bakery, etc.
Do you live in a city or in the country? Your situation is a lot like how things are in the country here. We live in one of the largest cities in Holland and even though it isn't comparable with the opening times of the US, we have many stores that are open really late and are also open on Sundays. We can choose to do all of our shopping in one place or go to various stores like you do
It rains a lot here and doesn't get warm enough in the summer to need A/C.
The lifestyle here suits me and I don't really miss anything enough to want to move back to the US.
The weird thing is that - even after all the years of living in Holland and speaking Dutch, the thing that I miss the most is speaking Engish and if dh said that we had to move to an English speaking country for his work then I would be packed and ready to go before the day was finished.
I don't know if your library will have this book 'The Undutchables' but I have read it and a lot of it was true when I first came here. A lot of things have changed in the last 30 years.I was just thinking about this thread last week, but lately the only free time is a to post a few freebies and that's all.
We have started planting corn now and the weather has been pretty good but we are expecting rain later this week. We are still trying to clean up the third worst winter in history, the ice storm on top of all that snow was the worst, and we have had to cut down some tree's because they were split in half. It's nice to finally see some flowers growing and look forward to their blooms.
It seems there was alot of snow all over the world this past winter.
How far is the UK from Holland? Depends where you live and how close you are to a ferry/airport etc. We live in Rotterdam and have a small(ish) airport around 15 minutes from us. We can get a flight there and be at London city airport 1 hour later. Because of the time diference we arrive at the time that we leave. Dh flies to London for business in the morning and flies back at night. His office in London is quite near London city airport. We can also get a train in Rotterdam and be in central London (via the channel tunnel) within 3 1/2 hours.How does your dh get there?
I was reading recently about how something is going on at the Cliffs of Moher(Ireland), I heard there was some kind of fence or something that is out at the cliffs and placed there because too many cows were doing high dives off the cliffs? Is the fencing (which I understand is stone?) all across the cliffs or just in certain spots and was it actually because of the cows?
I would love to hear about Holland, I don't really know much about Holland other than tulips, windmills. What is the language?
What's the weather like? Whatever you would like to let us know about?
Have to stop now, have to leave, will write more later.Watching Little People Big World last night, they are over in Europe, mostly why I watched the show to begin with, and it looks so crowded with tourist, but I'm guessing the show was taped in the middle of summer, the biggest tourist time. When do you think the best time to visit Holland is? Is it the middle of summer? Depends on what you are looking for. If you want to see the famous bulb fields then spring is the best time to come. Otherwise, the summer.
I didn't know that Holland had a Queen (Sorry, Queen ) but I guess it's because all we ever hear of over here is the royal family over in England. I never quite understood the whole royality thing of other countries, I guess it's just because we don't have any here and it wasn't part of our lives, kwim? I never could figure out what exactly they do? Do most countries over there have royal families?
I have found this link our our Royal family. The Dutch Royal House It is all in English and if you are interested it will give you an idea. Yes a lot of European countries are a monarchy.
I can understand some the problem of expensive housing because there really isn't anymore room to build, big cities like New York and Boston and suburbs are like that, you have head further out of town to get a good priced home. But I also think someplaces are expanding where we shouldn't and that's why there are all these problems when mother nature is doing herr normal things and going into the wildlife areas and then they are listed as the problem.
I like the idea of skating on the canals in the winter, I didn't know it got that cold though. Are the canal waters that deep?Have a look on the link for 15 million people in the previous post - there you can seen in the film how cold it can get here and where folks skate.
Muse: Did you find it hard with conversions, math, money wise? I had to look up how large a 108 square meters is.
Our area is like what you describe on how long and often stores are open etc, I like that fact that everything is closed on sunday's, it's nice people can spend the day with family or just lounging around for the day.
Any openings at your place of work, six weeks of vacation and inexpensive traveling around Europe, I'll take it!
I think my biggest adjustment would be the space issue, just because we live in a large house now, but I wonder if the kids were grown and it was just me how much room do I really need. I love to garden and would have to have some space for gardening. Other than the conversion of math and money, etc the safety and laid back atmosphere is how I already live, nobody locks their doors, even at night and there is hardly ever any crime, other than an occasional bored teen with a can of beer in the town park late at night, or a heated fight between a husband and wife, it's pretty much quiet here.
Our garden/yard is quite large for Dutch city standards (about 50 ft. long and 30 ft wide).I think my biggest adjustment would be the space issue, just because we live in a large house now, but I wonder if the kids were grown and it was just me how much room do I really need. I love to garden and would have to have some space for gardening. Other than the conversion of math and money, etc the safety and laid back atmosphere is how I already live, nobody locks their doors, even at night and there is hardly ever any crime, other than an occasional bored teen with a can of beer in the town park late at night, or a heated fight between a husband and wife, it's pretty much quiet here.
You can ask as many questions as you like and they are certainly not stupid. If I can answer the questions I will and if I can't then I'll look it up for you. So, not a problem.This may seem like a stupid question, and I'm sure not the last stupid question I have, LOL, but do you have public libraries, and are they well used by people?
What about driving, what age do most kids get to drive?