On May 1st Rotterdam Central Station proudly announced that only travellers who check in with their public transport chip cards are allowed in the hall of the train station, which until then had been open to nearby employees out to grab some lunch and the likes. Safety was the main reason given, since crimes against train staff have been on the rise for a while and this was supposed to help. Watch the video below though if you want to see train station staff attacking the press.
Due to the low height of the gates, anyone who excels at gate jumping can get by without paying a fare very easily, as no attempt is made at stopping them in the video below. Yes, it does look like jumping hurdles. Problem is the limber people jumping the gates in the evening and taking trains are the baddies who attack train staff. Other major stations have much higher gates, but then the trick is pushing through them at the same time as someone else who has checked in, which doesn’t seem to make things any safer.
Anyone who properly pays their fare might feel screwed over for following the rules while others cheat the system and can move about the station as they please. A good point made in the video is that you can only use your public transport chip card at a train station if you have a balance of 20 euro or more on your card, which is not a requirement with other public transportation. Maybe if that amount were lowered less people would feel inclined to jump over, but it could also be, as they say in Dutch, ‘mopping up with a running faucet’.
This week on King’s Day in Zoetemeer, South Holland, a lamppost came crashing down on a woman while she was cycling by with her young daughters, giving her a concussion. The kids were a bit shocked to see mum bleeding from her head, as the event was as unexpected as could be. Passers-by called the emergency services and all is well.
The lamppost was fastened onto cement tiles by a metal plate with screws, but came crashing down because its base had been eroded by dog urine.
I hope the kids aren’t too scared of cycling anymore and yes, the lamppost could have done even more damage to the children. The question is why did that lamppost give way and could others do the same? We’ll keep you ‘lampposted’.
Everybody was worried it would rain, but it was sunny and dry all day on the second edition of King’s Day, replacing the previous tradition of Queen’s Day. The person who left their rubber boots for the rubbish heap at the end of the day was indeed ready for rain and King’s Day.
At 24oranges we’ve always been into the rummage sale side of things and very much enjoy picking up a lot of stuff people leave behind at the end of the day, which never fails. Why buy Trivial Pursuit when you can just pick up a free game at the end of the day from someone who can’t be bothered bringing it back home? Exactly.
I talked to a Frenchman selling stuff and he had just heard of King’s Day a few days ago, and wondered why he hadn’t heard of it before. I answered that not all countries celebrate their national holidays in July.
Amsterdam has also reached a tipping point as well: the amount of British people who come just for our national holiday sounds like it has increased. Even rubbish bags featuring weird Dutch-style passive-aggressive messages aimed at Brits could be found around town. The other thing with foreigners celebrating King’s Day is that it makes the party in Amsterdam look more like a Dutch royal themed Halloween. ‘Just wear orange, you’ll fit it’, is about right.
Politely called ‘shortsighted’ on the one hand and ‘racist’ on the other, but mostly referred to as ‘disgusting’, Dutch women’s magazine Viva has started a controversy by publishing an article called ’10 reasons to date a dark man’ full of predictable stereotypes. Dutch news magazine HP/De Tijd made an excellent point: Viva assumes all their readers are white, which represents the ‘eternal status quo’.
According to Viva, a ‘dark man’ has ‘dance moves’, will give you beautiful ‘half-blood’ children, has ‘big lips’, all have family living in ‘warm countries’, have more passion that Dutchmen (because ‘dark men can’t possibly be considered Dutch’ in their world view) and have bigger penises. And I left some stuff out.
Viva have taken the post offline after the editor-in-chief realised that all kinds of people were pissed at the posting and attempted to apologise. The editor-in-chief hadn’t read the posting. Maybe it’s time to double check your work.
The top 5 of hurtful words in the Netherlands among 18 to 25-year-olds is, according to a recent study:
Godverdomme (god damn me)
The study was commissioned by Bond Tegen Vloeken. A whopping 71% of those interviewed considered the word ‘kanker’ to be hurtful.
Bond Tegen Vloeken is a Christian organisation that wants people to stop using their gods’ names in vain. In their press release they use the word scheldwoorden instead of krachttermen, a distinction the English language doesn’t seem to make to this Dutchman. The former means ‘words with which you abuse others’, the latter are words of pain or anger that aren’t directed at anyone in particular.
Of the top 5, the words ‘kanker’, ‘tering’ and ‘godverdomme’ are considered krachttermen, although the first two can easily be used in compound terms of abuse, e.g. ‘kankerhoer’.
A park in Utrecht that apparently didn’t have enough trash in it had some trash added to it by the city to make sure that beer giant Inbev could have a proper team building session picking up rubbish.
Imagine being a neighbour watching city employees dump trash into a park for the sake of some company’s team building outing and busloads of white collar employees having fun picking up the trash like problem youth doing community service.
The city of Utrecht admitted it was a bad call to dump more trash in the park, although they still did. They are probably only saying this because they got caught doing it. The idea of putting trash into a park to then have it picked up again is retarded.
To make things worse Inbev claims it knew nothing about the extra trash and would not have gone through with it if they had known, which is plausible. Either way Inbev was stuck dealing with a load of rubbish. The employees, who were geared up to do a good deed, can now team build on the feeling of having been screwed over.
It is a tendentious question, but what on earth is Rosie the Riveter being used to encourage women folk, who are the main food shoppers, that they too have enough brains to use the relatively new self-scanners at the supermarket? It says ‘We scan ourselves!’. If they had a picture of a tough guy saying ‘I can use a scanner, too!’ it would be condescending. The scanners also work in other languages, so the insult isn’t lost on the non-Dutch crowd.
Hang on: the message with a woman is condescending towards women! Retro is cute, but not like this. Rosie deserves a hell of a lot better.
This lame message is quite typical of corporate Dutch passive-agressiveness: use the fokkin scanners ladies, as we’d rather have our cheap students (mostly female by the way) lose their jobs to a self-scanner over time. Yes, it’s mainly boys that stock shelves because, well, boys. I bet Rosie could kick all of their asses.
As a representative of women folk, I don’t always use the scanner because when I buy alcohol, an employee needs to come over, verify my age and swipe their magic card through the scanner so I can get on with it.
If you don’t agree that the poster is insulting to women, fine. But you should agree that it’s fokkin unoriginal.
The first Monday of the month at noon is when the entire country gets to listen to a modern-day air raid siren, a test to make sure it’s all working in the event of a flood or if zombies ever become a thing. The government wants to replace it with NL-alert, which was the world’s text message-based emergency broadcast system, as well as use social media, websites and the radio to warn people, probably in Dutch only.
Webwereld.nl points out a host of problems with NL-alert: it still doesn’t work with 4G mobile phones and doesn’t always work if your phone is too new, too old or not configured to receive NL-alert. If your mobile network breaks down, you won’t get a warning, either. If you don’t own a mobile or if something happens in one town and you work in another, which is most of the Dutch population, you won’t get a message until your commute home and it could be too late. If you’re driving in your car where it’s illegal to use your phone and you’re not listening to the radio, you’ll find out much later as well. If you’re a person that turns off your mobile at night to get some decent sleep you also won’t get the message, as disasters would then really need to happen during the day.
And if you’re a visitor or a tourist with no mobile or a foreign network, the zombies will get you first.
Sure, if enough people know something bad is happening you’ll find out as well, but it’s still patchy. The current alarm system seems to be the only ‘old school’ way to warn almost everybody, but it does cost 4 million euro a year and doesn’t always work, either.
Waterschap Zuiderzeeland has animated a tweeting turd, Drolly_21, to create interest for the water board elections in the Netherlands next week.
We follow Drolly on its way from the toilet bowl to the fertilizer plant. Drolly gets stuck in the sewer behind a balloon animal, but a crew of the city government and the water board quickly take care of that problem. Even when turned into phosphate, Drolly keeps tweeting the most inane messages: “I’ve become feritilizer!”
Water boards form a parallel local government that controls water ways, water barriers, water quality and sewage treatment, amongst others. The water board elections are held simultaneous with the provincial elections.
Of course, there are some amazing ideas floating around in the Netherlands, but there will always be some ‘non-starters’ because anybody can ask for money for anything. Just the spelling mistakes are like bushwhacking through a forest of flies. Here is a small selection of Kickstarter projects that make you wonder:
– A workshop space only for men and ‘males’, but freely using the world ‘everybody’. Half blind boy.
– A female-fronted metal album because just a band would mean it was ‘male’ and automatically good. How to hit the wrong chord.
– A self-cleaning shower cabin – I want to believe! ‘Only a man would come up a way not to clean’ cliché.
– An app that shows you all the places Michael Jackson has been. Are you LOL, too? Give me Elvis instead.
– Someone is building a TARDIS! This could actually be pretty cool.