The Germans refer to it as ‘Wanderlust’, and the technical term is dromomania, “an uncontrollable psychological urge to wander”. Dutch tax law student Valentijn Kuperus is not only constantly on the go, but tries to do it as cheaply as possible. I can imagine that if you’re on a student budget and have the urge to travel that saving money as well as planning is something you excel at very quickly. And what a lawyer he is going to make, but he’ll never be in his office.
Kuperus knows all about saving air miles, bonus programs and travel sites. He has learned all about online travel booking by spending three to four hours a day looking for deals. Last month Kuperus flew to in Abu Dhabi, UAE and Cape Town, South Africa. However, he spent all of 90 minutes in Abu Dhabi, but was very happy to accumulate thousands of frequent flyer miles by stopping there.
Simply put, Kuperus is clearly addicted to travel and needs it like a fix, a lot like a record collector needs to constantly dig crates to score a great record for next to no money.
Contrary to most of us who like to fly as directly as possible to our destination, Kuperus would rather pile up as many layovers as possible because that’s how he can score the most points to then be able to travel some more. He has even taken flights that earn him more air miles than they cost. He once landed a deal flying from Paris to Sri Lanka for 7,50 euro, a mistake on the part of the airline and a great find for him.
Kuperus has already visited 57 countries, with about 11 more coming up soon. His passport is so full of stamps that he needs to get a new one every two years. This year’s Christmas trip reads as follows: Brussels-Ljubljana-Istanbul-Cairo-Abu Dhabi-Bangkok-Singapore-Beijing-Seoul-Taipei-Ho Chi Minh City-Taipei-Hong Kong-Amsterdam.
He plans to do some studying while flying as well. He has good travel tips on his frequent flyer blog.
Tags: dromomania, flying, travel
A few years back, we had going to church naked and naked fitness, and now it’s time for a naked game show on television, with words and balls.
The Dutch game show Lingo, based on an American game show, has been a household viewing staple for decades. It features guessing words of a certain length and unscrambling longer words. Winning a round entitles you to pick balls with numbers to be checked off a bingo card, hence the name.
Lingo is auditioning nudists for a special naked version of the television program. First thing the producers make clear is that participants won’t be chosen based on what they look like, which in TV land has to be partially untrue. And the popular game show host Lucille Werner says she will join in by taking it all off. The show is scheduled to air on May 2014.
Back in 2011 this episode of Lingo went viral, as a smart guy used the word ‘cumshot’ and everyone had a good laugh.
(Link: www.nieuws.nl, Photo of the first Philips colour TV from 1964 by Philips, used with permission)
Tags: game show, Lingo, nudist, television
An elementary school in the Achterhoek, a region to the East that extends into Germany, has decided to teach kids in grades 5 and 6 (the oldest kids) the evils of boozing it up in an illegal booze shack (in Dutch, ‘zuipkeet’), which usually attracts underaged drinkers.
However, the school’s plan is to do this by letting the kids set up a drink shack to find out what it is like in order to tell them about group drinking and fire safety. The school claims that the goal is not to show kids how to set up shop, but to teach them how bad drinking is if ever they do set up shop because then they’ll do it safely.
According to the media and public opinion, rural areas apparently have booze shacks, which are at least partially responsible for teenagers learning the fine art of binge drinking. I’ve never seen one, but I’m sure they are more real than unicorns.
Yes, we get that kids should learn about responsible drinking or the effects alcohol has on their growing bodies and all that, but I wonder whether parents will be thrilled about this method.
(Links: www.nieuws.nl, www.omroepgelderland.nl)
Tags: Achterhoek, alcohol, children, drinking
Thieves are not necessarily the sharpest pencils in the pencil case, but this thief, caught on camera, is slow and a bit daft.
He apparently stole a big television, but came back an hour later and put it back properly, plugging in the cables and all, which took him an hour, according to the restaurant manager.
He also stole two laptops and three bottles of whiskey, which he kept, you know, like a proper thief should.
Nobody knows yet why he brought the telly back. My guesses are:
1. He couldn’t get the drugs or other illegal things for it.
2. He couldn’t sell it.
3. He watched the match and was done with it afterwards.
(Link: www.waarmaarraar.nl, Photo of Whiskey bottles by rickerbh, some rights reserved)
Tags: North Brabant, Oudenbosch, robbery
We found the slowest summer news item of 2013: ‘The town of Uitgeest [North Holland] is ‘limiting’ its communication with citizens’, the Dutch title reads. What gives? The town hall of Uitgeest has cancelled its fax number after an employee discovered that the fax machine had broken down last month. Since many people don’t use faxes anymore and the town can’t be bothered to buy a new fax machine if even possible, faxing time is over in Uitgeest.
Amusingly enough I talked to a reporter from RTV Noord Holland about this and asked him why they thought this was newsworthy. He laughed and told me that the guy who wrote the story lives in Uitgeest. Then I talked to him about some news they broke this summer about a woman (a firefighter no less) making disturbing videos sitting on ponies to crush them. Apparently, she’s back horseback riding after having spent some time in jail. She claimed to have made the films for money during a bad patch.
The Dutch word ‘ponypletter’ (‘pony crusher’) and ‘ponyplet’ (to pony crush’) was coined by my source and could possibly be on the list for a Dutch word award despite its connotation.
(Link: www.rtvnh.nl, Photo of Dead fax machine by shalf, some rights reserved)
Tags: fax, ponies, Uitgeest
Dutch television chain VPRO was fined 600 euro last Sunday for letting heavy smoker and comedian Hans Teeuwen smoke during an interview. The VPRO hosts a summer filler chat show called ‘Zomergasten’ (summer guests) that features long, in-depth interviews with celebrities.
If the VPRO lets someone smoke again and gets caught, the fine could go up to a maximum of 4500 euro.
What if someone smokes during a play or a while making a movie? And as I write this, the media is still figuring out who will get the fine, the studio owner or someone of the VPRO.
All I know about Hans Teeuwen is that he dared perform in English
(Link: nos.nl. Photo: screen capture of VPRO’s programme.)
Tags: comedy, Hans Teeuwen, smoking
A 26-year-old woman from Swalmen, Limburg has been burning the mail she was supposed to deliver in her short-lived career as a postal worker.
Apparently she said she did not feel like delivering all that mail, though Spitsnieuws doesn’t mention who she told this to.
The woman had been a postal worker for two weeks. Post.nl fired her and reported her to the police. The company also sent the victims a letter informing telling them what happened.
Former state monopolist Post.nl has been replacing well-trained, well-paid postal workers with hard to employ people with little or no experience who are willing to work — or not work, as the case may be — for little money.
See also: Dutch postal strike ends after reaching an agreement
Tags: Limburg, post, postal services
Parking in The Hague neighbourhood of Oud-Leyenburg is apparently a problem, which is the city is working on by creating some 500 parking spots. However, in the Soesterbergstraat, the construction workers worked some magic to get a round a tree that they didn’t have permission to move and have created a few completely useless ‘parking spots’.
On my street, Smart brand cars, which are very small, park quite creatively as well. Even Smarts wouldn’t fit in the wee spots The Hague has created. Smurf parking only?
Tags: parking, The Hague
Harry, 53, lost his job as a street cleaner in The Hague due to budget cuts. Harry now gets benefits while he looks for another job. To keep his benefits, Harry has to work as a street cleaner (he has the experience, right?), but for 400 euro less a month. Keeping Harry on the streets sweeping means the government gets the exact same work done, but pays Harry less, so Harry went to the media with this one.
Usually a re-integration into the labour market job is to help people find a new job, so how does this work then? If Harry was learning some new skills in order to get a new job, it wouldn’t have made the papers.
(Link: www.ad.nl, Photo of Broom on wet floor by Shyb, some rights reserved)
Tags: The Hague, unemployment
Named after a house that is in turn named after the Prince album Controversy, the Controversy Tram Inn in Hoogwoud, North Holland features overnight stays for the entire family in city trams and railcars converted into five rooms. As well, there are all kinds of other vehicles strewn throughout their farm estate.
Frank and Irma Appel have restored a four-berth train carriage and four themed tram bedrooms in either end of two city centre tram railcars that used to run on the streets of Amsterdam and Germany. You can’t help but join in the lifestyle that Frank and Irma have created! They themselves sleep inside a London Double Decker bus, installed in the living room, and their kitchen and breakfast area is a converted French van. Their house is decorated with cars, and motor paraphernalia.
You can’t miss the house, it has a Mig fighter plane right outside.
(Links: www.controversy.nl, www.unusualhotelsoftheworld.com, Photo: Controversy Inn)
Tags: prince, trams