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.
Dutch business magazine Quote has unveiled that the ‘professor’ who brought us piles of fake scientific research has become a language consultant. The nutty professor had a sales pitch on his website that has since been pulled, pitching him as, “being available as an opinionated consultant, motivator, coach, brand and identity language consultant, speaker, etc.”, and a whole bunch of other jargon-filled functions that show how narcissistic he really is, how crappy his Dutch is and how full of crap he still is.
He no longer has a Ph.D. as he was stripped of his title in 2011, but of course he has the right to go into business for himself. He has called his business Pile Consult. My comment is fair game for ridicule as he chose an English language name, not a Dutch one.
Just in case some of you don’t get it, Stapel, his last name, means Pile, as in a pile of things. Unfortunately, ‘pile’, or better yet ‘piles’ also refers to haemorrhoids. ‘Consultancy’ would also make more sense, but hey, we are dealing with a nut job. His ‘research’ was surely more akin to diarrhoea.
Coffeeshop owner Theo Buissink of Groningen wants to launch a bunch of orange-coloured helium balloons with marijuana seeds in them with the text ‘Thank you Majesty’, referring to Queen Beatrix who will abdicate the throne on 30 April. When the balloons burst at high altitude, the seeds will spread and marijuana plants will grow all over the country. The plants will have orange tops, as the owner claims to have had those specially cultivated for the occasion. The first plants should start appearing in September 2013. The coffeeshop is appropriately called ‘De Vliegende Hollander’ (‘The Flying Dutchman’).
The whole thing makes for a nice animation video in your head using your imagination.
“When Willem-Alexander was 18 we sent him joints for his birthday. Now he will get an empty container that he can fill up with weed in our shop during his visit to Groningen.”
Of the developed countries (for want of a better word) only Japan fares worse. It has 7% women in management roles. The most emancipated country in the world is China with 51% of all big bosses being women. In fact the top ten of countries has seven nations in it that either are or used to be communist. (The word ‘socialist’ and ‘communist’ are oddly lacking from the Grant Thornton report (PDF) that Trouw bases its article on.)
What do you do if you don’t trust the banks? You keep your money under your mattress.
What do you do next if you don’t trust the locks on the doors of your house? According to Noordhollands Dagblad, this was the dilemma that faced a businessman from Sint Pancras near Alkmaar.
Last week the man claimed he decided to bring the 60,000 euro he had saved over the years to the bank. The man claimed he left the envelope with what he claimed were 120 bills of 500 euro on the roof of his car, after which he walked indoors to answer a phone call, or so he claimed.
The envelope with 60,000 euro may be lying somewhere along the road to Alkmaar. Whoever finds the envelope and its contents can expect a 10,000 euro reward says the newspaper. Noordhollands Dagblad has a couple of interviews with treasure hunters on video.
Today the thaw has set in, so if the envelope is going to be found, it will be today or tomorrow.
The fire brigades of the province of Flevoland have purchased 14 new trucks, five of which do not actually fit in the intended fire stations. The vehicles are just too high, and the decision-makers knew that in advance, but still wanted 14 shiny new trucks so the region would all have the same trucks.
The municipality of Noordoostpolder where the five trucks don’t fit has to modify their fire stations, which will cost hundreds of thousands of euro.
Do the decision-makers have friends in the contracting business for the rebuilding of fire stations? Possibly. Couldn’t they have chosen another type of truck? Possibly. Maybe the fire stations are too old-fashioned anyways so what’s the problem? Possibly. Was money saved by buying 14 trucks at once? Possibly. Was the PR on this decision well-spun in the media? Not really.
A Canadian tourist tried to pay a 54-year-old fine at the police station in The Hague during Christmas, but the police forgave his debt.
In 1956 Augustinus “Guus” Johannes Maria Niesink travelled with his sister Jo and her husband from Terborg in the Achterhoek region of the Netherlands (the -ink in the last name is a dead give away) to Maastricht in the South, when between Nijmegen and Venlo they were stopped by a policeman. It turned out Guus had faulty brakes on his Kaptein Mobylette (a discontinued Dutch moped brand from after the war when manufacturing mopeds was cheaper than importing them) and a fine was quickly drawn up.
A month later Guus boarded a ship of the Holland America Line to emigrate to Canada. He never returned, but he always kept his paper fine. He started his new life in Ottawa, and that is where he died a couple of weeks ago. On his deathbed Guus asked his son Patrick (50) to grant him one last wish: if Patrick found himself in the Netherlands, he would finally pay the fine.
(Photo: the police. Click the image for a larger version. Link: Der Westen)
In Dutch they call it ‘bouwvakkersdecolleté’ (‘construction worker’s décolletage’), which pertains exclusively to men, in English it is better known as ‘butt cleavage’, which actually includes both men and women. And in 2013, the male version should be a thing of the past if we can believe Dutch power company Eneco.
About 500 technicians — assumingly all male, but we don’t know for sure — are getting new uniforms that don’t show their unsightly butt cracks when they bend down. The trousers will have a higher waistline and jackets will be longer. I personally can understand the trousers, but most of the year they will not be wearing the jacket because it’s too warm. As well, the clothing will be more ‘sweat resistant’, which will surely enhance any experience with having burly men work in your house on your power supply.
What I do not like about the Dutch expression is that it automatically assumes that only men are technicians in the Netherlands, which is often the case, but surely not always. It also gives me the idea that female butt crack is acceptable, which leads to more inequality. Whale tails went out a few years ago (someone please pass this memo around, a lot of girls didn’t get it) and a technician with butt crack comes off to me as being less competent and desperately in need of attention.
Although gorilla Jacko had a bad year in 2011 for the first time, this year Jacko was back on track, outperforming the AEX (Amsterdam Exchange index), as he has done 12 years of out 13.
The stocks picked by Jacko using bananas rose 12% in value over the year, while the AEX rose by 10%. “Jacko’s profits are largely due to Heineken, Aegon and Aalberts, which rose sharply in value. Unfortunately he sold Ordina and Aperam with a large loss.”
A standard fragmentation hand grenade used by Americans in WWII was found in a bunch of potatoes at a potato processing plant in Dronten, Flevoland today. Dozens of bombs, bullets and grenades from the war are found every year in this area.
Here’s an upbeat video about finding grenades in potatoes in Europe, with an interesting find at the Netherlands’ biggest amusement park the Efteling earlier this year.