May 15, 2012

Cellist thrown out of train because of cello

Filed under: General,Music by Orangemaster @ 10:17 am

Young Frisian cellist Dana de Vries who studies at a conservatory in Paris was kicked off the train in Groningen a few days ago because she didn’t buy an extra ticket for her cello. The female train attendant, the media specifies, said that the cello was too big and was not hand luggage, which is complete nonsense according to her employer’s house rules. She’s being travelling to Paris for years and this is the first time this has happened.

Dutch railways apologised for the incident, letting the cellist and her cello ride first class for one day.

The part I dislike is Dutch railways calling this a ‘misunderstanding’. A misunderstanding is when someone doesn’t understand someone else or when there’s a disagreement. Neither applies here, as the cellist didn’t misunderstand anything. The term ‘misunderstanding’ is far too often used to spread blame between two parties so that the one that screws up doesn’t feel as bad about doing so. Sometimes, you’re 100% wrong and need to say sorry like an adult, which I am glad Dutch railways did.

And if you though her cello is big, imagine if she was a double bass player.

(Links:,, Photo of Cello by Grumbler %-|, some rights reserved)

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January 3, 2009

Free bike parking possibly on last legs

Filed under: Bicycles,General by Orangemaster @ 1:34 pm
Pink bike

At first, it does sounds like a logical argument. Way back in the day you could park your car for free on the street, but nowadays there are too many cars so you have to pay because space is scarce. In a country with more bikes than people, bike space is becoming scarce and the idea of paying to take up that space is now an issue. Many people already pay to park their bikes safely indoors, but parking it unguarded in the rain for money doesn’t sound like a good deal at all.

Back in 2004, a huge bike flat was built at Amsterdam Central Station as a temporary solution to all the bikes cluttering the station area. If there’s one thing I learned about Dutch ‘street furniture’ is that temporary things become permanent very quickly. According to, the ‘flat’ was supposed to be torn down in 2006, which was later pushed backed to 2009. It’s of course still there and it’s fuller than ever. One of the reasons it is full is because many people leave their bikes for a longer period of time or ditch their bikes there altogether, a national problem. If people were to pay, this would probably not happen as often.

However, the day has come where the idea of paying to park your bike could just be a few years away. Apparently, 40% of people bike to the train station, making the upkeep of bike parking spaces costly. There are all kinds of arguments against paying to park your bike, such as people turning to their cars to get to the train station, causing even more traffic, the environment (bike vs. car), the logisitics nightmare of it all and hiring people to fine cyclists who park their bikes illegally.


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May 6, 2008

Sleeping on the job for train staff

Filed under: Dutch first,General by Orangemaster @ 9:17 am

On Monday in Maastricht, Limburg, the Dutch railways (NS) installed the first ‘reclining seat’ at the train station for use by train personnel. While on the job, train staff can take a 15-minute nap, sitting on this vibrating seat. The idea is that the seat will lull those hard workers to sleep in order to have them fresh and alert on long train rides across the country.

If a train driver falls asleep on the job, it can have fatal consequences for everyone on board a train. Every year some 250 train drivers from the Netherlands and abroad drive right through a red signal.

This picture is from an accident that happened right in Amsterdam Central Station a few years back.

(Link:, Photo: ruudvisser)

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