Expat Corner #1

by Susan Bergson

Did you know that 49% of our neighbors in the Statenkwartier are expats? Starting in 2023, Wijkoverleg Statenkwartier will include an Expat Corner in our newsletter with topics that are of particular use and interest to the Statenkwartier residents who came here from abroad. We’re starting off with this article by Susan Bergson. We encourage you to write us with your own expat experiences, tips, tricks, questions, and other input to Wijkoverleg@statenkwartier.net

Expats, internationals, people of all kinds,

How fitting that we start off the ‘expat corner’ as one year slips away and another begins. We’ll try to keep up a monthly schedule and cover pertinent topics to those of you living in the beautiful Statenkwartier.

Most of us already notice lighter car, bicycle and foot traffic on our streets as residents travel for the holiday, but some of us are going to hunker down and stay around over Hanukkah/Christmas and New Year’s. Yes, we, your hardy neighbours staying behind will collect all those late holiday packages for you and watch your pets (in our case -a bird, a fish and two hamsters) and we’ll definitely call if it really freezes and a pipe bursts!

For those who are undertaking the 31st and the 1st in the Statenkwartier, know that this country has a  deeply rooted, sometimes conflicted, but also voracious delight in fireworks. These normally peaceful people throw caution and a lot of money to the wind purchasing boat loads of fireworks and building large structures to light on fire

We don’t know why. If you’re here, buy yourself some earplugs, a bottle of champagne at one of the wine stores on the Fred and a sparkler “sterretjes” – EMBRACE IT! (And we say this because you, your kids and your pets are not going to sleep anyway). Out with the old and in with the new, and burn the old while you’re at it! 

Here are recommendations for survival and renewal December 31st into January 1st in the Statenkwartier: 

  1. Get outside – what a perfect moment to walk or roll or (recently) slide around the neighborhood. Say hello and check on your neighbors who are at home. Fresh air will do you good, we promise! 
  2. Go pagan and dance around a large bonfire on the beach. We do know it’s happening and it’s going to be easy to find.
  3. Venture out and go to fireworks at the Binnenhof. Please be careful bicycling home as there will likely be some firework debris in the street. 
  4. Shop local and perfect your gourmetten. This is the Dutch equivalent of raclette. Surely the many markets and gourmet food shops in our neighbourhood have something gorgeous you can add to your spread. 
  5. On January 1st (12pm – get there early to register) take a dive with 1000+ of your new best friends! 
  6. Out with that Xmas tree! The municipality will pick up Christmas trees between 2 and 13 January 2023. Look at the household waste calendar to see when Christmas trees will be collected on your street.  
  7. If you want to be more active locally in 2023, join us on January 7th at the Couveehuis for a Neighborhood New Year’s Meet-up

So expats/internationals/Dutch friends and all, we’re wishing you a nice winter’s nap and perhaps some sunny days. In the new year, we’re looking forward to welcoming everyone into the planning and enjoyment of our fine neighborhood. Wishing you a healthy, peaceful and prosperous 2023! 

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