Should I move to Amsterdam?

Sybren Stuvel sybrenUSE at
Thu Aug 25 12:21:31 CEST 2005

Martin P. Hellwig enlightened us with:
> Personal transportation sucks in the Netherlands, if you live in the
> Randstad (the area of the above mentioned cities) and you have to
> travel across the Randstad, you go with the bike and/or
> bus/tram/metro/train because that is the fastest way of
> transportation.

And a bike isn't "personal transportation"?

> By the way, the big cities are notorious for losing your bike fast.

True. Unless you have two proper locks. In that case your bike will
last a very long time.

> That doesn't mean that public transportation is good, no actual
> since the public transportation is commercialized it sucks too.

It's quite good actually. The Dutch Railways (Nationale Spoorwegen, NS
for short) have a reputation of being late, but it isn't that bad.
Trains run frequently, and if you have a serious delay, you even get
part of your money back.

My GF and I just got back from a holiday in Croatia. There, there is
only a train every four hours, and then you're lucky. The track is so
bad, going by bus is just as fast, except you can buy a ticket on the
bus instead of having to buy a ticket + reservation in advance.

On the way back, we used the ICE (intercity express) through Germany.
It got delayed, so we missed our train to Amsterdam by 15 minutes. The
delay was in Köln, because the pope paid a visit - well known to the
Deutsche Bahn, but still they didn't do anything about it. We had to
use another train which left two hours later. And we didn't get any
compensation for this - not even for the reservation for the train we

We had a delay of two hours. In The Netherlands you would at least get
a significant percentage of your money back. Not in Germany.

After all, I think with the frequent trains (compared to Croatia) and
reasonable refunds (compared to Germany), the NS isn't that bad after

> Just don't plan to get anywhere special with public transportation
> after 2300h.

There are night trains between the big cities in the Randstad. At
least in Amsterdam busses go through the city all the night, every
night. I don't know about other cities - I live in Amsterdam.

> Well politics, in the Netherlands is like politics in the rest of
> Western-Europe North-Atlantic-coast countries, excluding UK &
> Ireland.

Still, we were the first ones to legalize properly executed eutanasia.
We were also the first to have official single-sex marriages. I don't
know about other countries, but here prostitution is a regular job, so
you have to pay taxes as a prostitute, and there is even a union.

> Most of the time these politicians are social caring about everybody
> in the country including non-voters, non-payers and
> fanatic-believers of-whatever-you-can-imagine.

That's very true. I'm not too happy about that. Too many people refuse
to vote, for just that reason.

> Most people in here are non-believers or so lightly believers that
> you won't know the difference between them and the non-believers.
> The biggest part of the remaining believers are realistic and value
> life, moral and norms without compromising public safety, of course
> fanatics are every where in the world including the Netherlands.

Here in Amsterdam, things are getting more nasty. A
writer/critic/actor was killed "in the name of Allah", just because he
excercised his freedom of speech.

Another man was seriously messed up while standing in his own front
door opening, just because he's homosexual. In his street, sometimes
people are shouting "Go away you homo, you're not welcome here. This
is a Macoccan street!. I'm not discriminating, but Maroccans telling
Dutch people they aren't welcome in their own captial? I wish _those_
people would just go back to Marocco.

> The only serious downsize is that in the Randstad the house prices
> are too high

Very true. My girlfriend and I are renting a house in the northern
part of Amsterdam, just above Central Station. We had to search quite
hard to find that, though!

The problem with the world is stupidity. Not saying there should be a
capital punishment for stupidity, but why don't we just take the
safety labels off of everything and let the problem solve itself? 
                                             Frank Zappa

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