Monthly Archives: May 2011

THE PRICE OF EATING GREEN – a little survey

Ten Kate Market...great looking vegies, but where have they been?

With our planned trip along the Pieperpad ahead, we’re taking more interest in organic food. We love the idea of organic farming. It sounds as if it will be good for our health, our taste buds and the environment.

It’s no surprise that it’s more expensive. We’re prepared to pay a premium for produce in a health food shop or farmers market, where we get the added benefit of being served by a healthy looking girl in a green apron or a bearded chap in a goats’ wool beanie who looks as if he was out tramping dewy fields in his gumboots, pulling vegetables out of the ground earlier that morning.

We want our eggs to have dark yellow yolks and to be laid by happy hens. In Holland they make a packaging distinction between an ‘egg’, a ‘free range egg’ (scharrelei) and a ‘free walking outside egg’ (vrij uitloop ei).

But how much more are people prepared to pay to buy organic?

Today I did a little price comparison between three local Amsterdam shopping establishments, all within a few hundred metres of each other. Continue reading

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HET PIEPERPAD – 1000km, pedalling on potatoes

Mevrouw T and I start a daunting new project this week – a 1000km bike ride, along the way eating potatoes grown on Dutch organic farms. We estimate it’s going to take us three weeks, if the wind and other weather conditions are kind and the Netherlands remain flat. Continue reading

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WIELERRONDE UITGEEST – Dutch bike racing free-for-all

Cycling is a serious business in Uitgeest.

During the 2000 Sydney Olympics an ad ran on Australian television, showing a groups of likely lads re-painting the blue line designating the marathon route, so that it diverted the runners down their driveway. Then the boys sat in the back garden while the Olympic marathon came past, rounded their clothes line, and continued on its way.

We had a day like that in Uitgeest today. Continue reading

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SATURDAY PHOTO #14 – Satellite dishes, Amsterdam

Schoteltjesbuurt, Amsterdam

I know, as a photo this is pretty average, but I do like the story behind it…

As in any large city with an immigrant population, Amsterdam faces the problem of balancing tolerant support for multiculturalism with a desire to have newcomers integrate and adopt Dutch culture.

A cluster of satellite dishes beaming TV programs from Turkey or Morocco into Amsterdam has become a sign of a Muslim ghetto, where people cling to their old culture, learning only basic Dutch and resisting the Hollandization process.

A ‘schoteltjesbuurt’ or ‘dish district’ is sneered at by many.

Then someone had the bright idea of turning the dishes in this street into a community art gallery.

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ARTZUID – Amsterdam’s sculpture biennale opens

Jan Fabre (Belgium) - Search for Utopia


John and Yoko famously spent their honeymoon in bed in Amsterdam’s Hilton Hotel on the Apollolaan. If Artzuid had been on at the time, it may have drawn them down to the street.

This biennial art event (well, the first one was two years ago) is on its way to becoming a major Amsterdam institution. We hope it will get there. Continue reading

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TOP BIKE NAVIGATION APP – for less than $5

Damn! Which way to Amstelveen?

We should never get lost on the bikes again, not in Nederland.

We’ve downloaded a navigation app called ‘FIETS’ (that’s Dutch for ‘bike’) onto Mevrouw T’s iPad. It cost EUR2.99, and does the job even without 3G, which we’re too stingy to buy. The system is in Dutch, but not hard to operate and I think it’s excellent value.

Here’s how it works… Continue reading

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