Sunday, 25 October 2009


Okay, I admit it, I'm an expat. Torn from my native soil and thrust into the heart of the Dutch Metropolis (locally and weirdly known as the "Randstad").
I tore myself away from the UK - like so many other later Expats - because I couldn't settle and find a job. So now I am an Amsterdammer, but one with a few strange asides. I can't adjust to the lack of service in shops and - while appreciating the advantages of a different democratic system based on consensus - I also see its disadvantages.
Today there was an Expat Fair in Amsterdam. Realy quite a surprisingly pleasant affair. Okay, it was dominated by Real Estate, Insurance and Removals, but fortunately also had Australian football, American Ladies and BritSoc - alongide my favourite local source of information and delicious cheese from Ron Pieters at the Reypenaer.
The most surprising stall however was that of the Dutch Labour Party - the slightly left party of regents that has ruled Amsterdam for decades. Familiarity breeds contempt and the incestuous corruption that Britain is only now starting to discover among indolent social democrats has caused most of the problems Amsterdam now faces. I'm glad that opinion polls here now suggest the PvdA is in for an historic drubbing.

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