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Duikvaker scuba diving show in Utrecht

Posted on February 4th 2006 by Amy in Leiden, Life in Holland, Personal, Scuba Diving

Today we visited Duikvaker, a dive show dubbed “the diving event of the year”. Earlier in the week an ad ran in the Spits! newspaper that invited readers to enter a drawing for free tickets. I entered, and won two tickets. More »

Bats in the Netherlands

Posted on January 23rd 2006 by Amy in Life in Holland, Nature, News

I think bats are very cool. But I don’t think I’ve ever seen one here since I moved to Holland seven years ago. According to (“the network for information about bats in the Netherlands”), 21 different bat species have been seen in the Netherlands. More »

Coke screws environment for better market share

Posted on January 19th 2006 by Amy in Life in Holland, Nature, News, Shopping & Stuff

At the end of this month, Coca-Cola in the Netherlands will offer their products in a new type of bottle. Currently PET bottles are used, and then recycled to be used again by various bottling plants. The new bottle is meant for one-time use only. The bottles will have a deposit on them; after being returned to grocery stores the bottles will be recycled. Material from the recycled bottles will be used to make new PET bottles or other plastic products. More »

Me and Imelda Marcos

Posted on January 18th 2006 by Amy in Personal, Shopping & Stuff

My dad always teases me when I buy a new pair of shoes. He calls me “Imelda”, after Imelda Marcos, former first lady and political figure of the Philippines. She is probably best remembered for her vast collection of shoes. Did you know that in 2003 director Ramona S. Diaz made the documentary Imelda, about the footwear fancier? More »

Amy’s Best & Worst of 2005

Posted on December 28th 2005 by Amy in Personal

Here’s my very personal Best and Worst of 2005. More »

Smoking bans in Europe

Posted on December 21st 2005 by Amy in Life in Holland, News

Last week, the Spanish Parliament voted to implement a smoking ban in public places such as restaurants and work places. The ban will go into effect on New Year’s Day. More »

Parking problems

Posted on December 14th 2005 by Amy in Leiden, Life in Holland

Imagine, if you will, an extremely popular parking lot. This parking lot is so in-demand that, when every single space is filled, people cram their vehicles in the tiny areas between the legitimate spots. People leave their vehicles in the middle of aisles, brazenly blocking the exit path of others. Vehicles are left in a rush, allowed to crash on their sides and obstruct walkways. More »

Rotterdam birds inoculated against bird flu

Posted on December 13th 2005 by Amy in Birds, Nature, News

There’s a flu-shot shortage in the U.S. and here in Holland people have to jump through hoops if they want one. But a zoo in Rotterdam is doing something to protect a group even more at risk. Rotterdam Zoo “Blijdorp” has become the first zoo in Europe to vaccinate resident birds against bird flu. Penguins, flamingos and even the ducks in the ponds have been injected as prevention against the virus. More »

“Domino Sparrow” in the news again

Posted on December 9th 2005 by Amy in Birds, Life in Holland, Nature, News

The Dutch goverment has fined the killer of the Domino-Day sparrow €200. According to Dutch law, the shooter violated the “Flora and Fauna” Act because the bird was a protected species. More »

Who got a flu shot?

Posted on December 7th 2005 by Amy in Life in Holland

Last week I got a flu shot. For the first time it was offered to all employees at my company, at no charge. Okay, so the shot isn’t going to protect me from bird flu. There are still good reasons that young, healthy people should get the shot: More »