I’m happy living in the Netherlands, but I’m not Dutch. I’ve been here too long to call myself a tourist but not quite long enough to call myself a local. I lived in Amsterdam for a long time, and in 2019 move to The Hague, which is giving me a different perspective on the country.

Writing I am not a tourist is a hobby, I write here most weeks about things I’ve seen, local events, Dutch history, culture, and sometimes Dutch politics. Sometimes I rant.

I have added an “overheard” category. For the funny things I’ve overheard around about. The “Dumb Foreigner” who features isn’t always me.


A note about images; most of the images on this site are mine, taken by me. If I have used another image I will choose something with a creative commons licence, and credit it. If you think I’ve got it wrong let me know, and I’ll fix it. All other content is mine, copyright me, don’t use it.



52 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi, you’re very welcome to link. I like the photography on your blog, and while I can’t read Portuguese it looks like we have the same approach – the little things that make life interesting here!

  2. I’m so happy that I found your blog via Greetings From Holland. I can’t wait to go back and read the blog from the beginning. I will add you to my Expat blog links on my site!

  3. Dear Canalrat well what a fabulous site you have I love your writing and I can’t wait to read the next instalment. Where did you live before you lived in Amsterdam – you have such an interesting style you must have had an interesting upbringing.

  4. Hi! I am happy to have stumbled across your blog!! I am a Canadian getting ready to move to The Nethrelands (near Amsterdam) in a little over a month!! Wow…a month!! Huh! I will be looking through your posts!! 🙂

  5. I googled Israel Querido (I can see the front of his old house from my window and was curious) and came across your interesting blog. Mind if I link it? I’ve just moved to Amsterdam, arrived yesterday 🙂

  6. Hi there,

    Congratulations! You’ve been chosen as a featured blogger on nextstop, a community effort to build a catalog of all the best things to do, places to go, and experiences to try anywhere in the world. A link to your blog is now displayed on our Amsterdam page, in the right column beneath the red heart (http://www.nextstop.com/loc/Dpf5FxwbOGg/). You can learn more about how your blog was chosen here: http://www.nextstop.com/go/blogawards/

    We provide featured blogger awards to all blogs we feature (you can see an example here: http://www.nextstop.com/static/images/blogbadges/amsterdam.png). If you’d like, you can use the code below to add it to your blog:

    Browse Amsterdam recommendations »

    We’d love for you to come check out nextstop. This month all new recommendations added to our site go towards building a new well for people in need of clean drinking water. You can check out the details here: http://www.nextstop.com/go/water/. Feel free to email me if you have any questions, and congratulations again on your award!


    • Thanks Lily Margaret, I took a look at your blog – some nice images there! I’ve added a link in my blog roll of Dutch blogs, hope that’s OK.

  7. Hii, glad that I came across your blog..Looks interesting, cant wait to read it up all but I must come back again soon, with time on my hand to go through it well and slowly with the attention it deserves.
    Meanwhile, I have added a link from my blog to yours!! Nice to know another fellow expat blogger..

    • Hi, thanks! I think there are a few expat bloggers around now. Look forward to reading your blog as well now that I’ve found it.

  8. Hi,

    I decided to leave a comment here when I couldn’t find any contact information.

    I’m Andrew Dunkle and I currently serve as the senior editor of GoOverseas.com. We are contacting you with regard to your blog, which the editorial staff at GO! Overseas has selected as one of the top travel related blogs in the Netherlands. As recognition of your outstanding writing skills we are delighted to include your blog in a select list of websites representing the Netherlands. We select only the most exceptional blogs that meet our exacting standards and we hope you feel a sense of pride that you have been recognized for your efforts. You may view this list on our website here:


    You are welcome to display one of the image badges we have created specifically for blogs we feature in the Netherlands. This is an easy way to let your readers know that you have been recognized as an outstanding blogger. You may contact us to receive an image badge via email.

    Thank you for all the high quality content you have contributed to the global online community. We look forward to continuing to follow your experiences abroad in the Netherlands. If you have questions about GO! Overseas please don’t hesitate to contact us.

    Warm regards,
    Andrew Dunkle

  9. Greetings! Can anyone point me to a blog where issues around obtaining Dutch citizenship are discussed? Specifically, my wife is Canadian and a naturalized American, her father was Dutch but moved to Canada at a young age and never renounced his Dutch citizenship. My wife would like to apply for Dutch citizenship based on decendency. Can this be accomplished? She has many extended family members in The Netherlands and clear linage back to the 1700’s. Thanks in advance.

  10. Hey – I’ve just come across your blog as I saw you had written about the Westergasfabriek market which I started to attend a few months ago to raise my company/product profile. I’d be keen to chat and, maybe, pick your brain a little? Drop me an email?

  11. My name is Simon and I’m one of the local experts at My Destination Amsterdam. I’ve been checking out your blog and added it to my favourites to check for useful info we can share with our users via our social media channels.

    I thought I’d let you know about a great new infographic we created that you can embed in your blog if you like. We’ve found that it generally gets shared and liked a lot so now you can benefit from it too by sharing it with your users. Please feel free to use it, you can find the HTML code at the bottom of the infographic and you just have to simply copy and paste it.


    Embedded it looks like this:


    I’m very curious to see what you think and if you use it what sort of reaction it gets. Please let me know if you do decide to embed it.

    • Thanks Simon, it’s a cute idea, but I won’t be using it. All the content here is by me, and I want to keep it that way.

  12. Excellent blog. My fiancee and I are traveling to Amsterdam in May (2012) — from the U.S. — with an eye towards relocating there. We’d love any advice we can get. Thanks!!

  13. I enjoy your blog, just found it today, it is always interesting to see a place from the perspective of an outsider but also an insider. I lived in the Netherlands for 3 years in the 1990s and have lived overseas for 14+ years around the globe. If you ever get bored, please have a look at my blog,
    I am currently living and working in Equatorial Guinea, Africa!
    I will check your blog from time to time… I miss Holland! Take Care!

  14. Hello!

    We really enjoyed reading your blog. The content lines with where we deal with every day: Amsterdam, the most beautiful city of the Netherlands.
    As you without a doubt have noticed: 2013 is a very special year for Amsterdam. In celebration of several incredible milestones such as the opening of the renovated Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum and 400 years of the Canal Ring, the year will be chock-full of exciting events. Events include opening up the city for 24 hours, outdoor exhibitions and concerts, festivals and parties. As a city renowned for its creativity and innovation, 2013 is the year we share this spirit with the world.
    We would like to keep you informed about all what happens in and around the city. Therefore we want to send you some information which can serve as inspiration for your blog. Could you please contact us at marketing@iamsterdam.com

    Kind regards,
    I amsterdam

  15. Moving to Amsterdam in September for work and your blog is easing my nerves page by page. Thank you for taking the time to write something so beautiful and informative 🙂

  16. Hey I really like your blog 🙂
    Some friends and I will be in Amsterdam between the 17th and 21st of September. I wondered if you might know anything cool that’s going on there that week. Like a concert or an exhibition. I really like art and I like good music and just seeing the little “not-tourist” things and places of a town. I’d love you hear from you. You can email me if you like 😉
    Kind regards xx

  17. Hi Vicky, there are a few things! Of course there is always the Van Gogh museum (open late on Friday night http://www.vangoghmuseum.nl/fridaynights) and the Rijksmuseum for Art. Or the newly opened Stedelijk for modern art.

    But check out FOAM (foam.nl), it’s the photography museum and they have some really interesting exhibitions on at the moment, including a floating exhibition. (http://foam.org/visit-foam/calendar/2013-exhibitions/foam-magazine-talents-2013)

    If it’s classical music you’re after then the obvious choice is the Concertgebouw (http://www.concertgebouw.nl/en/concert-schedule/van=18-09-2013) there’s a free lunchtime concert on the 18th. If Jazz is your thing then BitterZoet http://bitterzoet.nl/ is a pretty cool place. For more modern stuff, Paradiso, Panama or Melkweg would be the bigger venues (no idea what’s playing).

    There is some theatre going on at that time but mostly in Dutch – if you like improv check out Boom Chicago, although some of their shows have a lot of references to Dutch culture.

    The site to search for tickets for events is uitburo.nl, but it’s Dutch only!

  18. Hey there,
    I came across your blog online. I am from Brisbane in Australia and I am looking into moving to Amsterdam on a one year working holiday and was wondering if we could exchange emails? It would be nice to get advice on where to live/find a job/expenses etc 🙂 I have been to this lovely city twice but I want to come back and live there for a year. I’ve lived in London previously so I kind of know what to expect moving abroad but it would be lovely to have a chat and find out more!

    Kindest regards, Natalie x

  19. Hello!

    My name is Marloes, and I’m a student of Media & Culture (which in my case is basically film. I’m a film student.) in Amsterdam.
    For one of my classes, me and a couple of co students have to make our own films. Our most recent assignment is to make a (short) documentary.
    As a group we decided it could be very interesting to do our documentary on expats, which is where you would come in.
    We were wondering (and hoping) if you would possibly be interested in having us interview you (could be at your house, or somewhere in public, whichever you’d prefer) about the way you experience living in the Netherlands, and maybe follow you while you do things you’d normally do (grocery shopping for example) in the hopes of coming across some ‘daily struggles’ or Dutch oddities that you have experienced while living in the Netherlands.
    If you would be up for it, we promise it’ll be a fun day (or couple of hours) and we’ll do our absolute best to make it the most professional looking video we can, so you can proudly show your friends and family!

    Could you please let me know if you would be interested in helping us out?

    Thanks in advance,

    Marloes Koot

  20. Hi there!

    I wanted to send you an email but couldn’t find your contact details. On January 19th we’ll be launching Lunchbox in the Netherlands, and I think our app might be a great fit with for your readers.

    Lunchbox is an easy way to meet new people and hang out over lunch. As you know, moving to a new place can be both exciting and challenging. Everything is different to what you’re used to and you find yourself in an environment where you don’t know anyone around. Lunchbox makes is easy to get in touch and connect with people in your area.

    Please have a look at our website (lunchboxapp.org) or drop me a mail. Thanks!

  21. Dear CanalRat,

    My name is Joyce and I work for ExpatFinder.com.
    ExpatFinder.com is a free one stop website for people preparing to move or working and living overseas. We provide a myriad of services for expatriates and we have over 2,000 articles to help and support the people moving around the world and we are now creating an interview section to help the expats with real life experiences!
    We quite enjoy your blog about living in Netherlands, it is very interesting and informative. Would it be possible to interview you to further share some of your tips and feature some of your first hand experience as an Expat and your interview will be published on our Expat Interview section as a guide for our expat readers. The questions are mainly about the day to day lifestyle of an expat. If it would be possible, could you also send some photographs that we can use?
    Of course, if you accept, we can add a link to your blog or some of your website.
    The questions are enclosed, feel free to respond freely. You can return the doc with your answers if you accept this invitation.
    Thanks in advance and do let me know if you prefer other means to conduct this interview and we would be happy to accommodate your terms.

    Best regards,

  22. Hello!

    My name is Eline and I’m a student of Media, Informatie & Commincation in Amsterdam.
    For my thesis I am doing a research on the communication behavior of tourist in Amsterdam. I was wondering if you would like te help me. Would you mind to fill out my survey and send it to your foreign friends?

    The link for the survey is:

    Thank you in advance.

    Eline Smith

  23. Hi,
    This is Stephanie from HelloTalk(www.HelloTalk.com)- a language exchange learning App, we want to reach our APP to more people learning Dutch. So I’m writing this letter wondering if you can take a look at HelloTalk and review/recommend our APP on your blog.

    HelloTalk is an app which has over 1.3 million users worldwide and is similar to WhatsApp but has more features on language learning. Such as in-app translation, text-to-voice, voice-to-text, transliteration, and grammar correction, etc. With HelloTalk, one could learn and practice a language with native speakers.

    Please let me know your thoughts, I’m looking forward to your reply.



  24. Hi

    My name is Joyce, I am a marketing executive at expatfinder.com which is a leading expat information and services website.

    I saw on your blog that you are and expat. I wish to interview you to further share some of your tips. The questions are mainly about the housing, the daily life etc.

    It just takes 5 minutes (or more depending if you have lots to say 🙂

    Of course, if you accept we can add a link to your blog or some of your website.

    If you are interested to participate at this project, please send me an email at interview@expatfinder.com.

  25. Hi Canalrat,

    I discovered your blog today and I love it! I can’t find your contact information, so could you send me your contact details or an email to get in touch?

    Kind regards,

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