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Zie voorstel vragen in de newsletter werkgroep
Zie voorstel vragen in de newsletter werkgroep
==Interview with Marc==
==Interview with [ Marc]==
1. How did you find out about Couchsurfing?
1. How did you find out about Couchsurfing?

Revision as of 17:04, 30 March 2010

Old newsletters:

CS Newsletter for the Netherlands 2010.1

Draft 2nd newsletter


Bericht over queensday?

Couchsurfers meeting up (rechterbalk)


Queensday all over the country

Linda schrijft een korte introductie over alle activiteiten?

The 24 hour train race project

Jasper zal de tekst van Floris in de CS-NL groep aanpassen

Family Meeting on Kijkduin beach, The Hague

We are happy to organise the very first Family Meeting in the Netherlands.

The beach is a perfect place to meet for families and share experiences under a (hopefully) bright blue sky, while barefoot children play games in the sand.

We meet at 10.30 o´clock under the lighthouse near the parking and bus stop in Kijkduin, before going down to the beach (right side). Here the children (and parents too) can play games in groups like waterpaaltjes voeltbal, giant mikado and frisbee. Also individual games like poi and diabolo are fun to do or learn. Also there is the biggest swimming pool of the Netherlands: the sea!

If all families bring some food (enough for yourself and two others) we can have a huge picnic around 12.30 o'clock. In the afternoon there is a yoga class and we'll build sandcastles and play more games.

If you want to join this event, sign up on the meeting page, we would like to know how many people are coming. Please bring friends who are not yet a member of CS as this is a perfect introduction to Couchsurfing.

What to bring: The usual stuff like towels and swim suits, favorite games of the children and food/drinks.

During the meeting you can contact us on 06 389 259 52

We hope to see you all on the 13th of June! Greetings from Ilse, Maarten and Lilou

Visit the Deltaworks in Zeeland!

The Dutch know how to manage the water. It's been a constant struggle in the past centuries, with the lowpoint being a major flood in 1953 with thousands of people drowning. Nowadays big dikes keeps the water out succesfully. One of the major accomplishments in the fight against the water is the 'Deltaworks' in Zeeland, in the southwest corner of the Netherlands, with the Eastern Scheldt storm surge barrier being the masterpiece. The first part of the Deltaworks was built about 50 years ago, and the Eastern Dam was finished in 1986. Check for more information:

I think both Dutch people and foreigners would love to see the Delta works with their own eyes. For me it's been a while as well, so that's why I'm setting up a meeting event for June 5th. The enthusiasm was overwhelming in the first few days with over 20 people signing up. We are working on the program now, but it will include a museum visit and a visit of the outside structures. It could be a whole weekend event with camping for those who want to, or we could have a night program in a city afterwards. It depends on you as well. Ideas and suggestions are very welcome. So please sign up, and let's make it a fun event! We'll keep you updated.


Songfestival Meeting in Utrecht

Everybody has an opinion about the Eurovision Songfestival. Some like the music, some like the show, some think it is only favoritism, but everybody loves to see who gets 12 and who gets 0 points.

  • Will the Netherlands give 12 points to Turkey again?
  • Will the Scandinavians give all points to each other again?
  • Will Turkey and Greece give points to each other?
  • Will any of Turkeys neigbours give them points?
  • Will the Netherlands finally reach the finals again?
  • Are there still enough Poles in Ireland to give them 12 points?

and the most important one:

  • Will Israel give points to Germany?

Of course we will also vote ourselves, we'll see who predicted the winner, but more important, we will see which songs the couchsurfers actually DO like.

Sing up here


Midsummernight in the park in Utrecht

Again Utrecht has prepared a whole weekend full of activities in the park around Midsummer Night

The submeetings are made, so sign up before it is too late!

- Meeting each other with nice drinks and fun games

- A crazy quest in the centre of Utrecht finding the lost couchsurfer

- A chance to see the Netherlands play football against Japan in South Africa

- Creative workshops in the park

- A diner made by the Utrecht Cooking team (bring your own plates this time!)

- A new ceremony celebrating the sun going down

- A lazy sundayafternoon-brunch

These pictures of last year will give an impression of what you might expect:

Midsummer Lampions

Midsummer fireshow

Crazy people in Utrecht

The whole group of 2009



Flash Mobs in the Netherlands

Flash mobs have been taking cities all over the world by storm since around 2003, though until recently they were not common-place in the Netherlands. A flash mob is a large group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform an unusual act for a brief period of time, and then quickly disperse. At the first ever recorded flash mob 150 people arrived at a flooring shop, claimed to live together in a warehouse and showed interest in buying the same rug. Exactly 10 minutes later the crowd suddenly disappeared.

Reading about this first flash mob inspired me to research the phenomenon. As I sat captivated by videos of flash mobs on Youtube, the idea of organising one in my home city became increasingly exciting. Admittedly it took a bit of work, but within a few weeks eager participants were signing up on Couchsurfers, Hyves and Facebook.

The afternoon went off without a hitch. At the appointed time on Saturday 20th February 2010 the signal was given. Couchsurfers ran out of shops, jumped up from benches, suddenly stopped window shopping, and got down on their knees and fanatically worshiped a small statue in the busy shopping area of Rotterdam. Passers by looked on with confusion and surprise, as the mob disappeared just as quickly as it had appeared. You can find “Worship the Sock Bears” on Youtube. Our after party proved highly successful as Rotterdam’s Tiki Bar kindly agreed to open early for us.

If you’ve ever been part of a flash mob you’ll know the immense amount of fun involved. If you haven’t yet, don’t fear, there are many more entertaining events looming on the horizon. On Saturday 3rd April at 15:00 there will be massive pillow fights worldwide! The pillows of Rotterdam and Amsterdam, along with over 120 other cities will be celebrating together as never before. Interested? Check out our group


Couchsurfers’ Music Exchange: Different cultures different music styles

During my Australasian half-year-in-between-jobs I’ve encountered it several times: backpackers I randomly met that have the best suggestions of music I might like after listening to some of my stuff on my ipod. Of course you’re somewhere dodgy and that’s exactly the point where you are being pushed into another rundown bus and you forget to write down the artists and titles of the songs your musical muse told you. You tell yourself you’ll remember it till you find pen and paper. An hour later you completely forget about it.

That’s how the idea of the Couchsurfers’ Music Exchange started: it’s a meeting where CS listen to other CS’ music and give “if you like this you might also like”-type of suggestions. (besides writing down some tracks themselves, of course). To keep it civilized nothing is actually copied on the spot (except for some open source tracks). The first meeting took place the 1st of March at the “La Place” on the top floor of the OBA (library) near Amsterdam Central. A happy and culturally diverse group of around 15 people brought their laptops, ipods, headphones and harddrives to share their taste in music. A combination of hip-hop, electro, lounge, classical music, dutch music and bollywood was the outcome. The atmosphere was open and relaxed; a beautiful start of a monthly little festival of music lovers.

The next one will be held Thursday 1st of April at the same spot. Keep an eye on the Couchsurfing events calendar for more info.


Arnhem Calling?

Sytse gaat op zoek naar iemand die een verhaal wil schrijven

Bowling meetings

Astrid schrijft een stukje

Happy times in Zwollywood - Sardines

What do you do when your with over 10 couchsurfers in a abandoned school (which will be demolished in 2 weeks) and because it is Earth Hour you just turned off all the lights?

Answer: Sardines!

Sardines is reversed hide and seek; one person hides and the rest seeks. When you've found the person that is hiding you crawl next to this person untill you've reached the point that one person is looking for everybody.

Both the location and the group of couchsurfers appeared to be perfect for this game. We've been hiding under the sink, under chairs and even in the shower of the teachers dressing room on the gym of the school. In the end we got so good that we even managed to let somebody sneak out and come back with chips.

The next step: Sardines on saturday afternoon on Utrecht Train Station (let me know if you want to join in)

picture1, picture2, picture3, picture4


News from Cs Netherlands (rechterbalk)

Ideas for meetings

At the last meeting of the Netherlands CS organisation we brainstormed about ideas for possible meetings. Some of those ideas are already being organised and can be found in this newsletter. Some of those ideas can be found below. Do you want to help with organising any of these ideas, contact Liza or any other member of the Netherlands CS Organisation.

- Sardines (see for explanation in this newsletter) on Utrecht Central Station

- Rubix cube party (come in different colored clothes, leaves in the same color)

- Making up stories, tell them to each other and guess which one is true and which one made-up

- Make pubquizes

- Bike meetings, double city bike tour and meetup half way in between the cities (like Utrecht-Amsterdam, Arnhem-Zwolle, Den Haag-Rotterdam)

- Meetup at the last metro or tram stop

- Singing songs from "Kinderen voor kinderen"

- Theatersport/imporv theater

- Sharades (hints)

- International invasions, to (Newcastle, Duisburg, Gent)

- Meetup where you don't know where you will end up: 2x left 1x right for a ... period of time and see where you end up

Couchsurfing in the media

More and more media are noticing Couchsurfing, after 3opreis, Arnon Grunberg in NRC and many more also Elsevier found our about couchsurfing.

Elsevier recently wrote an article about a CS event in Eindhoven and 'Het Reformatorisch Dagblad' made an interview with Liza

Tilburg CS was in the news twice for so far. A tv show called Campus in Beeld, whose host surfed a couch in this city and an article in the student paper.

New 'rules' for travelling (and Couchsurfing) in India

For everybody who is planning to surf in India this summer something to keep in mind:

In the aftermath of the recent terror attacks & keeping in view the not so good geo-political relationships, the govt has decided to become more stringent on rules regarding stay of foreign nationals in India. Several state govts. have started cracking the whips on errant Hotels, Hostels & Homestay owners...

The Foreigners Registration Act (FRA) states the rules & regulations to be followed by all Hotels, Hostels, Homestays, Resorts, Private homes (which is where all CS hosts fall under), Dormitories...etc. The "C" Form, which is available in all Police stations has to be filled out by the visitor and thats a formality which has to be strictly followed. The "C" Form collects the details of the passport of the foreigners, where they were coming from, and the duration of their stay. (Under the 1992 Registration of Foreigners Rules (Section 14) Act. The C Form to be submitted to the government should have information about their native country, date of their arrival, duration of stay, purpose of the visit and date of their departure. The details should be signed off by the host who was accommodating them.

If anybody is accommodating a foreign guest on a personal visit in his or her house, they should also inform the police department as per the Foreign Registration Rules. Failure to provide information to the authorities by the hosts would invite a punishment of imprisonment up to five years and a fine.

Now these are the requirements of the law...:)

For Surfers - this filling up of the C Form is a formality - when ever you check into a hotel - they will photocopy your passport & make you sign the C form anyway, just that you don't have to go to the police thats an additional task for you...but in return you will get the hospitality of a good host...whether you would want to do this is your choice, but the request will be to follow the law & make yourself & the host safer in the city...

one of the reasons the police are insisting on compliance on Form C is not only to stop unwanted elements from misusing the facilities of the state but also for your security...just in case - nationals of a particular country have to be given extra protection - then they can effectively do so...

just 3 weeks back - we had a high profile visitor from the US who was on a private visit, but b'coz of the current situation, the moment we notified the cops, a constable on duty was provided as extra protection, just in case....yes, this doesn't hold for 99% of CS guests, but nevertheless, we would like to comply with the laws of our land, and hope that you too will...:)

hope this brings the clarity to all those who are going to be hosts & surfers in India...


Nomadic adventures (linkerbalk)

Do you have a nice travelstory? Tell us!

Sytse heeft contact gezocht met een interessante surfer Jasper gaat nog contact zoeken Zie voorstel vragen in de newsletter werkgroep

Interview with Marc

1. How did you find out about Couchsurfing?

An Amsterdam friend of mine had been hosting people already for some time, and he kept bugging me with saying it is really something for me. So I finally signed up and I was lost: totally fell in love with the concept, the openness and the trust between people who are everywhere just that: people.

2. How did you participate in CS until now?

I have mostly been a nomad until now. 4 years ago I left Holland with the idea to travel for maximum a year. It became 2 and then 3 and then 4...... I met hundreds of CS'ers, people who hosted me, who I travelled with, who I did an activity with, who I met on meetings, parties, took a biketour with, hitchhiked with, walked throught the desert with and even hosted in a temporary home I had :) It is just amazing that there is a community of people all over the world (and growing!) who want to share their life, their experiences, their...

3. How do you combine travelling with your professional life?

This question is a typical northwest-european question, only people there ask it :-) If you are travelling in other places in the world, You will never get that question, but questions like: what did you learn as a human, what kind of people did you meet, what amazing experiences do you have if you travel so long etc I'll answer the question like this: Actually, if you travel outside of the 'material' western world, you discover how hospital people are. Especially in the African, Arabian and East-european societies people invite you all the time for tea, dinner or to stay over, also outside cs. And in these cultures it is often an offence to do something back, so you have a hard time spending money! Also: Travelling over land by hitchhiking, local busses, local trains is extremely cheap and beautiful: the whole fact of travelling 'slow' makes you really get to know the countries, the people and the culture. OK OK, if you really want to know: I worked and saved some money before I departed, and because I have a free job, (I am an teacher/director of theatre, circus and voice), it is quite easy for me to work on the way. (but I didn't really need to)

4. What is the most special experience you ever had through couchsurfing?

That's a difficult question, I had so many amazing experiences: -Being hosted in an Hotel in Jordan, because the CS member was the owner, -Climbing the tablemountain in Capetown in midst of the day in summer (stupid!) with a local guy from the townships. -After a 42 hours drive in a 'bush-taxi' from Guinnee via Senegal to Gambia being invited to a wedding of the brother of a CS'er. The whole high-society of Gambia and Sierra-Leone turned out to be at this wedding, and 2 smelly cs-ers -Hitchhiking all over Moldova, because my host didn't feel like staying in the capital and going to school -After walking for days through the Negev desert getting a shower at a cs'r who was also a 'national trail angel'

5. What is the most special place you ever visited?

Pffff, same problem as above.. If I really have to choose: Visiting the San people (Bushman) in the Kalahari desert in Namibia. These people are so amazing: If you look into their eyes, you see a deep wisdom and the fire of a child at the same moment. I was able to talk with them, because their 2nd language after their own (the language with the 12 'clicks') is Afrikaans, which is related to Dutch! Because it was apparent there were no young girls walking around with babies, like you expect of 'tribe' people, I asked why. Their answer: We don't get children before the age of 30, because then you are wise enough not to project your problems on your children. .... I rest my case

6. What is your favourite means of travel?

Hitchhiking. slow, really being inside of the country, meeting locals. the best way! Once I had a ticket from Hamburg to Israel because it was the cheapest I found. The only thing was that I was in Porto, Portugal. :-) I already booked a ryanair ticket from Portugal to Hamburg via London. And then I got an offer to drive with truckdrivers from Portugal via Belgium to Hamburg, so of course I skipped my ticket!!!

7. What should every traveller bring in his/her suitcase?

-Book: the little Prince -Object: a red nose -Paper and marker for Hitchhiking -Not enough money, so you will improvise The suitcase itself should be small and < 15 kg. I had many cases that I took my daypack to visit someone for a few days, and I ended up travelling with it for many weeks. It made me realize I actually didn't need the stuf in my 'big' bag :-)

8. what would your advise be to other (new) travellers?

-Always follow your intuition. It is always right! (no need for explanations) -Travel slow!!!! Stay a long time in countries! I tried to be at least 6 weeks or even a few months is places, because you slowly sink into the local culture and really start to understand on a deeper level about the people, the land, the culture. -never by Return tickets (or worse: RTW tickets). Because I followed my intuition, I ended up in places and with people I couldnt have planned at all beforehand.

If you follow the flow of life and surrender, it will show you the beauty of what travelling is really about: the Journey inside.

Hitchhiking from Bremen to Stockholm

Check the weblog of Tommy for more.

I hitchhiked up to Stockholm, because the only home I have is the road. It took me three days to get to Stockholm for one reason, and one alone: Some hitchhiking places in Sweden suck. It took me a while to realise that in Scandinavia on-ramps with your thumb out are actually better than their gas stations which are often at least a km from the highway, small, and frequented by locals, not long-distance drivers.

The first day of the hitch up was really lucky. Even though it ook me 3 or 4 hours to get out of Bremen, right before Kiel I met Jørg. Jørg was a german from Dortmund, moving to Sortland, up north in Norway (Yeah, it's pretty far up). He had all his stuff with him and he was taking the ferry from Kiel to Gøteborg, and since he was paying the same amount regardless of the amount of people in his car, he had no problem taking me along.

photo My free bed on the right. Jørg on his on the left.

The next day, the ferry docked at 9 and by 9 30 we were on our way North, where I got stuck for a long time before moving on to Karlstad, where I pulled some strings to stay a night with Elina's boyfriend's friend's neighbor. (Elina being my host in Stockholm, whom I hadn't met yet, technically making Marion Carel's friend's boyfriend's friend's neighbor. Then of course true to my nature, I left the very instrument used for the pulling of aforementioned strings (read: my phone) in Karlstad.

So after a romantic 5 days in Stockholm, I ha to pick up my phone again and finally go home. No way was I going to find an excuse to spend even more time in a meter of snow.

Exotic couches (linkerbalk)

Do you have a nice hosting story? Tell us!


Who can beat 8 people?

Interview with a 'exotic host'

From now on every newsletter we want to introduce you to a host in the Netherlands. This edition we'll start with Gerard in Bergschenhoek, near Rotterdam.


1 How did you find out about Couchsurfing?

In September 2006 I red an article about CS in a local newspaper. I got interested and informed myself at an experienced Couch-Surfer: Urbian Fitz-James. He talked so enthusiastic that I made a CS profile myself the same evening.

2 What makes your couch special?

My guest(s) get their own room: I have a guestroom with a nice bed next to the bathroom. I prefer one or two guests at a time, so I can give them as much attention. I wanna be social with my guests: We have the meals together and I show them around. I live between Rotterdam and The Hague; also Delft and Gouda are quite close by. I love to tell them about the Dutch history, culture and way of thinking: liberal and independent. I show them the typically Dutch landscape 'polder below sea-level' and let them taste Dutch specialties as 'stroopwafel', 'kroket', 'drop' and 'poffertjes'.

3 Tell about a special person you hosted?

In 2008 I was Couch-Surfing myself in Brazil. I also visited the Amazon's-region, with Manaus as capital. There, in the jungle, I found a Couch-Surfer: André, a guy of 21, who picked me up from the airport, helped me as much as he could and showed me around. This young man spoke: Dutch! He visited our beautiful country already three times, each time several weeks, and fell in love with the Netherlands. In January 2009 he stayed at my place for three weeks and we had a wonderful time together. We still have contact.

4 What place near your couch would you recommend everybody to visit?

A very nice small town is Delft: very Dutch, full of history, lots of things to see and to do. I love to show my guests around at the 'grote markt', and tell them about the royal graves in the 'Nieuwe Kerk', Hugo de Groot, Vermeer and the old houses and town-hall. There are nice bars, restaurants, souvenir-shops and terraces in Delft.

5 What do you like to see in a good couchsurf request?

In a good Couch-Surf request the guest writes about himself (or herself) and tells me why he wants to come to the Netherlands. I always give newbies the favour of the doubt and welcome also young starters in our CS community.

6 Which sort of guests do you prefer?

I prefer guests who don't come for the red-light district and the cannabis! I love guests who are interested in the Dutch way of living, way of thinking, culture and who wanna let them show around. Guests who let me decide where to go, see the most and have the nicest time.

7 Which host should we interview in the next newsletter?

I suggest to interview Urbian Fitz-James, mentioned before. He made me enthusiastic and helped me the first year with advice and recommended me as starting host at guests.

CS house

Couchsurfing house #1 – Casa Merode in Tilburg

What do you get when you combine five couchsurfers, liters of coffee, a vegetable garden, a crossword puzzle in the toilet and lots of people coming in and going out every day? Casa Merode (CM) is the one and only CS-house in Tilburg. All inhabitants are members of CouchSurfing and enjoy having guests.

“We can refer to ourselves as a CS house, but we are more like a collective of nice people who just live together and happened to members of CouchSurfing.” Sofia, from Sweden, is the only ‘real foreigner’ living in Casa Merode. The other housemates (Lukas, Erik, Susy and Bram) love to travel and don’t mind speaking English when she’s around (and sometimes even when she’s not), but are all born in The Netherlands.

“This house feels like an international home” is something we have all said on several occasions. It’s almost like a family, with lots of respect and love. We cook, eat and hang out together, we look out for each other. There’s no stupid cleaning schedules and fights about who drank someone else’s milk. We use common sense and the simple rule ‘if you finish something, replace it’.

And then there’s CouchSurfing. Tilburg does not get a whole lot of travelers coming through, but it’s very nice to have some guests once in a while. Casa Merode has an average of 2 guests a month. But we would like some more! So, this is an official statement for everyone who reads this: If you’d like to stay, or just drop by in our house in Tilburg, send one of us a message through CS!


More about Casa Merode: Two guys from Campus in Beeld (tv programme in Nijmegen) surfed our couch a few weeks ago and it’s to be found on Youtube now. Also we’ve been interviewed for a local student-paper (in Dutch). And then there’s our CS-group and Wiki .

Noot voor Jasper: foto’s kun je vinden op Lukas’ of Sofia’s profiel Lukas: Susy: Sofia: Erik: Bram:

traveltip (linkerbalk)

Get a phone without SIM-lock and get a new SIM-card whenever you enter a country in which you plan to stay for more than 5 days. It saves you (and your CS-hosts) loads of money.