CS newsletter for the Netherlands
Draft 1st newsletter
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- stukjes over organisatie?
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- corrigeren: tot en met Arnhem Calling
- 1 Past meetings
- 2 Future meetings
- 3 Community uitgelicht/place unknown
- 4 CS Netherlands news
- 5 tips / trivia
- 6 foto couch
CSinterklaas Rotterdam 2009
For the 4th time couchsurfers in Rotterdam celebrated Sinterklaas, and like other times hunderds of couchsurfers from all around came over for this special event. This year even the organisation was a joint venture between couchsurfers not only from Rotterdam but from several Dutch cities and even a Belgian city. The climax was of course the visit of his holyness himself and the handing out of presents. Sinterklaas didn't start giving out presents immediately but had to talk to some couchsurfers who have been naughty in 2009 (hier kan mooi de foto met Liza en Sanne die op de testpagina stond). There were also lots of possibilities to discover Rotterdam or the many rituals around Sinterklaas.
We asked some people what they will do with the presents Sinterklaas gave them.
Sam: Give it to a boy I know very well.
Paul: I am going to put coins in it.
Sagnik: I will break this puzzle tonight, before I go to sleep.
The Sinterklaas meeting is always a great event with people from nearby countries taking Rotterdam by storm, and of course filling local couchsurfers' couches. It all starts innocently enough on the Friday where the main party is the speed dating mee... wait, that doesn't sound very innocent.
Alright, it IS innocent, it's a bit of a joke on the "CS is not a dating site" motto going around, but as my friend Ben said, that regardless of the joke: "So many people are going to hook up", which sounds like it definitely wouldn't be entirely untrue. Presented by Carel & the speed dating bitches (Damn, I'd buy music by a band with that name.) we were all given cards with suggestive questions on them, and when the other person answered them we'd get to write something related to that answer on their back for everyone to read, and mostly for yourself to read at the end of the night, especially if you're very self-absorbed.
After that, all the men spent half the night finding out who wrote "He is definitely gay" on their backs, because God forbid someone realizes the truth.
If you want to read more about Tommy's experiences click here
Sinterklaas Pastry Extravaganza!
Part of the Sinterklaas Event in the last weekend of November was the Sinterklaas Pastry Extravaganza!
For this meeting 21 people signed up but at the day itself about 10 people showed up. So did the Wizzard of Oss (the writer of this article).
As we arrived the host of this event, Maartje, already had some tea ready. The forecast told that it would be raining a lot that day so everybody was happy to be at this workshop not having to do sightseeing in the rain. After finishing the tea we all went to work.
We made 'pepernoten'. They are good for getting dirty hands and a good view on the recipe.
In the end after all our work we managed to prepare: pepernoten and cookies; the horse of Sinterklaas that was very tired; a flag (guess from wich country); meat (and a present vegetarian meat;-)) and fresh big pepernoten. Linda liked to color her fingers. A bored Couchsurfer with die sick dogs of the host Maybe someone was killed there. But when they saw this pepernoot everybody was happy again.
Everybody liked the baking extravaganza and because the group was small it was a very cosy meeting.
Sinterklaas in Utrecht
Sinterklaas was all over the Utrecht community for several days this year.
It all started with the monthly meeting of Friday December 4th when Sinterklaas left some nice presents for some nice couchsurfers. When Sinterklaas himself showed up it appeared that Utrecht had the honor of hosting the very politically correct Zwarte Klaas and Witte Piet who were quite willing to give all those naughty couchsurfers some decent spanking. After that it was time to say goodbye to Graham in Utrecht style: with something to write on, this time a table-cloth. On Pakjesavond (the evening of December 5th) Sinterklaas was to busy for us, so we had to make our Sinterklaas candy ourselves. Luckily Sint managed to come back from Spain on the 8th to attend the surprise evening of the Dutch lessons in Utrecht.
Winter Efteling meeting
It is in days like this that you understand what fairy tales are made of....
The obstacles we all had to endure to reach the park, the solidarity of couchsurfer heroes who, because of their patience and support, allowed other people to also live the experience of the Efteling and finally the magical surrounding & great company, provided the perfect ingredients for an unforgettable day in which our inner child had a blast!!
When the preparations started after the ambassador meeting we were thrilled to take up such a challenge for our small city.
Now, a few months later, the preparations are in full swing. Many people are working hard to create an event that is different, yet also familiar. With plenty of socializing and couchsurfing going on it is going to be an event where you make new friends but where you also have the chance to catch up with old ones.
What do we have in store for you????????
Be creative in the city tour: a tour where you will not just see the sights but also realize that Arnhem is a city full of culture, art, fashion, and fun. The tour is led by a notorious guide who also did the Zutphen tour, which turned out to be a great success. You can expect some really cool things during this tour and it will most definitely be worth your time. You might see something like this love poem here :)........
Je liep knarsend en piepend mijn licht in. Ik straalde diep en wilde dat ik dichter bij de grond was, verbonden met de aarde en met jou. Heb je mijn opwinding opgemerkt toen ik ineens blozend een beetje rood begon te schijnen? Ik deed het voor jou maar je was supersnel weer in de volgende schaduw verdwenen. Nu hang ik hier het donker weg te jagen, als een stel ganzen op zoek naar de zon, wegdromend bij je knaloranje kleur. Als je nog eens voorbij komt rollen, mag ik me dan in je mandje laten vallen? Dan kunnen we samen keet schoppen en de wereld al rollend verlichten met ons kattenkwaad. Voor eeuwig zal ik branden, tot je weer onder me door loopt. Jij bent mijn knarsende, piepende, “alles-op-rolletjes”.
(Sorry for the Dutch: it's not really translatable. The story is about a lamppost falling in love on another object. They need love too right.)
Loesje from Arnhem: you might know her or you might not, but she's famous !!!!! All around the world she distributes funny texts that make you laugh or think. And on the Arnhem calling meeting you get the chance to make your own Loesje text. In a 2 1/2 hour course you will learn all the ins and outs about Loesje and you will love her when you're done.
Some examples of Loesje texts:
The world is TOO ROUND to silently sit in the corner.
I woke up this morning and found the world on my doorstep.
One's plenty can be used to fill someone else's lack.
Is the earth still round if one side develops faster?
Have you ever been afraid?? Ever been so scared you were ready to wet your pants?
Your old scares won't mean a thing anymore! Be ready to be truly afraid....
Be ready to be HUNTED!!!!!
That is what you can expect in the hunt.
This nightly event will be held in Sonsbeek. And you can expect to be a scared at times. But nothing life threatening: we promise :)
Of course there will be more activities at Arnhem Calling, like a cool jam session and a pub crawl. Find out more about the program on http://www.couchsurfing.org/meetings.html?mid=49785.
In April 2010 there is about a SMALL CS meeting to Happen in and around 's-Hertogenbosch (also known as Den Bosch)
This meeting will be organised as one main eventlocation somewhere in or near 's-Hertogenbosch and several Sub-events during the day.
Check The meetingpage for all details as far as they are ready and signup to the subevents that you like.
In this meeting the following sub-events are part of the plan: - City walk around 's-Hertogenbosch (with all the stories doing it slow this meeting can take op to 4 hours for getting a good view on all the nice details of the city - Canal boat tour in the evening on the canal de Binnendieze (will start at 20:00 or 21:00 u reservation will be confirmed 100% in february) - Main party event in the evening (for gathering together and having fun) - Maybe a walk into the nature the next day.
Checkout the meetingpage for all the details about this nice happening.
Couch Surfing Alaaf! The Netherlands Alaaf! Traveller Alaaf!
CS Crazy Couch Surfing Carnaval in the Maastricht (NL) / Aachen (D) / Belgian village (B) Euregion.
We start on the 11th of February and go on until Ashwednesday on the 17th of February. Note that te official Carnaval days are 14, 15 and 16 February, be sure to stay till Monday, Tuesday or (best!) Ashwednesday! Besides sleeping, on Ashwednesday it’s a custom to go for “haringbijten”, usually with classical music!
All days there is the Carnaval Style Open CS House at Marten’s place, close to the central station and the center; for meeting, disguising and eating! During all days there are Carnaval activities from the end of the morning until deep in the night! Main organizers are Frank ~ inofficial CS Carnaval Ambassador ~ who’s guiding you through the traditions from the morning till midnight, and Marten whom you can follow for Carnaval “the nightlife edition”.
The organizers are giving each square cm, so just the two of us can already host 33 people at the same time!
Midsummernight in the park 2010
Still a long time to go, but you can already sign up to celebrate midsummernight in Utrecht for the 3rd time!
Jasper: imo we have to say something about those (see also this post in the NL org group: http://www.couchsurfing.org/group_read.html?gid=5031&post=4398815#post4512320). Maybe just a link to here might be enough.
Community uitgelicht/place unknown
The CouchSurfing Amersfoort community is a young CS group – one of the smaller ones in the Netherlands - that has however grown rather fast in the last couple of months. It currently counts 104 members of various countries.
Besides monthly meetings that usually take place on the first Friday of each month, other events and activities are organised on a regular basis. One example for such gatherings is the Polish Food @ Home meeting that took place in November 2009, attracting many CouchSurfers from Amersfoort, places elsewhere in the Netherlands as well as travellers from abroad. People brought typical Polish food – which was a home match for some and a rather challenging undertaking for others. Thanks to the host of this meeting and the professional guidance given by two Polish CouchSufers, this event was not only a very yummie one, but it also brought together many CouchSurfers who had never met before and turned out as big success and lots of fun. Besides, it inspired CS Amersfoort to arrange even more Food @ Home meetings with a specific country character. There have been an Indian and Italian Food @ Home meeting before, and there are doubtlessly many more to come.
Since the summer of 2009 the couchsurfers of Leeuwarden have tried to organize some meetings to get to know each other. After an ice-cream meeting and a meeting in a bar where three people showed up, we really got some people together at what's now called the first monthly meeting on Wednesday September 16th. We met at 'De Stee', a bar right across the bus- and train station, so people that had to come from outside of Leeuwarden could easily find it. After that we decided to have a monthly meeting on the Wednesday closest to the 15th of the month. So far we have had great fun meeting new people and people we met at other meetings. We are starting to make plans: city exchanges and couchsurfs with a theme like visit the place with the longest city name or visit at least one couch in every province in the coming year. If you are interested in meeting up with us. Check the upcoming event page at couchsurfing.com. Also if you are interested in a city exchange we would be glad to host a group from any city and show you around! You can contact us via the Leeuwarden CS group.
CS Netherlands news
CS location-database fixing
Among the different groups of volunteers who contribute to the site improvement, there is a team in charge of fixing and maintaining the Couchsurfing location database. This database contains the list of regions, countries, provinces and cities that you use when you select your location in your profile, when you do a CouchSearch or when you select the location of an event. Since last October, this team has started a comprehensive correction of the database for the Netherlands. This process is done province by province. As we write these lines, the provinces Noord-Holland, Zuid-Holland, Utrecht and Flevoland are completed while Noord-Brabant is in progress. The correction consists in: - checking the spelling of places names - relocating cities into the right province - merging cities when needed (like Etten and Leur which make Etten-Leur in Noord Brabant) - merging wrongly listed districts names with the city they are part of (like Statenkwartier which was merged with The Hague) - adjusting the cities coordinates (latitude and longitude) from which distances between cities are calculated: this is used when you make a CouchSearch with a x kilometers radius. All these changes aim to make it easier for surfers and hosts to find each other, as this is the core of Couchsurfing.
Family welcome Netherlands
Just for the people that have not had any experience with the so called “Family Welcome Group” I like to give a little introduction about this family friendly group.
It all started with a few people that like to use the CS system and take the children along. They formed a group, and soon many members popped-up and showed interest in sharing experiences and inviting other families to their house. International Family Meetings where soon organised, and all where very enthusiastic about the way their children started to get involved in hospitality and sharing towards others, finding a way around language barriers and enjoy many hours of fun with (inter)national friends.
More and more families joined in this fun, and now there even is a Family Welcome Group Netherlands. In this group Dutch families come together for sharing experiences and through the CS website can easily be found by other international families that like to visit the Netherlands. Please know that you not need to be a family yourself to join in on these groups, if you like to host or surf or share with families you are very welcome to join.
This spring we hope to organise a meeting where many families will be part of. Where the children can meet&play and parents can enjoy&share this great thing that is called Family Couchsurfing! So, if you are, or know a family that likes to get involved let them know about this wonderful group of people. We hope to see everyone soon!
tips / trivia
Traveltip for inside the Netherlands
If you like to do cheap sightseeing in Noord-Brabant than a good deal might be the dayticket that you can buy on request only from the busdriver. The system is simple: When you are boarding the bus you don't buy a normal ticket but a Dagkaartje and pay in cash exact 3 euro(often they can't change from bigger money). With this ticket you can use all busses in the complete province Noord-Brabant. As Brabant is one of the biggest provinces there are many things that you can visit for just that 3 euro in one day. You can plan your route at the 9292 routeplanner or if you have NO internet just dail: 0900-9292 (€ 0,70 p/m, max € 14,-)
Ever had massive numbers of people surfing your couch??? Was it ever so full you were afraid that it might break because of the sheer weight pressing on it. The Couchsurfing Newsletter challenges you to top 5 people on one couch. Easy? Proof it!!! Make a nice photograph of hordes of people on the same couch and tell us what happened. The best picture will be selected for the Couchsurfing newsletter volume II.