The 10 most popular news stories on IamExpat in 2019
A lot happened this year, keeping our news editors quite busy. But what was it that really got you peeps reading? What was it that kept your attention this year? What news did you share with your friends, who shared it with theirs and so on? Well… Without further ado, here are IamExpat’s top 10 most popular news stories in 2019:
1. The I amsterdam sign is coming back to Museumplein
The removal of the I Amsterdam sign on Museumplein had you all up in arms last year, so when it was reported that it was coming back, you rushed to read about it. However, the joy that this news brought was short-lived, as it was only back for two days. Boo.
2. A huge transport strike across the Netherlands is coming!
The transport strike was big news, as many people would be affected by it. The morning rush hour on the day of the strike was feared by many. However, as the people were well-informed (because of articles like this ?), many took different measures, such as working from home or taking the day off.
3. First snowfall of the winter season in the Netherlands
When you read this headline for the first time, did it fill you with joy or absolute dread? In any case, the first snowfall of the winter season in the Netherlands fell in Heerlen and Kerkrade, the very south of Limburg, on November 17. It was mostly mixed with rain, however, so it didn’t settle. Will we see more snow this year? Perhaps. We will make sure to keep you posted!
4. Is the end of the OV Chipkaart in sight?
Ah, the OV Chipkaart. The travel card that has divided public opinion since it was first rolled out. It has been in use for quite some time, which is becoming a problem, as it is based on outdated technology. Trials with new payments systems are being carried out as we speak, and the Dutch government aims for the retirement of the OV Chipkaart in 2023. We’ll see.
5. Reports of poisonous caterpillars explode in the Netherlands
Not everyone had a great summer. A lot of people were dealing with health problems as the number of the pesky poisonous creepy-crawlies tripled. The stinging hairs of these critters can cause skin rashes, eye issues, breathing problems and severe allergic reactions. Luckily, many municipalities are gearing up to fight the nasty beasties next summer. Don’t worry, they are not planning to use dangerous chemicals, but nature itself.
6. New housing rules are coming to Amsterdam
It’s difficult to buy a house at an affordable price in Amsterdam (if not impossible). To make it more possible, the government is implementing new housing rules as of January 1, 2020. Certain people will be given priority for residences and Airbnb will be banned in certain areas. Will it work though? Time will tell…
7. The Netherlands could soon be experiencing an unprecedented plague of rodents
More creepy critters for number 7. This time, however, it’s rodents. From 2023, rat and mice poison will no longer be allowed to be used freely. This includes indoor poison pellets, which means we might soon see scores of rats and mice frolicking about on the street. Time to get a cat, perhaps?
8. Is summer in the Netherlands over already?
It was the scream heard all over the Netherlands: noooooooo. Just one more week of summer?! We will even settle for one day! Alas. While summer was not completely over just yet, it was the beginning of the end. Hope you said goodbye to the sun while you could because you won’t get a chance to see it again until…April? If we are lucky!
9. Tropical storm Lorenzo to pass over the Netherlands on Friday
More weather news at spot number 9! Luckily, it was not a big deal, as the storm had weakened significantly by the time it reached the Netherlands. Bringing us a lot of rain. But you should be (or get) used to that by now if you live here, Dutch weather and all of that. Tip: If you haven’t invested in an umbrella just yet, I admire your positivity, but it might be smart to buy one and keep it in your bag at all times. Just saying.
10. New tick virus on the rise in the Netherlands
Wow, you peeps really could not get enough of creepy-crawlies this year. This time, ticks! Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) was on the rise this year. This virus can be recognised by flu-like symptoms, such as fever, headaches, muscular and joint pain and worst-case scenario: meningitis. Yikes.