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Donors Wanted!

Cheddar, UK (View on map) Every day, one person in the UK dies, while his or her life could have been saved by a donor organ. The United Kingdom has long lists of people waiting for an organ transplant to save their lives. A handful of European countries, including Spain, Austria, Belgium and Sweden have… » read more

Posted by Bruno

Internet replaces TV

Southampton, UK (View on map) Big Brother, imported from The Netherlands in 2000, grew out to be a big hit during the first two editions on British television. Clones and spin-offs like Teen Big Brother and Celebrity Big Brother saw the daylight shortly after, just like many other reality-based programs. After huge initial successes, the… » read more

Posted by Bruno

Childhood memories

Southampton, UK (View on map) Culture and traditions are handed over from generation to generation and the transmission usually starts at very young age. Childhood memories are therefore likely to be very culture-specific ? a good reason to harass some people with the following question: which is your first and/or best childhood memory? Sarah (23)… » read more

Posted by Bruno

A month off work

What would people do if they had a month of work? I initially planned to ask people what they would do if they only had one more month left to live but decided to change that in order not to scare people or have people tell me about somebody who had recently had the very same experience. So today`s question to people in London became: what if you were told today that you can have a month paid leave, starting tomorrow?

Posted by Bruno

UK vs US

They both live in a country that dominated the globe during several extended periods in history and yet, they do not have as much in common as people from the European mainland may expect: similarities between the United Kingdom and the United States are mostly limited to the English language and the way both countries are fanatic about spreading peace and democracy as guarantees for freedom. What do the British think about their North-Atlantic partners? Here`s a quick mix of some people`s opinions, just to prove that putting British and Americans on one pile does not do justice to either side.

Posted by Bruno

Terrorist threat

9/11 in the United States, 7/7 in London and 11/3 in Madrid. Many Europeans will recognise at least one of these numbers to terrorist attacks by suicide bombers. Fortunately, these events are happening on a much less frequent basis in EU countries than in some other parts of the world. London is supposed to be one of the best protected cities in Europe, especially after the terrorist bombings in 2005. But how does it feel to be constantly reminded that your life may be at risk?

Posted by Bruno

Religion and ideology

`God created the world, but the Dutch created The Netherlands` – Even though big shares of The Netherlands would not have existed without physical effort of Dutch human beings, this saying at least marks how much they believe in their own influence on the course of life. While official religions collectively praise God, many Dutch prefer to individually honour something. Believing in `something` has even been allocated the corresponding term `something-ism`. Here`s an overview of what `something-ism` sounds like in the streets of The Hague:

Posted by Bruno

Apart from the border between Friesland and the rest of The Netherlands, there`s another dividing line that crosses The Netherlands. The `big rivers` separate the traditionally catholic provinces Noord-Brabant and Zuid-Limburg in the South from the protestant ones in the North. Over the last 40 years, the influence of both religions has decreased, but differences remain. The three-day celebration of Carnival is one of the ways for the southern provinces to honour their distinctively different mentality.

Posted by Bruno

Early birds

During my two-week stay in Sweden, I learnt how reaching personal independence was the main purpose of parents raising Swedish kids. Children in The Netherlands are brought up with the same idea. At an average age of 18 to 20, Dutch children are expected or sometimes encouraged to leave their parental home. In the meantime, they are supposed to have learnt how to support themselves. Sideline jobs, known as `bijbaantjes` are an important stage of growing up. A good reason to ask some young Dutch people about their first jobs.

Posted by Bruno

Fresh start

A fresh start of the new year.. A few thousand Dutch people are taking that phrase literally. Today, on the first day of 2008, they gather for a collective dive into the North Sea. The summer beach resort of Scheveningen used to be the only official location for the New Year`s Dive. A number of alternative dives have been approved by sponsor Unox, but I selected the original Scheveningen one to ask people how they made it through the change of years.

Posted by Bruno