netherlands Tag

I May Have Just Saved You from a €95 Fine

I May Have Just Saved You from a €95 Fine!

Lockdown cardboard is overflowing on the streets of Amsterdam! Ever wonder what would happen if an entire city would start working from home, ordering everything online and then dumping their used cardboard boxes all at once? Welcome to Pandemic 2021.
In Amsterdam, the annual Garbage Collection fee went up by a huge amount this year. But the pace of garbage collection hasn’t noticeably increased. One thing that HAS increased is the Handhaving / BOA’s and civil servants who give out cash penalties to anyone caught leaving their garbage / recycling outside the underground garbage containers. Never mind that they’re often choked up and overfull! The sign says ‘IF this container is full, it is your responsibility to continue on to the next available one.’
I had one neighbor tell me she went to recycle her cardboard, and she ended up going to 5 different containers before she gave up and put her stuff right next to a container. The next day, she realized she had left her address on one of the pieces of cardboard. How did she realize? Because she had uniformed police at her door to give her a €95 euro fine.

GARBAGE LIBERATOR
I have a paper recycling container across from my house. While it frequently seems full, often it’s simply jammed. If only I could get the key to that side panel… And then one of my neighbors told me – you can get that key by adopting a garbage container. SO I did it! In January, 2021. I got the key to open the side panel and clear the paper jam, just like a good old copier machine at the office.
Last weekend, there was even an article in Het Parool about the amount of people who are adopting containers. Like me! But now I’ve realized something extra: my key also works on any number of underground containers in my neighborhood. SO when I’m out walking my dog, and we see a paper recycling container that seems to be overflowing… I can check to see if it’s just jammed. In the case of this video, yes it was only jammed. SO I unblocked the jam, I tossed in the excess cardboard, and I saved any number of people from getting a €95 penalty. Including Chygall White, the physical trainer, who ordered from Bol.com. SO now Chygall and I are connected on Linkedin. And maybe next time she’s ordering a book online, she can order mine.
WATCH:

HAPPY SINTERKLAAS! NL: ‘DON’T TELL ME WHAT TO DO!’

The following is an excerpt from Shapiro’s third book THE AMERICAN NETHERLANDER: 25 Years of Expat Tales, available internationally.

HAPPY SINTERKLAAS! NL: ‘DON’T TELL ME WHAT TO DO!’

Dutch culture is famous for its pragmatic solutions to thorny social problems. …And then there’s Zwarte Piet. The Black Pete debate has created something like a ‘Dutch culture war.’ And I’m neutral! As for me, I must say I respect the historical significance of Zwarte Piet. I respect the Dutch historical through-line known as ‘Don’t tell me what to do!’ The ‘Don’t tell me what to do’ mentality goes all the way back to the Spanish Revolution. (And the ‘Don’t tell me what to do’ mentality is still on display in many Dutch restaurants.)

In 2013, the UN’s Verene Shepherd referred to the tradition of Zwarte Piet as ‘colonial.’ Her solution? She demanded that the Netherlands drop the entire Sinterklaas tradition, in favor of Christmas – a demand which is by definition ‘colonial.’ The Dutch backlash to Shepherd’s statement was intense! It was a perfect example of Dutch ‘Don’t tell me what to do!’ Veren Shepherd may as well have said, “From now on, you all have to be Catholic.”

2020 Is Different
But then in 2020, Prime Minister Rutte told parliament: “I have met many people with dark skin, who said they feel discriminated against because Zwarte Piet is Black. And that is the last thing that we want during the Sinterklaas celebrations.” Apparently, #BlackLivesMatter protests really do work. Before 2020, Mark Rutte’s attitude was: “I thought we exported all our racism to America when we sold them the slaves.”

I realize there are still Dutch people who find this topic to be upsetting. As Zwarte Piet fans continue to point out, the original Sinterklaas was not even Dutch. Saint Nicholas came from Myra in Turkey. And if Sinterklaas’ boat is supposed to come from Spain, then the dark-skinned Spaniards aboard are Moors, as in ‘from Morocco.’ So – however you feel about Zwarte Piet – don’t forget that the biggest holiday of the Dutch calendar is actually being run by a Turkish guy and a bunch of Moroccans.

Gregory Shapiro (b.1968) is a comedian, author and corporate speaker with 20 years of experience. He is currently touring the Netherlands with his solo show Leaving Trumpland, in which he says goodbye to the Trump voice he has done since the ‘Netherlands Second video’ from Zondag Met Lubach.

The American Netherlander – Click here for more

Theater review Leaving Trumpland ArtsTalk Magazine

Theater Review Leaving Trumpland

THEATER REVIEW: Leaving Trumpland

‘A Very Sharp and Dangerous Edge’
ArtsTalk Magazine, 14 October 2020

 

by Michael Hasted
Every serious comedian – I mean the ones with something relevant to say, not those that are not funny – must rub their hands with glee when someone like Donald J. Trump appears on the world stage. Love ‘em or loath ‘em, they are both larger-than-life characters. And they provide unlimited grist to the comedians’ mill.

Greg Shapiro is an American comedian who’s been in Amsterdam and fully assimilated into the Dutch way of life for over 25 years. But like any ex-pat, the ties that bind can never be fully severed. And you can feel his pain and anger at his homeland being brought to its knees by a president who is impossible to respect. And easy to despise and deride. Shapiro has his own personal axe to grind. His stepfather was killed by Covid 19 due, Shapiro believes, to the unwillingness or ineptitude of the Trump administration in taking the pandemic seriously.

Touring During Covid

Shapiro has dined out, professionally, on Trump for more than four years. He’s provided the President’s voice in various venues and scenarios and lampooning him in his numerous stand-up routines. But now it’s only a short time before, hopefully, Trump is ousted. Shapiro is shedding the voice and the jokes. And hopefully, along with the rest of the world, he’s moving on to pastures new. So he and all of us, with any luck, will be leaving Trumpland.

This tour is, perhaps optimistically, a pre-celebration of Trump’s demise. But it has been slightly compromised by the CoronaVirus restrictions. A thirty strong audience in a small club can be intimate and cosy; in a five-hundred-seater theatre where everyone is spread all over the room, it can seem the opposite. Nevertheless, Shapiro is a seasoned pro and he ain’t gonna let a little thing like that throw him.

A Very Sharp and Dangerous Edge

Despite having spent half his life in The Netherlands and having a Dutch family, Shapiro is still unmistakably American. He is almost of the old school, almost a stereotypical American. With his smart suit, Brooks Brothers shirt, neat hair and smooth delivery, one could almost imagine him as a 1950s crooner in a previous incarnation. But despite that, there is a very sharp and dangerous edge to the man. There’s an edge that cuts deep into Dutch and American politics and society, revealing the flaws and eccentricities as well as the myriad things that should be celebrated in both cultures. He has a unique viewpoint from where he can gaze on both sides, subjectively and objectively, all at the same time.

In Leaving Trumpland, Shapiro’s American family no longer asks, “When are you coming home?”, but “Can’t I come with you to the Netherlands?” Shapiro says he has never been so proud to be half-Dutch and that, looking at the current state of the USA, he finally understands the true meaning of gloating.

If you don’t know Greg Shapiro, I would highly recommend you buy yourself a ticket for this current tour. Discover a comedian who is not only very funny but one who applies his unique situation to provide telling insights into life on both side of, as they say, the big pond. It is no longer a case of God Bless America but one of God Help America. And us all, come to that.

http://artstalkmagazine.nl/greg-shapiro-presents-leaving-trumpland-on-tour/

 

Theater review Leaving Trumpland ArtsTalk Magazine

 

MORE GREG SHAPIRO THEATER AND BOOK REVIEWS : 
https://gregshapiro.nl/media/theater-reviews-for-greg-shapiros-latest-shows/

 

Greg Shapiro Reviews

REVIEWS

Book Reviews

‘So funny you’ll hardly be able to put it down’ – I AM EXPAT

‘Chuckle away the hours …plenty of entertainment here ‘ – DutchNews

‘Recommended on all levels’ – ArtsTalk Magazine

Book Review: THE AMERICAN NETHERLANDER
‘Sharp eye for detail …hilarious point of view’
Access Magazine, April 2021
by Giulia Quaresima

“With a sense of humour and sharp eye for detail …this is a good starting point to understanding life in the Netherlands. This book tells the story of Shapiro’s personal cultural adventure and assimilation in the Netherlands. …[it’s] a manual to understand the country, using the author’s personal anecdotes for a subjective and hilarious point of view.

The second part of the book is a Dutch assimilation test. [it’s] a collection of all the questions that should be included in the inburgering exams. According to Shapiro, these reveal more than the exam ever intended.
Give it a try and see how Dutch you are!”
(edited from the original)

For full review, click here:
https://gregshapiro.nl/blog/access-magazine-reviews-greg-shapiros-third-book/

BOOK REVIEW – Greg Shapiro How to Be Orange (Nov., 2013)

‘Humorous, funny, hilarious. Very nice book’
– NBD Biblion Dutch Library Administration

“In 1994, American comedian and columnist Greg Shapiro came to Nederland to perform and write. …He reports having had a bit of culture shock, to say it mildly. In this book, he describes his confrontations with Dutch culture and society. …and how he experiences it as an American Netherlander. This book consists of humorous columns …[and] all elements of Dutch society are thoroughly teased.

He begins with the Dutch identity …and he takes on cheapness, bikes, and our ‘striving’ to be average. …and finally [there’s] a list of questions from the actual Dutch assimilation exam.
Includes funny illustrations and color photos with hilarious observations add value to this very nice book.”
J. Kroes, NBD Biblion Dutch Library Council
(edited from the original)

Theater Reviews

‘Sharp Satire of America Under Trump’ – Theaterkrant NL

‘A very sharp and dangerous edge’ – ArtsTalk Magazine

‘Razor Sharp Humor with a Personal Touch’ – TheaterParadijs NL

‘Superior Trump Bashing’ Theater review Lock Him Up (Boom Chicago)

FOR REVIEWS OF THE MADNESS OF KING DONALD (2019), CLICK BELOW

Theater Review: LEAVING TRUMPLAND
‘A Very Sharp and Dangerous Edge’
ArtsTalk Magazine, October 2020

 

by Michael Hasted
Greg Shapiro is an American comedian who’s fully assimilated into the Dutch way of life for over 25 years. But like any ex-pat, the ties that bind can never be fully severed. And you can feel his pain and anger at his homeland being brought to its knees by a president who is impossible to respect.

 

Despite having spent half his life in The Netherlands and having a Dutch family, Shapiro is still unmistakably American. … there is a very sharp and dangerous edge to the man. He has a unique viewpoint from where he can gaze on both sides, subjectively and objectively, all at the same time.

If you don’t know Greg Shapiro, I would highly recommend you buy yourself a ticket for this current tour.
(edited from the original)

For full review, click here
http://artstalkmagazine.nl/greg-shapiro-presents-leaving-trumpland-on-tour/