Randstad Rant

Please excuse me while I rant for a moment.

*deep breath*

Why do so few expat/event-related websites recognize Utrecht? There are four main cities that make up the Randstad of the Netherlands (with their surrounding cities, of course), AKA the four main cities: Amsterdam, Den Haag (The Hague), Rotterdam, and Utrecht. You’d never know Utrecht exists to see some of the websites. Even the Democrats expat group has events in the three other cities, but not in Utrecht.

It’s not as if we don’t have stuff going on, either. We’ve got the monthly Cultural Sunday, all sorts of other festivals and theater events, and this month we have the big Uitfeest event, but none of that ever gets mentioned on the websites that tell expats (and others) about what’s going on in the various cities.

We’re not some dinky, backwater city, either. We’ve got one of the major universities, so that means lots of international students and professors. There are big international companies in the general area, with international workers living in the area in and around Utrecht. There are plenty of other random expats in and around town here for a number of reasons. And as I said, we are one of the four major cities. So why do we always get left out of stuff?

I know there are numerous other cities in the country with their share of expats, and they don’t get much attention either, but they’re also not as centrally located as Utrecht. We’ve got the central train station! Everyone has to go through Utrecht! (OK, a slight exaggeration, but not that far off. Anyway, it’s my rant and I’ll exaggerate if I want to!)

Sorry, this is a pointless rant, but I received another monthly expat-related newsletter today with a listing of various events in other cities, and once again Utrecht was not on the list, even though the Uitfeest really should be on there, if nothing else. And yes, I did write to them (politely and calmly) and point out the upcoming event, which they will most likely add to their site’s calendar. It’s the principle of the thing, though.

*calming breath*

Now that I’ve got that out of my system, stay tuned for the boat story that is the continuation from yesterday’s breaking news. They weren’t exaggerating when they said it was an interesting story!

9 thoughts on “Randstad Rant

  1. 😀 Well, can you guess how it feels then, for someone who lives here in this neck of the woods? For all they care, we are still living in caves – no internet, no mobiles, no culture/cities worth exploring … Expats outside the Randstad are totally ignored…. etc.

    • I know! It’s a shame that really Amsterdam is the only one that ever gets any real attention. (Even Den Haag and Rotterdam don’t get anywhere near as much attention as the ‘Dam.) From reading what other expat bloggers write, at least I get a hint of all the other things going on around the country.

  2. Couldn’t agree with you more! To be honest though, you are looking at sites that are more comprehensive than the ones I get that only ever seem to cover Ams and Den Haag. There’s always something going on in Utrecht! I’m getting ready to do up my list for my blog on events in the Netherlands, so I’ll be sure to include Uitfeest. And, if I may say so, U-town is my favorite of the randstad

  3. What?! Not everyone lives in Amsterdam?! I can’t believe it! I so know what you mean though. It IS a shame that there are so many other neat places and all the focus just goes on a couple.

  4. Agreed! I think it’s not just the expats at fault, though. Whn I lived in Arnhem, I used to take weekend excursions through the northern villages and along the coast. On Mondays, when I returned to work to talk with Dutch colleagues about what I’d seen, few had ever visited that part of the country. The Dutch are such great travellers and go so far on vacations that it surprised me how little they seemed to get out beyond the immediate area around town.

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