Spending last week working and hanging out in Amsterdam was fun; here’s some observations from an Amsterdam/Netherlands newbie:
- I knew there would be bikes but I just didn’t realize just how many there would be. It’s a shame motorbikes and small cars (Canta’s) also share the dedicated bikeways.
- The tourist party scene full of “coffee shops”, mini casinos and sex in the city is alive and well, it’s just not my scene at all – rather disgusting.
- Riding a bike 10 mins from our hotel just south of the city centre means you can discover a windmill, the Amstel river, beautiful green countryside and a small goat farm. Riding outside the city center is much easier as there is less “traffic” and it’s still flat like the rest of Amsterdam.
- I noticed there’s rubbish and litter everywhere – some people just throw and leave rubbish and expect some other people to clean it up. The party scene makes this even worse.
- Someone tried to swipe my wallet in broad daylight – besides this I felt safe most of the time.
- Most of the prices were similar to Australia but in Euro instead of AUD which mean it was about 40% more expensive than home.
Answered by Patrick Mathieson on Quora
- Have a routine that you use to start your day that becomes automatic and thoughtless.
- Selectively avoid tasks that you suspect may be unimportant.
- Reduce the number of ways people can reach you.
- Get comfortable not having an opinion on most things.
- Remember that in 200 years, it’s very likely that nobody alive will know that you ever existed
Worth a read.
Also this, and this, and this.
We’ve been living in an unrenovated 1950s house since May this year. Not only do we save lots of money on rent but we’ve discovered there’s actually some really cool things about old houses 😎
- Open plan is overrated – being able to close the doors between rooms – particularly when you have screaming kids – is a godsend
- You don’t need so many mirrors – modern houses have built-ins with full length mirrors galore – these aren’t necessary – just learn to look at yourself less
- Hanging ceiling lights are fantastic – we have different hanging lights in every room, heaps cooler than downlights which mean you can’t even change the bulb yourself
- Your house should be smaller than your garden – modern houses have this the opposite way around and it’s all wrong
- Shower curtains and a bath tub are easier than glass shower screens – it’s a pain to clean glass shower screens when shower curtains do the job well and you can just put them through the wash.
I’ve been lucky enough to fly Qantas internationally in all cabin classes. One of the key differentiators of cabin classes is usually quality and variety of alcohol but since I don’t drink I’ll compare the tea.
- Qantas Economy (B747/A380): narrow seat with average leg room, tea comes pre-brewed in paper cup, no amenities kits, cabin smells like fart.
- Qantas Premium Economy (B747): a slightly wider seat with slightly more leg room, tea comes pre-brewed in small porcelain cup, small ‘Country Road’ amenities pouch (toothbrush and eye mask), lots of people pretending to be people they’re not, and wine discussion; cabin smells less like fart.
- Qantas Business (A380/B747): a wide seat turns into a fully flat bed (with the world’s thinnest mattress topper), tea comes freshly made in small porcelain cup, amenties kits contain actually useful products; feels like a rich person pyjama party.
- Qantas Business (B747 Upper Deck): same as Business class on the lower deck of the B747 but a much cosier cabin size, especially when you have a whole row of four seats to yourself. Plus you can see the cockpit (see pic). Feels like flying on a private jet; so worth it.
- Qantas First Class (A380): instead of having a seat you have a suite which is like a mini cabin all to yourself. There’s no meal or drinks service, you order whatever you want whenever you want. There are so many staff as soon as you turn your head someone is there. Amazing SK-II amenities kits. Tea comes freshly made in a pot. The pilots come and say hello. As close as you can get to heaven at 40,000 feet.
…by Australian standards
Don’t take me the wrong way – there nothing particularly wrong with these – we just choose not to conform 😎 (at least for the time being – things change)
Continue reading five ways our family is unconventional…
Here’s five of my app ideas to cut out the middlemen:
- App for people looking to pay for dates – cutting out pimps
- App for people looking for local guides – cutting out tour companies
- App for people wanting to swim in your pool – cutting out public pool operators
- App for people wanting to find local roadside produce stalls – cutting out produce wholesalers
- App for people wanting someone to cut their hair in their home – cutting out hair salons ✂️
The thing I realised is that all these ideas are basically replacing a community service with a paid app idea.
Even Uber falls into this category. One day not so long ago if you needed a lift to the airport you’d ask a friend or family member. Now you just call an anonymous Uber. Parents even use Uber to drive their kids to school – who cares about asking a friend if they’d help out?
So instead of paying someone to swim in their pool you could make friends with neighbours and use theirs. Instead of charging someone to take them on a tour of your city you can make friends for life by doing this for free. Instead of paying for a date…
It seems every app idea I have is about de-personification and capitalism of society. Why can’t apps make society a better place?