I was just informed that the smoking ban has arrived in the Netherlands. There will be no smoking allowed in restaurants as of June 1st. Good news, but too late for me!
More on NL - The bedding is an oddity to the Americans. A complete bed consists of a bottom sheet, which is more like a flannel mattress cover and a comfortor with a cover on it. That's it. No top sheet. And I thought, well maybe that's what they supplied the apartments with, so I looked in the stores for a set of sheets. They don't have them. Just comforter covers.
Bath Towels - way thin and small. Again, thinking it's just what they supplied the apts with. Checked the stores. Very thin towels is really all you can get. You can get bigger ones, like beach towel size, but still way thin.
Cost comparing - Hobbs, NM ramen noodles, $0.12. NL ramen noodles €0,40. Conversion makes that about $0.63. Meal for the 4 of us at McDonald's in US around $17.00, here it's around €21. Conversion makes that about $33.00. Nintendo DS games in US vary, but range from $20-30 new. Here they are €25-35. Conversion on that makes them about $40-55 dollars. Gas - US average is $3.45 a gallon. Here is is €1.50 a litre, roughly $9.00 a gallon. Most of that is tax. Derreck's NL co-worker told him for every litre of gas sold €1 is tax. This is just one reason we don't want socialized medicine in the US, because one of the ways they get the funding for it in NL is from the gas tax. Also every car is taxed based on it's weight. All you big truck owners beware! Diesel cars are taxed more because they are more fuel efficient and don't buy as much gas. The wages are taxed heavily here to provide for medical and retirement. So FYI socialized medicine advocates, it's got to come from somewhere. You think the US economy is bad now.