Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Crisis !

The photo above is from a magazine called "Z-magazine". Unemployed people buy it for 0,80 euro and can sell it for 1,50 euro at the door of supemarkets and train stations. It has a two-week edition; during spring and summer every threeweek. There are many volunteer journalists and about 60 temps ("stagiaires"). This edition about the crisis was very interesting, because of an article about the crisis in Amsterdam ("The international trading is lately full of holes. This same trade had one of its origins in Amsterdam. Therefore, some historical places - De Beurs, the State Bank and others - are now the witnesses of the actual crisis."). Also in that edition there was an interview with oenologist and book author of "Guide of supermaket wines - the best wines up to 5 euros". Such book is an enormous succes in Holland during this recession time. After reading this magazine, I started to focus more on articles of newspapers about some oddities and consequences brought by the crisis.

The photo above is of a bag for children from Oililly. It was once of the most interesting Dutch brands and I've posted here about it before. Clothes, bags and all sorts of accessories, very colourful, original, amazing quality and... "oh, so Dutch!". I said "was" because since a couple of weeks ago it was declared bankrupt ("failliet"). It was always very pricey, but I always thought that high quality had a cost.

Others sign of depression in an economy is the tourism. The hotels, especially 5 stars hotels, are suffering a lot in Holland - and Europe as well. This news made first page on most Dutch newspapers last Monday.

In specialized magazines and internet sites for parents I read that psychologists and school teachers are alert for children being more mistreated the last months. Parents are losing jobs and the tension is building up within some families. Therefore there is less patience towards children. Sad. I have also read on papers that lately more women are finding/going back to work in the Netherlands; mainly in the areas of teaching, health care and service/commerce. When their men are losing their jobs in technical fields (civil construction, informatics, etc.), it is time to make good use of that old diploma.

On the other side, the companies that produce kroketten, bitterballen and patat are celebrating the crisis in the economy. The sales had an increase of 25% - 40%. Incredible ! It seems that people are searching for comfort foods/snacks as a sort of compensation.

People are travelling less, but investing more in camping gadgets. Eating less out but investing more in the house decoration/restoration. Buying fewer books and magazines but borrowing more from the local public library. I think many, many more big and small adjustments will follow in the economy (and human realtions) because there are projections from some specialists and trend watchers that the crisis will last for 5 years (instead of 3 years as they initially thought).

Dear reader, has the crisis affected you somehow ? Are you giving preference to the bike or letting the car stay in the garage more frequently ? Eating less out ? Cutting expenses ? Or is the crisis affecting you rather in a psychological level, with more aprehension and anxiety, than a financial one ? Are you losing your temper frequently ? Or not at all ? Share it with us !


Dri Viaro said...

Oi Anita , estou passando pra desejar otimo dia

Anonymous said...

Interesting post! Yes, it's affected me a lot. It's even more difficult now to move to Holland to be with my man then before. I haven't had any luck finding a job yet.. so it's rather depressing sometimes. Stuck across the ocean from him because money and a place to live is the obstacle. At least we can communicate online :)

Anita said...

Dear anonymous, thanks for your comment. Consider this: in Chinese the written symbol for "crisis" is also used for the idea of "opportunity". The Dutch (and the rest of the world) are changing their consumming habits. We all now have to think a bit out of the box and learn other skills. Time to be creative and flexible!

EFRUTIK said...

Hi Anita, this is an excellent post. I am glad you shared with us what you read (inspiring me to do the same actually). I am trying to think of what ppl. in U.S. have been doing as a result of the crisis, at least from what I see. Unfortunately though, I feel like people here are still "shopaholics" it's sort of a bad and difficult habit to break on many levels. I still see many people shopping as if nothing happened. I do hope that most ppl. will come down to their senses and learn that this is the time to change excessive consumption habits !