The two lives of Willem Barensz

By Anna Portella On November 1963 the Willem Barensz sailed in its last whaling mission. With its 300 meters length and 48 meters width, it was the largest whaling factory ship of the time. Considered a symbol of the Dutch reconstruction after the World War II, the ship was named after the first Dutch navigator…

Final Countdown for the Catalan Law of Time

By Anna Portella The Catalan Parliament is drafting the Law of Time, which is devoted to tackling the social-working hours in Catalan society with the aim of improving the work-life balance, productivity and sleeping habits.“We are the only country in the world that has lunch at 3pm, dinner at 22pm and party from 12pm to…

Somersaulting through life

by João Perassolo He stares at a white wall a few metres in front of him. He thinks for a moment, takes a deep breath and runs towards it. Using his right foot as a lever, he steps on the bricks and performs a backflip, landing on the pavement while keeping his balance. What might…

Esmeralda’s Arabian nights

By Antonella Serrecchia The first time she left to report from the Middle East, Esmeralda van Boon was a young intern at NOVA, a  Dutch TV company.  She was driving down the Highway of Death in Iraq, a six-lane alley that was severely bombed during the US invasion. Back then, she did not know where…

Bouwe van Rijn: Captured by the Camino-virus

By Marijn Thijs Getting up at 6.30am, Bouwe van Rijn starts his day later than most travelers. Some start packing their bags as early as 5am, afraid they will not find a place to stay that night. He knows better – on this road there are always places to sleep. He needs half an hour…

From Groningen to Bangkok, one artisan’s wider journey

By Balin Chambers Crowds gather to watch the various street performers on a Saturday afternoon in Groningen. One section of the road has been closed in the centre. Nevertheless, on the other side of town, to the north, the residential area lies dormant. The warmth of the Indian sun gently breathes light onto the terraced…