My 1st Dutch power failure (stroomstoring)

Power failure disrupts Amsterdam-Zuid, trains cancelled – See more at:

Yesterday afternoon a power failure affected parts of Amsterdam Zuid and Diemen, and I experienced my first Dutch blackout. It was another fascinating illustration of Dutch efficiency…

Being from New York and having lived in an apartment for most of my life, blackouts are a super common occurrence for me and so I went for a bike ride to the town center. There I discovered a massive amount of police presence (at least 10 police officers) and that the power failure was not localized to my block and had affected the entire neighborhood. Power was restored in an hour, but the after shocks of the event continued until the evening causing tons of commuting issues.

For the most part, everything works and is relatively on time in Amsterdam – public transport, power, etc, but when 1 thing goes wrong, it really goes wrong and the effects can be felt for hours afterwards (which the Dutch love to complain about).

I come from a city where subways are constantly delayed and buses don’t actually follow a timetable, but yet restore serviceĀ from “track jumpers” within a few hours. Because of that I appreciate how everything runs smoothly on a daily basis but am baffled by how the Dutch react when things don’t go well…

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