Freelancer Malou has her say
Hi! I'm Malou te Wierik, co-owner of Buro Dertig, a content and communications bureau in the cultural and creative sector. That means we work for a lot of festivals and cultural institutions. What does my work entail? Creating social media campaigns, writing web texts, drawing up communications plans, developing print work, lots of presentations at events, and of course working on my own company: Buro Dertig.
When did you choose for an NS-Business Card?
When I finished my studies, I bought an NS Dal Voordeel subscription. But after I started my own business, I quickly switched to an NS-Business Card with a Dal subscription.
I'd recommend the card to any entrepreneur or freelancer. I use mine on a weekly basis. It's so great not to have to worry about whether or not you have enough balance on your OV-chipkaart. As an entrepreneur in the cultural sector, it's important for me to be able to get anywhere quickly: from Groningen to Amsterdam and from Utrecht to The Hague. With the NS-Business Card, you can just check in and go! That's because in addition to checking in to the train, bus, tram, and metro, you can also take advantage of all of the NS door-to-door services, like the OV-fiets and Greenweels.
In addition to all that, NS sends you an invoice at the end of the month with an overview of your entire travel history. The invoice calculates the total amount for you, including and excluding VAT. It also itemises your subscription costs, train travel, door-to-door services like the OV-fiets, and all of your trips by bus, tram, and metro. Tip: if your client or customer covers your travel expenses, you can view all of your journeys and their costs at www.ns.nl/mijnnszakelijk. That saves you the hassle of keeping track yourself, and it helps avoid lots of mistakes.
Which NS-Business Card services do you use?
When I travel with the NS-Business Card, I mainly use the train and OV-fiets. It's great to be able to just cycle to your appointment, and to be flexible when you travel: leave whenever you want. Another advantage is that you get to see a bit of the city, and of course it's healthy as well! And when the weather's bad, I can take the tram, metro, or bus instead.
What was your most enjoyable experience when travelling with the NS-Business Card?
Some time ago, I was at Amsterdam Centraal late at night, because I'd just come from a business appointment. I had some time to kill, so I decided to stand near the NS-piano. A young man was playing familiar melodies, and people had gathered around to listen. Tourists took pictures of him with their phones. Suddenly, I recognised the song he was playing; ‘Alles is Liefde’. So I just walked up and started singing along. We made beautiful music together, then I said farewell to catch the train to Utrecht. Those are the little moments that make it so fun to travel with public transport. A random encounter, and real contact with other people.
Sometimes I get in conversations with other travellers. The conversations can be about anything: work, an article in the paper, a special exhibition, a book, or a travel destination. The thing that makes the conversations you have on public transport so unique is how fleeting they are, or the sudden end when someone reaches their destination. But it's always worthwhile to talk to people you've never met before, and to hear their opnions or the tips they have to share. That's wat makes travelling with the NS-Business Card so much fun.