casarobino or simply casa is a small apartment in Amsterdam shared by nomadic travelers. The place is rented by Robin who decided to use the space as a home-base for same-minded and sometimes not-so-same-minded people. It is also called a nomadbase.
In the Casa you participate by taking your initiative in getting things done and making things happen.
- The Casa is shared among the people who stay over
- All inhabitants should be able to feel 'at home'
- Everything is communal, except things that aren't
What The Casa Enables
- Sharing: learn how to share, improve your sharing-skills
- A space where you can meet fellow-nomads
- A learning-environment, e.g. for social skills, cooking, it-stuff, furniture-building
- A place where you will gain more trust in yourself.
- A place where you can rest from your travel if needed
- Facilitation: Learn how to facilitate and care more for others
- Eating together (dinners, sometimes breakfast and lunch)
- Dumpster-Diving food at markets and small dumpsters
- Assertiveness, Initiative, Social Innovation, Togetherness
- Space to be yourself, no personal judgments
Guidelines for Sustainability
- The house does not like dead animals nor fish; unless you are a kitten.
- You take what you need and share what you want/can.
- Once you are in the house, you share the house
- i.e the house is yours as much as it is anyone else's.
- Respect your neighboors. Zero complaints.
Everyone is a Host
- Welcome new people into the house.
- Open the door when the doorbell rings if, and only if, they have a current password.
- Respect existing culture, no great civilization has ever forgotten its past.
- Think of others first, before you think of yourself.
- Casa loves initiative;
- Collect, Cook, Clean, Create.
- Create space by giving space
- Leave a useful contribution
Food and Stuff We Love
- Toilet paper (non-bleached preferably)
- Organic dish washing stuff (you're putting that shit on your hands)
- Organic Laundry detergent
- No dead animals (no meat or fish)
- Check what's there, what you/we can use and what is missing.
- When you make food, make enough for everyone.
Always make sure there is:
- Flour (organic & non-organic)
- Rice, pasta
- Garlic, onions, ginger (more and more we're finding ginger in the bins..look out for it!)
- Olive oil, sunflower oil
- Some vegetables & fruit (this can all be dumpster dived - check http://trashwiki.org/en/Amsterdam)
- Every Tuesday and Friday at the 'Croissanterie' there is a dumpster out with enough croissaints for almost a week. It's just round the corner, take a left out of casa and a left on the first road you meet. The bin is just before the end of the street on your left hand-side. One of the bags contains croissants and other bread. Open the bags to check and leave the spot tidy. Voila!
Keep it clean
The house is at its best when it is tidy and semi-organised. If you feel like something is dirty: clean it. This especially counts for the living room, kitchen and bathroom. There are no obligations, just common courtesy. Take your initiative, never anticipate.
- It's common to take off your shoes at the entrance.
- There are lists of daily, weekly and monthly "fun tasks" on toilet-door, to help keep the house nice and tidy.
- The vacuum cleaner is in the closet at the end of the hall (also called the 'torture-room').
- Beer bottles are recycled, so please, no cigarette butts in beer bottles.
- In Amsterdam there is not a lot of garbage separation. They think it is more efficient to separate afterwards. We do separate paper and glass.
- Most stuff can be brought right outside, any time. You can put the garbage-bags in the container in front of the house. If you see a bag full with trash, remind yourself to take it with you!
- Turn left, left, second right and you'll find recycling boxes for paper and glass.
- Glass with refund goes to the supermarkets: some beer bottles. Organic juice bottles go to the organic store.
- Glass recycling is in the corridor in the yellow box. If in doubt, ask!
- Big trash and big electronical equipment can be put outside in front of the house, between the pavement and the tree from Monday's 9pm until Tuesday 10am. We collect big trash in front of the window in the corridor.
- Small chemical trash (batteries, paint) and some other related trash can be brought to a special car next to the recycling bins every third tuesday of the month 09.00 – 09.30
- Check Trashwiki
Sharing can be challenging. It challenges us to think together, to give and to be transparent. It also challenges us to think in terms of how to we treat each-other and the earth? This includes how people interact but also what people buy, what they do in and around the house and what they don't do.
Sharing the Casa
- How to make sure everyone always tries to think of others first before thinking of himself.
- examples, gentle use of doors and toilets when other people are sleeping and awareness of noise in general, also in relation to neighbors (on the balcony, on the stairs). Other examples include, making sure that stuff is clean, so you are invited and enabling others to do their thing (e.g. cooking).
- How to make people feel home as soon as they enter, and give them the feeling they are the hosts themselves
- important to give the hosts a hug.
- How to make sure people do more cleaning than what they make dirty.
- We don't like to be told what to do, we like initiative. But how do we make other hosts/guests do things more often ? What is acceptable and what isn't?
How to resolve these issues?
Sharing the Earth
- How to prevent people from buying stuff that is bad for the environment
- examples: bleached and multi-layered toilet-paper, non-organic good.
- Issue: some things costs more money, the thing that many travelers are lacking. How can we overcome this problem?
- How to prevent people from buying stuff that is bad for our health.
- examples of food for which there are more healthy alternatives: processed fruit-juices and other processed food, meat, greasy stuff
- How to prevent people from flying for pleasure?
- Promoting hitchhiking and other forms of sustainable transportation such as biking and hiking is very central in the house, but how to actually make people aware that flying is simply very bad and should always be prevented if one travels for pleasure?
Your Unique Gifts
The perfect host thinks about what is especially wonderful or useful about themselves and how it is applied to fostering Casa Robino. The obvious ones are that capable bike mechanics should improve the fleet and that accomplished or enthusiastic cooks should prepare food. You could have a combinatorial gift, where you did not have any special capacity to vacuum the floor, but you were more than happy to do it - and perhaps you should tickle people to get them out of chairs and sleeping bags. If you are beautiful consider dressing up in a casual way - or organizing a funky fashion show. If your tall, clean the high shelves. If you are charissmatic tell stories and enchant people. If you are a geek, tweak the website and this is where artists and writers can leave clever, precious or pretty artifacts. Your gift could be just a willingness to do something iky - organize a dumpster diving team. Or it could be just being good company - walk with soemone to the store and help carry things. If you are especially sociable (and at least slightly presentable) consider knocking on Kim's door down stairs and tell her your interesting tale.
- There are several smaller supermarkets in the area, try these above the 'normal' supermarkets. If you must go to a large supermarket, you have 2 Albert Heijns in the area, one Aldi and one Dirk. The latter is maybe the best option (also for organic stuff), although a 10 minute walk.
- China town is the best place to find spices, herbs, tofu, tempeh and anything oriental. Large packets of herbs can be found for €0.70. Tofu is generally €1.50 for a large box. There are a couple of options for the supermarket, including one easy to find one inside Nieuwmarket square right by the canal. Ask Heather and Ieva for the other two larger supermarkets..
- The turkish bulk store on Willem de Zwigertaan is good for chickpeas, beans, olive oil and olives. Research must be done to compare rice bulk prices. To get there, just take a left out of the casa and then a right, follow the road until the large road Willem de Zwigertaan. Take a left and it'll be on your right hand side just past the furniture store and the next intersection with Bos en Lommerweg.
- Two organic shops can be found close to the house (biking distance). One is close to the market & next to the famous Kashmir Lounge, while the other is two bridges down.
- Beside the market there's a bazaar / flea market: cheap things from clothes to electric heaters to cellphone chargers
- Prijshammer at Bos en Lommer weg, just before Bos en Lommer plein. Cheaper key-making and key tags, assortment of all sorts of household goodies, such as electrical stuff, ropes, clippers, bike-locks. If you feel like buying stuff for the house, this is your street.
- Public Transport Strippenkaart ( & beer, chocolate, wine, etc.) - kiosk right and right from the house, just before you cross the street to take tram towards downtown (stop De Rijpstraat). Is open until midnight but NOT open before the afternoon so don't count on buying the ticket in the morning before taking off. (outdated!!!)
- Hardware store, you will find the Praxis in a walking distance. You can buy lots of stuff here, from wood to electrical stuff to paint, dirt and plants. Check map.
Free Things Online
There are some websites in the Netherlands where people post offers of free things online, like for example a voucher for free euroshopper pizza from Albert Heijn. Check these sites once in a while, you might find really cool things:
Stuff To Do
Daily Fun Tasks
- Take a look at the #Keep_it_clean and think what you can do today to make the casa somewhat nicer.
- Write something for casarobino.org. Anything is fine: about your experiences here, your trip, about what you do here in Amsterdam, about your future plans, about what you think of what needs attention in the house. Consider the website as something that we all take care of, something which is yours. People like reading about you.
- Dumpster Dive at the markets and bring food for everyone to share.
Things you can do that will make your Mom feel Proud
- Bicycle Repair Man (or Woman) - there are many bikes for the house. These need constant repair. The keys also need to be sorted on a regular basis. You will find stuff to repair the bikes in the corridor.
- Fix the electricity upstairs. Electricity needs to be wired from one room to the other.
- Help building a wind-turbine, see 1, 2, 3, and also these posts on casarobino.org.
- Urban farming. Help is needed to grow food on the rooftop and on the balcony and rooftop.
Hammock for the balcony Bird-house - needs to be hung up Wireless sound solution, speakers, amplifier (with usb plugin).
- Plants and seeds
- More Books
- padlocks for the bicycles (we have enough steel chains, but still need padlocks)
- A second (unbroken) guitar, so we can jam together and teach each other
- More musical instruments
Dumpster Trash Days
- Monday, tuesday, wednesday are fantastic days for curb crawling..as it's large furniture day...meaning you can find lots and lots of clothes, household items and bits and bobs in the street. Each day is for different parts of the city..check again http://trashwiki.org/en/Amsterdam and go to the garbage section.
- There is a free shop within walking distance of the casa, every Tues & Sat (14:00-18:00) on Admiral de Ruijterweg 215a.
- Be restrictive in what you bring back to the casa. We love trash, but don't want to be overloaded with real trash ;)
- A big box in the slag-room with sheets, towels and covers. Take what you need and wash it when it is dirty.
- Many sleeping bags. Some are behind the chair in the living room, others in the guest-box in the Slagroom.
- Four spare bikes. One more needs to be repaired, another one is missing a key to the lock. Keys are in the key-box in the kitchen and tagged with the bike name. (outdated)
- Keys: there are three sets of spare-keys. Think what is best for the situation if you decide who takes which keys.
- Sleeping, there are many sleeping places. If there are many of us, best thing is to think together who wants to sleep where.
- The phone has a VOIP connection on it. So calls to landlines in Western Europe and many other countries are free, all numbers (including mobile) in the US and Canada are free are free. Just dial 00 and then 1 for the US country code, then the area code and number. Check the calling rates, of course it's also okay to call for 1 or 2 cent/minute without asking (if not calling for 2 hours).
- There are many [books, about traveling, politics, .. Feel free to read, to bring new books, etc. Books you can take have a bookcrossing-number
- There is a museum card which allow you to visit any museum in The Netherlands, you will find it on the board in the corridor,
- Several laptops for general use running GNU/Linux and one running OSX. Ask for login details which are the same login on all laptops. If you're staying for a longer time you're encouraged to create a guest account as well.
- Wireless and enough cables in the wire-box. Password can be guessed.
- Lots of spare-ipod cables and phone-adaptors in the wire-box under the small table left-end corner of the Zula.
The Casa has many rooms (and we have our own language).
- The Zula
- The Disco
- The Junction
- The Cave
- The Barn
- Open Dinners
- Doing a Nitai
Please be careful with the bikes. Don't forget to leave the keys behind when you leave!
- Dumpster Monster
- Mama - Robin's commute bike, always ask before using