So, I know I’ma suffer some flack for this…but I really don’t love Amsterdam.
Though, to be fair, I don’t think it’s solely Amsterdam’s fault.
In my travel between Berlin and Amsterdam, I have finally succumbed to home sickness.
Home sickness isn’t usually an issue for me. I miss individual people more than places.
But, through Facebook and emails, I’ve been glimpsing massive changes in the lives of some of my favourites back home, and I’m really beginning to resent not being there for you all.
– my brother’s sweet baby girl has started smiling! I desperately want to be home to hold her.
– one of my dear ones’ father has been very ill. I feel terrible that I can’t be there to cook dinners and give hugs.
Another thing that’s not helping my opinion of Amsterdam is that my mood has dipped significantly in the past few days.
As I’m sure you are realizing, I’m pretty much at the mercy of my transitory moods. And, since arriving in Amsterdam, I haven’t yet felt like ‘myself’.
With the low mood and homesickness, I’ve been feeling incredibly exhausted as well. Which is super useful when walking around all day, every day.
But now the Amsterdam specific reasons;
Amsterdam is a VERY consumer driven city. The main tourist areas that I have seen have been surrounded by shops and fat tourists.
And it HAS been effecting me. In the past 2 days, I’ve spent more money than in any other city. (Mainly on presents, so I’m trying not to feel too bad about it.)
Amsterdam is the first city where I haven’t felt completely safe in the daytime.
I’ve had a number of people try to bump into my bags, in that particularly ‘pickpockety’ way.
And then there are all the stumbling drunk/stonned/fucked people.
Nicht so gut.
Now, it’s not all that bad. Amsterdam is lovely for a number of reasons;
– the locals are wonderfully friendly. From taxi drivers, to shop assistants and waitresses; every one I’ve encountered has been lovely.
While stumbling through another shopping strip, I stepped into what I thought was a cute lingerie store. Little did I know it was a ‘ladies and couples only’ sex toy shop. The lady at the counter found my awkward realization absolutely hilarious and we got to chatting about Australia and Utrecht. She was fantastic!
– the city has this beautiful wonkiness to it! The houses are all squished together like they’re drunk and the need to lean on each other to stay upright. The canals turn the streets into windy snakes to be followed and explored.
– the autumn colours in the trees that line the canals are catching the light so effectively.
You can stare into the canal and see reflections of flaming red, rusty orange and sunny yellow dancing amongst the house boats and the ducks.
I’m still feeling very positive about my further adventures through the Netherlands. I’m meeting Yolande tomorrow (it’s her birthday on the 24th, we goina tear it up!) and she’s going to show me around her home town and uni town.
But I think Amsterdam is not the place for me.
I bought myself blue boots to make myself feel better.
Miss you all like madness!
Pictured – a particularly wonky house (look at the windows), a sunny park divided my a canal, an opshop that also offers free HIV testing