My new life in Amsterdam is the complete opposite of what my life in Rome was.
In Rome everything was hectic and fast. Leaving the house would mean I had to deal with yelling people and packed busses or trams, incredible heat and unstoppable horns… But also the most gorgeous city men have ever seen.
In Amsterdam everything is chill. I can ride my bike everywhere and feel safe doing it (three years ago in New Orleans I got hit by a car while riding my bike, so this is HUGE for me). There are bike lanes everywhere, and cars would actually stop to let you pass (Not in Rome).
Nobody rushes in Amsterdam. Everybody moves at their own pace through the city -and life- and it’s free to do so. Nobody rushes you nor pushes you around, and if they do, they apologize.
The party scene here is more intense than anywhere else I have been. Marihuana is the signature smell of Amsterdam center, however I have never seen somebody drugged disturbing the streets. People just chill.
Here you can see prostitutes working 24 hours 7 days a week at the sight of everybody. But I have never seen disrespectful nor inappropriate behavior from the ladies. Who are just doing their job.
There are thousands of bikes in Amsterdam. And yes, many are robbed, but still people would leave their bikes unlocked. Because they trust. They are free. They live!
Today I walked around the Jordaan neighborhood, one of the most beautiful and cooler areas of central Amsterdam. Here, locals just take the sidewalk as an extension of their living room and they seat outside shoeless with a book or two and a coffee (or beer) to enjoy the fresh breeze of the Summer. Doors and windows wide open, houses with no fences. I peeked in inside people’s houses and they don’t care. They are so lucky and don’t know it.
I come from a country (the most beautiful in the world) where kids can’t play outside alone (like all my neighbors’ kids in Amsterdam do). People in Buenos Aires would never be seating outside their houses with the door open. Nor would dare to live in a house with no fences and security. Amsterdammers are so lucky.
In Amsterdam the government officers welcome you to their city with a smile.
Deadlines are taken seriously. And order is at the basis of life.
Environment is protected and loved. Here life goes easily and smoothly.
I am not saying this is a perfect country, but they are in their way to be. I am so lucky to be here. So blessed to ride my bike again, with no fear, to go to sleep at 11PM (WAY late for me, my friends would agree) because the sunlight is still strong at that time. And I am happy to wake up after just 6 hours of darkness (or less), because my curtains are too thin.
I am so grateful for Amsterdam. And I hope (know) that you will be a great chapter in my life.
Welcome to Amsterdam.
Amsterdam: Welcome to my life.