I was very uncomfortable at first and honestly, not brave…

Looking around the city centre you get a real sense of the past and the buildings tell you a story. The history and authenticity of Amsterdam’s past has not been compromised as the city has grown. I often feel like I could time travel back 100s of years, be standing in the same spot and things would only be slightly different.

Transportation here is the biggest improvement for me. I had a two-hour commute one way to work in Istanbul. Here you can get anywhere in 15 minutes and there is minimal noise pollution. Though, bikes are a big challenge for me. I was very uncomfortable at first and honestly, not brave. It is bizarre that cyclists here seem to always have the right-of-way even over pedestrians.

The biggest nightmare for me here is food. It is the one thing that has shocked me. There is no Dutch cuisine, they just eat sandwiches, sandwiches, and … more sandwiches. The food from home is diverse. Lunch consists of salads, soups, warm dishes full of vegetables and always ended with something sweet. When I am feeling homesick I make Turkish dishes and share them with my Turkish and international colleagues: that helps immensely.


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