Moving to Amsterdam was a bit of a crazy beginning; we arrived in Amsterdam on New Years Eve and to us, who haven’t experienced so many fireworks before, it felt a little bit like a war zone. A friend of mine has a roof terrace and it was incredible to watch the fireworks from there. People really go all out on New Years.
I was a Physiotherapist back home so during the time that I was waiting for my registration, I took Dutch courses. A lot of people don’t realise it, but if you need the language for work you can get free lessons through your local council. Not everyone is interested in learning Dutch, but I highly recommend making the effort to learn the language. This will enable you to integrate fully and make friends that you wouldn’t have made if you can only speak English.
Along with the Dutch language, I have also learned a lot about the Dutch culture during my time in Amsterdam. I remember one occasion when we celebrated my fiance’s birthday at her parents’ house. As we arrived, the whole family was congratulating me! It turns out that here it is customary to congratulate the partner of the person who is celebrating their birthday. At the beginning I thought it was really strange, but now I also do it.
I find Amsterdam a lot quieter and more manageable than London, but I still miss a good English fry up or a warm lunch – as opposed to a sandwich. Of course I also miss family and friends but it is the little things, like a Sunday roast, that makes me miss home.