“There’s no excuse to be bored. Sad, yes. Angry, yes. Depressed, yes. Crazy, yes. But there’s no excuse for boredom, ever. “
I realised I have not written so much about Amsterdam as I used to. Maybe because by now I feel “extremely local” and nothing surprises me anymore. Sometimes I do think that nothing can surprise me anymore, because of some things I have seen here or some people I have met are really wild. I found a fun picture of insane facts about Amsterdam and wanted to share it with you.
English is the city’s second official language.
Indeed, everybody in Amsterdam can speak English and that’s why it is so easy for foreigners to come and live here. In a way, it is a curse, because often the foreigners don’t even bother to learn the local language since they don’t need it. I’ve met people, who have lived here for ten years or more and still don’t speak Dutch. The only thing not in English are the labels written on the products sold here, like in a grocery store for instance. They are in Dutch and French and I don’t know why not in English. Maybe there is some French Dutch economic cooperation that i have no knowledge about.
Locals ride a bike on ALL occasions.
This can be fun to see. When it rains heavily the locals have a special biking rain coat so they will be covered from head to toe. Even if they don’t own that rainproof coat some still decide to ride a bike. Snow does not stop the locals either. Little kids enjoy it the most when they are sitting in a cart in front or back of the bike covered completely with plastic roof while their mommy or daddy is struggling with nature.
Bikes are the most stolen item.
When I moved to Amsterdam I purchased a bike for 40 euros that got stolen. After that, I decided that I will not pay more than 10-15 euros for a bike. By now I know a bike dealer from who I could buy a bike for that price. There are certain areas in the city where you can easily find bike junkies selling for a very low price. Sometimes you can also find unlocked bikes and if a bike is unlocked then it is everybody’s bike. My bikes have been stolen about four times during my time here and once on my birthday. There is no point of buying a bike for 200 euros and then use it only for a few months. A police even suggested to one of my colleagues to consider start stealing himself after he reported on a stolen wheel from his expensive bike.
Amsterdam locals like to keep their curtains open all the time.
If you walk by houses you can see into everybody’s apartments and what they are doing there. I don’t know why they are so open with it. I personally am not comfortable that strangers see what I am doing. My friend told me a story about how they have become very comfortable with the neighbours across the street because they have seen each other in their underwear and since that ice is broken already it does not matter anymore and they can comfortably do what they want.
“De Poezenboot” – The Catboat.
Well, that’s something i would like to see. What a sweet idea!
Don’t confuse coffee shop with a cafe.
That is one fact that frustrates me. I have seen so many tourists, who are very exited to try out the weed but have not educated themselves at all where to find it, how does it work in Amsterdam and quite plenty don’t even know how it looks like. True story. We sell funny condoms in our souvenir shop, with a funny joke written on the package and once I had to explain to a grown man that those condoms are not marijuana and it does not make you high and had to explain what it actually is. That is why I sometimes think nothing can surprise me anymore. What is funny that so many people cannot find a coffeeshop in Amsterdam, even if they have spent already five days in the city. You can find one on almost every corner. Especially in the red light area some of them are even located next to each other.
The red light district is one of the safest parts of the city.
I have never felt any danger there. Red light district is between my workplace and the metro station. I go through it at least four times a week and often at very late times. Government controls the area and there is a police station near and police strolling around the area regularly. In a way, it is good that everything is out in the open in Amsterdam, so there is no black market and everybody knows whats going on. I also found a very interesting story about a young male escort in Amsterdam, who enjoys what he does. His story gave me a different perspective on prostitution and showed a lighter side that usually people don’t think about. You can read about it HERE
A fact that I did not know and just found out about is that carrots used to be originally purple until some Dutch growers took some mutant strains and developed them into sweeter orange carrots. I wonder how purple carrots taste like. Maybe they are healthier?