Shall I buy a pair of clogs?
I arrived at Schiphol airport bright and early on Monday morning, with a belly full of butterflies and a pocket full of Euros. For someone who had awoken at half past two that morning I was surprisingly chirpy, or the two espressos I had polished before departure were still buzzing through my veins. I hopped off the plane, luggage in hand, my eyes not quite believing the bustle that surrounded me, and I thought, with a ridiculous grin plastered across my face, “Man, these next 5 months in Amsterdam are going to be pretty damn peachy!”
I then got into a cab and asked the driver what he thought of this marvellous city, he responded in his heavy accent, which seemed to be an amalgamation of a childhood in India and a working life in Holland, “Amsterdam.is.shit” – BAM. Suddenly my picturesque image of this wonderful place that was filled with liberal sentiments and a beautiful life was shattered. “Shit” I repeated, a little disheartened. He proceeded to throw around a few profanities about the economy of his country and the Government who he labelled as “imperialists” – I could see that the topic whipped him into a frenzy of sorts purely from the sheer volume of saliva that spewed from his mouth but within a few moments he was happily chatting about his three children, their current studies and their future dreams. A fierce rant now and again is certainly good for the soul!
After the “shit” talk, I whipped out my map to show him my location (Navigation skills are not my forte’ and a revelation that I was living in a place as shitty as this city – according to Mr Cabbie man- was not what I wanted to hear), however I was reassured with his disclosure that “It eees a good plaaacches” and a little hope was restored. I spent the rest of the journey lapping up the absolute beauty that surrounded me. Rows of charming Old Dutch houses framed the streets, cyclists ruled the roads, and the bustle and sheer volume of people in every space imaginable reassured me that an adventure was sure to be had.