We’ve now been living in Amsterdam over 2 months. Which feels about right. I’m still in wide eyed wonder mode but l’ve also established routines and we’re slowly making friends. Amsterdam is one of the most welcoming cities I’ve ever lived in or visited. People genuinely enjoy speaking English (if your Dutch is close to non-existent) and are almost apologetic if they assume Dutch. I also expected a little annoyance towards Americans but once again they’re just excited I’m experiencing their country. However, while the Dutch are welcoming they are similar to Americans in their approach to close friendships. Many expat blogs (and Amsterdammers themselves) admit that deep friendships are difficult to cultivate with foreigners. Like Americans (and most cultures), the Dutch have close friendships and bonds with friends and family members going back years. They’re not necessarily looking for friends to add to their inner circle. But finding new friends forces you out of your comfort zone and you usually end up with some amazing people and experiences.
Otherwise we are 99% settled in our apartment (today my landlord sent a handyman to drill holes in the wall for my new artwork) and I’m 20% closer to finding a job (or whatever percentage 2 interviews equals). Not working for 2 months has been decent. The first month was horrible I couldn’t relax and I felt unproductive but now I’m digging my routine; work out (sometimes), Rosetta Stone, immersion Dutch lessons (aka eating at Cafes), walking the streets, photo snapping, market purchases, and museum stomping. However, I do need a job for conversation and sanity…I’m shooting for the New Year.