This is kind of a “Day in the life of…” type post so I’m publishing it on our personal blog, but I’ll link to A Wanderlust For Life throughout. I’ve touched on some of the hard bits of leaving everything you know to try out a new life and you’ve read why we’ve chosen Amsterdam as our home. It’s now been about 5 months now and normalcy is beginning to set in.
What is normal? Well, what do you do? You budget, you hang with friends, you go to work, you grocery shop and pay the rent. But I truly believe that you can still make awesome things happen as part of your normal life. And sometimes, awesome things you happen to you.
Here’s a look at a particularly interesting day I had recently. I left the apartment around 8:30am to catch the bus to the center since it has rained, sleeted, hailed, and then snowed over night, and I was not about to ride my bike on icy bike paths. Really Amsterdam? Really? I think they need to dig them all up and make them heated!
Anyway, back to the point, I had two minutes until the bus came when I turned the corner and saw the last person boarding the bus. As I walked toward the bus I saw him shut the door, so I waved to see if he’d wait. Normally I would have run, but I was in wedge shoes and it was icy, so again, not happening. Despite the long line of cars behind him, he waited. I entered and “Dankjewel!” (Thanks so much!) and he asked me something in Dutch that I didn’t understand so I said “I’m so sorry, I only speak English right now”. And we had this back and forth with him speaking in Dutch and me in English (I understand a little), but I didn’t understand when he was testing me and said “I love you” in Dutch. I thought he said “How are you?” and I responded with “Goed, Dank u” (Good, thank you), and he laughed and the people behind him laughed, and he explained what he said and the difference between that and “How are you?”. Lesson learned, don’t pretend to understand when you don’t! It was all in good fun, I hadn’t seen a bus driver that enjoy his job as much as this one as he spoke to various people on the way to Centraal. Fun start to the day, yes?
At Bucket Buddies, the atmosphere varied quite a bit from completely quiet to chatting about the most random things that had us cracking up. You know when everyone at the table understands something funny that one person doesn’t quite get but it’s not exactly something that you should explain? Yeah, we had one of those. But anyway, it was so nice to just sit as a group and work in silence when needed, but poke fun when needed as well. And after work drinks, which I have never done except after one event in particular, was great. It’s just so cool that you can spend 9-5 together focused on one goal and then turn it off to get to know each other better.
Then it was snowing, HARD. And I had to change into a nice dress for a Yelp event and walk to Dam Square in the large wet snow that was coming down and sticking to the sidewalk. Not so much fun. But the event itself was great! We had a wine tasting mixed with learning about upcoming and exciting things with Yelp and some expectations for the Elites. So excited for this year! I love these events because I meet amazing people and have a great time!
After that event I headed to the tram stop around the corner and apparently missed it by one minute. But I got to chat with a nice couple from London about Amsterdam and I think I helped change their opinion of it. Because of the snow covered everything, it wasn’t as easy for the tourists to distinguish bike lanes, car lanes, and sidewalks. And they felt like the city was dead and wondered where all the people were! I explained as much as I could about the center, the tourists, the bikes, etc. It was just nice to chat about Amsterdam. Then on my transfer to another tram (which apparently skipped a run) I got talking to an older local lady and a man about the weather, trams, etc. I was quite chatty apparently! But it just goes to show that the Dutch aren’t closed off people who don’t want to talk to anyone. Just be friendly!
I think I’m missing a couple bits, but just wanted to share all of that. I was out of the apartment from 8:30am-11:30pm and worked, had happy hour then worked an event/enjoyed the event. All the while, I had great conversations throughout the day with new friends, and random people. So, yeah, life is life and we have to deal with money, relationships, jobs, and all the rest, but you can really take the time to enjoy the life you have!
Shameless plug: Since I’m now working at Bucket Buddies, visit Bucket-Buddies.com, check out the blog and follow them on Facebook or Twitter! We are about connect people with similar goals and achieving by connecting!