I remember how excited I was when I knew we were moving to Amsterdam. It felt like a dream come true. But, Trust me It Isn’t easy in the beginning. The initial months are going to be tough. My journey of moving from Mumbai to Amsterdam has been equally challenging as Beautiful. Especially coming from India, where we are so used to being close to the family and the hustle bustle of the Metro cities. What lies behind these glorified travel pictures is a massive amount of patience, courage and persistence to build a new life from scratch. It’s almost like building your own identity all over again.
I moved to Amsterdam in September and as a few months passed by, there came December. When the days are shorter and darker as the sun sets around 4.30 pm local time and the temperature not moving beyond 10 Degrees. It took me a little while to adapt to the cold weather,cold food and culture.But,Little did I know that this charming city that was to be my home for the next few years had its plan laid out already to make me fall in love…eventually! Every day I endeavor to unravel the beauty of its canals & the mysteries that the city holds.
A lot of locals ask me “so, how does it feel here?, you must have got a Cultural Shock”.Yes, the dutch are the most liberal people in the world. Here Marijuana is sold legally in coffee shops and Prostitution is legal and flaunted. Coffee is Koffie. The Dutch are also very punctual and straight forward.They also speak near perfect English, hence language is not a barrier in Amsterdam. But it is always good to learn the local language, As it makes it convenient to strike a conversation with a local, but I haven’t been too lucky yet. I am able to figure out things only up to a certain level.
Coming from a country where labour is cheap and household chores are outsourced,Getting accustomed to living on my own is what an expat life taught me.Right from cooking to doing the Dishes and almost everything.What it also taught me is to enjoy my own company and discover a new ME. I now go to shopping alone, Eat at a restaurant all by myself and sit in a park soaking in some sun. I wouldn’t have thought of doing this two years back when I used to wonder “How on earth do people shop alone or travel a lone?”. Well trust me it feels good to spend some quality time with your inner self. Being alone isn’t being lonely. Don’t let the physical absence of your family and friends to hold you back from anything you want to do/go.
Being an expatriate housewife in any country means it is imperative to keep oneself busy by socializing with others or developing a Hobby. That’s one of the reasons I’ve started blogging and as they say its never too late to learn/Do anything.
I enjoy the experience of living abroad but also miss the festivities and family back in India.Food is another thing I miss. The sheer ease of getting your favorite food anywhere you are in India is incredible.Although there are a lot of Indian Restaurants around, my taste buds aren’t content. Keeping in mind the low appetite for spices of the local crowd, the taste here is customized. Oh well !! I’m just thankful that I get “Paneer” here. An experience that I might miss when back in India is the roadside cafes where one can enjoy themselves with a coffee and a book , although nothing beats our Indian Chai! Also, the beautiful seasons of Spring & Fall.The Winter is equally beautiful, but it’s gets difficult for a person from the Tropics!
It has now been close to 2 years that I’ve spent in this charming, cold and mysterious Wonderland of Amsterdam, yet I feel like I have just began knowing this city. As they say all good things come to an end, our stay in this mesmerizing city may come to an end as well , but my love for it will only grow.
If you haven’t been to Amsterdam yet, I’d urge you to plan a trip ASAP.You have my word, you won’t regret it!