Imagine this. You’ve decided you’re moving to another country. You don’t exactly know why you’ve chosen that land, other than it’s widespread reputation for being a good place to live in. You think it’s better to start writing to people prior to your departure. Those people are already living in the country of your choosing, and could hypothetically help you settle. Some of them are friends of friends, others write blogs you like reading. You never met them in person, so it’s basically a shot in the dark. There’s this girl who writes for a fashion platform you came across, and she is based in Amsterdam. You give it a try.
Allow me to go straight to the point. Does Amsterdam need someone else making yet another photo of a canal house, dissecting its every inclined building, stripping off every single of the city’s hidden facets? Does the city need someone else attempting at getting hold of the essence of its people just to overly simplify everything into “Six things that annoy me about the Dutch”, slurping every of its characteristics only to digest them into a two-minute read entitled “Ten things you cannot miss in Amsterdam”? Do we really need to know all about yet another restaurant / bar of which interior recreates the hortus-botanicus with an industrial feel? I haven’t been able to avoid struggling with these questions since I started blogging.
I’m a cafe person, and hardly a day goes by without paying a visit to one of my hangouts of choice. Usually, the process of deciding which cafe to head to is quite simple: I know my favourites, and I am well-acquainted with their dynamics, their menu, their baristas. I do happen to have conditioned myself to work in public spaces, where the cacophony of conversations and crockery, and the smell of coffee being brewed have this magical property of making me focus. I’m a sort of pavlovian dog, specialty coffee being my trigger.
A few days ago I got a wordpress notification letting me know it was my 3rd birthday within the community. It was funny to realize that I started the Amsterdive project precisely 3 years ago and that I only really went for it this year. That’s quite a delay.
Right now, I’m sitting at Rum Baba, at the Pretoriusstraat in Amsterdam East, as I used to, when I lived in the area, and I just had this epiphany of how this place played a special part in the Amsterdive’s kick-start.
I’m seatted in front of a blank blog post page. I’m not writing for a while and I decided I’d finally kick-start the blog this week. Surprisingly, I’ve been able to stick to my decisions lately. Gewoon doen, they say in dutch.