It was quite a while since I’d gone to a theatre show. Receiving an invitation from the Amsterdam Culture Club to join one of their gatherings felt like getting a message from a bigger force – introduce cavernous voice here – Wake up Anaaaa. Make your way back to the theatreeee. I obeyed. Spent my uni time studying theatre, after all. Can’t be this long away from it.
Yesterday I was thinking of the downs of living “abroad”. I must say I very rarely put myself this question, but I know that this is a very relatable topic to most expats. If you are one, you might immediately have a whole spectrum of ideas on it. Things like the absence of friends and family might automatically pop into your mind, or the missing of certain foods, your hometown, the weather, or a type of human warmth very specific to where you come from. Personally, the following sentence immediately banged in my head:
When I arrived in Amsterdam, I went to live in the Indische Buurt. Molukkenstraat, to be more precise. First day upon my arrival I found it an ugly street. There were no hipster cafes at the Molukkenstraat at the time, just very shady coffee shops, equally shady dry-cleaning businesses, and Turkish man-only hairdressers. There was also the occasional male who would harass you on the street, which was something quite peculiar having into account that that phenomenon simply DOESN’T happen in Amsterdam. But it did at the Molukkenstraat.