The huge amount of flower shops in Amsterdam epitomises not only the life-time relationship between the Netherlands and flora but also how keen Dutch people are to nurture a close relationship with the greens. But one shop, in my opinion, certainly stands out the most: Mooi Anders, an urban jungle that caught my attention since the very first time I passed by its doors.
After two weeks submerged in a story about the current terrible condition of bridges and quay walls in Amsterdam that I was commissioned to write for a distinguished magazine, I finally find respite and come back to firm soil. For days and nights this was all I could think, write and dream about. Such a time-consuming story that, once it was done, I felt empty.
Finally I understand why I feel weird about bank holidays. Since I’ve become an entrepreneur, somehow I’ve stopped feeling pleased about some deserved laziness implied in such days as though they are not for me (and for no one else who happens to be in charge of their own business).
A lot has happened in the past months but nothing as exciting as the recent reopening of terraces in Amsterdam. It finally seems that our once dynamic city is waking up again. With that comes a sort of a lost sensation of hope, freedom and joy. The Dutch weather has been cooperating to the outside experience itself, even though it feels amazing to breathe fresh air again.
It's likely common sense that Amsterdam is one of the world's most authentic cities in part because of its permissive approach towards cannabis use. However, despite all efforts to advertise uncountable wonderful qualities the Dutch nation has to offer, the Netherlands is far from being the country where people smoke weed the most.
In many cultures there is a suggestion to believe, since childhood, that death should be rejected as it is intertwined with fear. They grow up absorbing this as a concept intrinsically related to destruction and suffering. Therefore, when it's time for a beloved one to depart, even the most peaceful or necessary goodbyes are seen as the worst thing that could happen.
It's quite a long time since the day when my future aspirations would be shaped to become my life's biggest dream. Looking back 10 years ago, I can still picture myself on that airplane; my wanderlust was in search of an exciting new journey to lead to the unknown. That was March 2011 when I visited Amsterdam for the first time. It was love at first sight. Madly.
The Netherlands is a shameless country where the inside of people’s houses is widely shared like an open book. The daily routine of families is unfolded to anybody’s curiosity: as long as somebody is paying attention to it. For the record, I am. This impulse of keeping a secret watch on their privacy is just something I cannot help. Can you?
The convenience of being in a small country is the facility of moving around within a couple of hours. Cities are close enough and allow us to explore the surrounds whilst we bring joy to ourselves facing new landscapes and fresh environments. In the Netherlands this proves to be right. Plus, we can get it all: beaches, hills, forests, urban life, medieval villages, and much more.