Learn from other cultures and absorb what you value for yourself.
I took the opportunity to study the Dutch language during the five years I lived and worked in Amsterdam. Up to the B2 level I have made it, the basics, so to speak, first grader level.
Ik spreek Duits, Engels en een kleen beetje Nederlands.
Some language knowledge, though, is a wonderful door-opener to dive deeper into cultural experiences. And this is even more exciting.
I start with football. The Netherlands have never been world champions. I think it’s a pity. The attractive style of play and the passion of the “Elftal” would have deserved this. And I say this with my full conviction after following the matches of Ajax Amsterdam in the stadium life a few times. Simply beautiful football.
The Dutch are world champions in their height and in long sleeping hours. Maybe one is connected to the other. At the very least, it could have an impact on their well-thought-out-and-relaxed view of things, whether it’s in the professional environment or otherwise in life.
Some examples of novelties to me, that I noticed.
✳ Cycling to the office
From the car country Germany to the bicycle metropolis Amsterdam. It was only six minutes bike ride to the office, if I hadn’t sometimes needed two traffic light phases in the bike queue at rush hour times or looking for a free bicycle parking space.
By the way, the journey would have taken at least a half an hour by car, with all the detours and one-way streets, and the parking fees were horrendous.
And the cyclist is the king on the roads. In winter, neither the pedestrian paths and certainly not the streets were cleared of the ice first, but the cycle paths. It was the safest way to get into the office.
✳ Stick to the rules ….
… but you only have to, if they make sense, from the point of the viewer, of course.
Bicycle helmets are one such example. You may or may not think that’s good, but if someone is cycling with a helmet in Amsterdam, it’s usually not someone from the Netherlands. No risk, no fun.
✳ Oh yes, and colorful socks.
It’s striking how good such a colorful splash does in the otherwise often monotonous men’s business clothing, right?
I became more relaxed and well-rested during my time in Amsterdam. And I kept my cycling habit. Learning from other cultures and absorbing what you value for yourself, those are just a few examples beside the colourful socks I am wearing now from time to time.
From Frankfurt to Amsterdam, it takes a good four hours by car or just under an hour’s flight. I love being in Amsterdam, a second home for me.
➡ Where is your second home and why do you have one?