It is deceivingly easy to find your way in Amsterdam. So easy in fact that in the end you’re bound to get lost. This is what a hairdresser from Jordaan explained to me when we were having lunch at one of the charming terraces along the Singel. Later that day, and the next day, I proved her right. But boy what a delight it was.
Her name was Eva. She told me she had moved to Amsterdam from Galicia eight years ago, and didn’t want to go back. She told me that more than half of the people living in Amsterdam were foreigners, and Singel was one of the most desired places to live. It was easy to believe. The sun glimmered on the waves of the canal, and people were dressed in summer clothes in Mid-October. Everyone seemed to be enjoying life, the weather and each others’ company. The service and the food in that canalside restaurant named Greenwood were excellent. I found myself admiring the Dutch attitude. Life is meant to be enjoyed.
Earlier in the morning I happened to wander into Vondelpark. I had no idea that there was such a paradise very close to my hotel. I think it’s fun to leave the map in the bag and see where hunch takes me. This time it really was worth it. Luck took me to a pond that was basking in glorious autumn light. There were locals walking their dogs everywhere and they all seemed to know each other. Dogs were running free on the laws and ducks swimming around in the pond. On the other side I spotted a couple in love sitting on one of the park benches, arms around each other. They had found the perfect spot to enjoy the sunrise. In that wondrous park, in that magical moment, only love existed.
To enjoy Amsterdam you have to be happy, or willing to become happy, the rest will take care of itself. Oh, and do mind the bikes. They are everywhere and they are fast.