I like to say that I moved to the Netherlands by chance, driven by curiosity, and with high expectations (longer version in this interview).
Little did I know about the Dutch, their country, and their culture. I simply imagined life in Amsterdam was going to be more interesting than everything I had previously experienced in my home country and I was looking forward to new beginnings.
We, Romanians, have a saying, a sort of attempt of managing the expectations of those who praise places where life seems better than in Romania: “Do you think the dogs there are walking the streets with bagels around their tails?” Let`s just say it`s the Romanian way of saying that grass is never greener on the other side.
I did not feel discouraged, and , in Summer 2010, I moved to Amsterdam nevertheless.
My first year in the Netherlands was intense. It was a year of discovery and assimilation, and I was trying to take it all in: the new reality, the language, the culture. On top of this, I was looking for jobs and friends.
The new life was making me happy. I started taking photos as a way to document my experience: moving into my first home in Amsterdam, studying Dutch, reading, painting, cooking, shopping (as a way of getting out of the house), buying flowers, enjoying the sunny days and getting cozy on rainy ones, Summer moving on, Autumn making room for Winter, my first Christmas in the Netherlands…
It`s all captured in the photos I selected below, most of them taken at home, as a way to describe my mood. Enjoy!
1 moving out, 2 moving in:
3 Romanian people celebrating the move, at the end of an exhausting yet happy day:
Waking up to this new view:
One of my first breakfasts in the new place:
Comfort food to take the blues away:
And… more rain:
Not exactly inviting on a cold and wet day, but still the loveliest terrace I`ve seen in Amsterdam so far:
Chocolate cake (from the supermarket) on the terrace:
… followed by red wine, also on the terrace. That must have been a warm evening!
Another lazy breakfast at home:
My Dutch language book and notebook:
Actually having the time to notice such things:
Not exactly the weather to spend time on the terrace, but still a nice view!:
Days at home, feeling creative and probably bored at the same time:
Another day, more reading. This was actually a Dutch novel for children, suggested by our teacher:
Evenings at home: more wine, more candles:
Autumn comfort food and black coffee – most probably a belated breakfast for me:
Winterish sky from my window:
Weekend breakfast at home:
Dutch Winter stories as part of my course:
Tea and baked chestnuts:
My first Christmas tree in Amsterdam:
In future posts, you will see bites and pieces of the following years, because it`s always nice to see the dynamic of life and how this is also reflected – unconsciously – in the space around you.