Moments in Amsterdam
A 5'6" Torontonian's observations from the city with tall urinals.
Looking out on the beautiful and canal-abundant city of Amsterdam from the 4th floor of a beautiful WeWork, I realized I was working out of a floor dedicated to be the lounge and cafeteria for the resident members of the WeWork.
I happened to be working though their lunch hour and a few things of note here. They say that in Italian prisons, cells have espresso machines because they see the availability of good coffee to be part of basic human rights.
Hence, I like looking at the things that are provided with such a mindset.
What I noticed in the common space was a sandwich presser. I don't know how others may view this but I noticed that people in Amsterdam really love their sandwiches. Maybe it's because I don't particularly find them that appealing that it sticks out... but I saw a line of folks with their home made sandwiches waiting to press their sandwich on the grill provided by WeWork.
I also learned that mint tea is famous in Amsterdam. Next to the sandwich presser was a trolly with a bunch of leafy plants and I thought it was part of the decoration until I saw a number of folks pluck the leaves to make tea and I realized they were mint leaves. Another cultural nuance there I thought it was unique. If only I could properly describe how much my "mind was blown" seeing the first person pluck the leaves to make tea... Maybe writing this piece is enough of an indicator.
Diversity is also a big thing as well. Maybe there is a bias of this being a WeWork but I'm hearing all kinds of European languages around me. When I'm hearing English it's being said with all kinds of accents. It was also funny to see that my girlfriend and I were the only two East Asians in the cafeteria. Most were Caucasian but definitely diverse in their backgrounds given the wide range of English accents. Diversity is not merely with gender and skin colour after all.
As typical of the biking capital of the world, I would overhear a group talking about the gears and speed of their bikes in detail.
As typical of a major European city, there was a foosball table in the common area and I have never seen people this intensely into foosball to be jeering, screaming and taking their sweaters off from sweating in the intensity of the moment. Small cultural differences here. I mean.. these guys were constantly vibrating the handle to be ready for a quick snap. Intense much?
It's not much but these are the small things I continue to find fascinating whenever I travel. It's the things that no tourism Instagram photo will reveal.