The web is full of “reasons to do this” or “reasons to do that”, so I was thinking, why do not write something like “reasons why NOT do this or that” and I ended up with something that I personal feel and experience.
After 2 years spent in Amsterdam I think I can, with a pinch of irony, write 10 good reasons why NOT to move to Amsterdam, especially if you are from Naples (like me).
I might have to warn you Amsterdam people out there, this is a matter of taste, as you know, every story has more than 1 sides to it …
- The Pizza.
As I said before, I’m from Naples, for me pizza is like water, like air, I simply cannot live without it! The average price of a Margherita is around EUR 10-12… Even if you can find a really nice and good pizzeria (thank God!), this price is quite high, especially if you think that in Naples the average price is EUR 3,50-4.
- The Coffee.
When I was living in Naples everyday I had at least 4-5 coffees during working hours. It’s quite common to take a break of 5 minutes, go out and have a coffee. Here, if you want to have a coffee, there’s no bar where you can go in, ask for a coffee and get out of there in 3 minutes… Talking about the price, EUR 2 for an espresso… Do you really think that’s what it’s worth?!
- The ice in winter season
The weather is not the best think here in the Netherlands, but still, I can manage to live in the cold, I love the snow also, but the ice… There’s nothing worse than the ice when you walk on the bridges in the center of Amsterdam, it feels like dancing on the ice
- The Italians
If you moved abroad because you want to meet people from all around the world, Amsterdam is the right place, but be aware that in Amsterdam you will also find a lot of Italians. This is not a bad thing, but keep in mind that it will be quite easy to end up always in places where the most common language is Italian.
- The parking
Don’t even start me on car parking in the centres, this time I want to talk about bike parking. In Naples we have a free way to interpret the word parking, for us every empty space is a good parking place, doesn’t matter if it’s on a sidewalk or on a zebra crossing, but here in Amsterdam unfortunately doesn’t work like this… My bike got removed twice because I locked it to a street lamp. Can you imagine how shocking that was for me???
If you are from Naples you have “Friarielli” in your DNA. For all the people from the rest of the world, Friarielli is a type of broccoli that grows in the Vesuvius area, it is one of the typical ingredients of the Neapoletan cuisine. Of course, there’s no Friarielli in Amsterdam… Well, actually once I found it, but I can assure you that one night in a 3 star hotel was cheaper than 500 grams of Friarielli…
One of the most famous Neapolitan dishes is the “Parmigiana di Melanzane”, a kind of Lasagna with slices of eggplant instead of the pasta (I can’t wait to go back to Italy this Christmas to have my mom’s Parmigiana…). Here in the Netherlands they of course have eggplant, but it’s not like our eggplant – ours are all different, have a great aroma and tasty and, especially, cheap… Every eggplant, here, is vacuum packed one by one, they all have the same weight and they cost EUR 1,50 each!
- Late dinner? No way!I know a few restaurants in Naples where you can have dinner even at 3:00 AM, in Amsterdam this is far from imaginable. All restaurants (let’s say 90% of them) close the kitchen around 10:30 PM, so hurry up for your dinner and make a reservation!
- Punctuality In my 29 years spent in Naples my appointments were always like “See you there around 5 – 5:30…”, here it doesn’t work like that at all. I still remember one call I got from one of my friends:”Eh Gigi, I’m sorry, I’ll be 2, maybe 3 minutes late!” (it was, in the end, 1 minute and 40 seconds late)… 2-3 minutes in late? Wow, in Naples we are starting to warn people about being late say from half an hour, 45 minutes! But be aware, everybody expects from you this same Amsterdam punctuality.
- Playing cards
If you love to play “scopa” or “7 1/2” or any other game with a deck of Neapolitan playing cards keep in mind that in Amsterdam you can find food from every corner of the world but not a simple deck of Neapolitan playing cards! And, of course, none but the other Italians, knows anything about them!
As I said, this list is really personal and you should know I love this city more an more every day! So, do not be scared, come to Amsterdam and enjoy this awesome city!