Bye bye Amsterdam

Bye bye Amsterdam

Has been eleven months and a half since I came here in the Netherlands for studying, and time is come also to leave this country and go back home.

Closet

I remember clearly when I came with a flight from Pescara to Eindhoven in the middle of August, 2009. I was scared and excited, and Pierluigi that was coming with me was bringing here is windsurf too, so we had to get a car and drive from Eindhoven to Amsterdam. I discovered in less than a day that driving in Amsterdam is just crazy. Few weeks after I bought a bike, and the bike is still with me, we made more than 1800 Km together, and I love her. I will leave her here, maybe she will do more way with someone else. Nothing is forever indeed.

I’m quite sad, but also excited. In this eleven months I accomplished a lot, from a personal and educational point of view. Now I’m packing and my lovely room is so empty, aseptic and white that doesn’t even look mine. But I know every thing I did here, and she will remember me as one of the finest inhabitants. She was always clean, and I treated her well.

What I learnt here ? That everyone is different, and that there is no need to be ashamed of anything in life, cause what you think is unusual, or weird, for you, is probably normal and common for someone else.

Let’s talk about this eleven months. What I remember of each of them ?

August 2009: Settle, try to solve all the bureaucratic issues, having fear of talking in English, thinking that everyone at the VU was smarter than me.

September 2009: The academic year started, I started to get lost with the bike in the city, met most of my actual friends here.

October 2009: My first exam here, the Amsterdam Dance Event, seeing a fellow stranger in the Cafe` and having a dream about that person the same night, starting to feel the pressure.

November 2009: Everything was dark, I was stressed while trying to do three courses at the same time, spending 10 or 12 hours inside the university was more than common.

December 2009: My friends visiting from Italy, the snow, the train system paralyzed, the cold, trying to go back home for Christmas fighting with the trains and the fake bomb at the airport.

January 2010: New proposals, new goals, spending all the Monday nights at the Cafe`, new experiences, talking with my actual supervisors to find a good master project, seeing all the exchange students of the first semester leaving.

February 2010: Starting to work on my master project, doing my last exam at the VU, taking a look at the new people coming, being always considered a newcomer because I haven’t been at many parties before, the trip to Paris with Matteo to visit Serafino.

March 2010: The last snow, the 5 Days Off and Paul Kalkbrenner with Andrea (what a night), Francesca moving to Amsterdam.

April 2010: Easter in Prague, my birthday, the usual depression period associated always with the spring and with getting older, Queensday, passing out too much, asking something I was sure I couldn’t, going for the first time at the beach, waking up early every morning to go to the Greenpeace International office to work on the website migration.

May 2010: The rain, trying to find out things about me, going to the movies, getting lost in Spuistraat, Pinkpop, being stupid, chasing rabbits in Vondelpark.

June 2010: Finally understanding some things that I should have understood before, the second time at the beach, Andrea’s graduation, going to Switzerland for the Sonisphere festival, the rain, the mud, changes, some people leaving, studying for some exams to do in Italy.

July 2010: Going to Italy to do 2 exams, having to say too many goodbyes, seeing Uilenstede getting emptier, meeting new people knowing already that is almost time to leave them, seeing friends moving around, the sun, going out almost every night, learning new ways to move through the city, finalizing the plan to finish the thesis in few months from now, crying, packing, leaving.

Sometimes I ask myself if I should have gone in more places while leaving here, cause the only places I spent some time in, excluding for traveling reasons, are Amsterdam (ok, I live in Amstelveen, but frankly, it’s 10 meters after the city border and I just went to the center two times to go to the municipality, nothing more), Enschede, Rotterdam, Zandvoort and Arnhem. My knowledge of the country is not so good then, I should admit.
BTW my answer to the question is no, I should have done what I wanted to do, and being a tourist was  not in between the things I wanted to do.

And I can say also that I met just one or two Dutch people in all this time, most of the people I’ve met were from somewhere else, like Italy, Greece, Cyprus, Romania, India, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Brazil, South Africa, USA, Germany, Poland, Hungary, Lithuania, Iran. So maybe I should say that I was somewhere else but in the Netherlands. Or maybe not, cause Amsterdam is like that, a big mess of people from everywhere 🙂

Had my last lunch at the VU on Wednesday the 28th of July, it was quite empty, the coffee was worse than usual, but there were still mice, and that’s nice. Said goodbye to the faculty on Thursday.

Maybe I wanted to write a lot more, but that’s what is coming out of my mind right now, it is quite hard to summarize a whole year of life and experiences just writing, and I’m not so concentrated right now 😛

A big thank you to all the people I’ve met here, without you guys, and girls, I would’ve probably gave up at some point, cause I know myself and how much insecure and not confident I am, with you beside me I was able to complete my study here and live happy moments. Let’s screw all the bad memories, they’re not worth to be carried around.

And dear Amsterdam, see you again next fall and winter, remember that I will be back to defend my thesis and graduate very soon 😀

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