“Just over two years ago I went travelling on my own. In Thailand I met Joyce, from the Netherlands, who was on holiday with her mother. We only spent two evenings together but fell immediately in love and began a long distance relationship. For thirteen months we spoke to each other via Skype and texted with WhatsApp whenever we had the chance, and we visited each other in each other’s home country. We had to think about where we would live. Amsterdam won. I didn’t have a steady job at that time, so it was the right time to move on. And I loved this city from the moment I came here.
My girlfriend was born in Brazil and moved here when she was six. We are two expats in a city full of expats. She’s a professional salsa dancer and has that Brazilian flair as well as the forthright attitude of an Amsterdammer. I think it’s great that I can learn something from both of these cultures.
We live in Oost. I love this part of town. It’s full of different cultures all living together, and I’m naturally a part of that. I feel ultra safe in Amsterdam. You can easily walk the streets at two in the morning. The only place I feel less safe is in the red light district. My South African friends all tell me, “If we come to visit, we have to have a look at the red light district”. In my opinion, it’s merely a tourist trap and not somewhere I’d spend much time. I’d rather take them to one of the beautiful parks here. I’m in my element when immersing myself in the Amsterdam lifestyle: sitting on a terrace, drinking with friends, cycling through the city. I also work as an office manager at FinchFactor in the Herengracht. With my brilliant colleagues I work on one of the most stunning canals of the city. This makes me a very proud Amsterdammer.
Joyce and I are very settled here and want to grow old here together. We want to buy a house, which isn’t easy here. The locals find us to be a bit young to be thinking of settling down. They prefer to study and travel. I didn’t stay in school, but still enjoy student life. We are very much in love and would love to stay together.”
796 people in Amsterdam have the South African nationality