“The first time I visited Amsterdam was on my honeymoon. We got married on November 24th 2012 in Gran Canaria. We arrived in Amsterdam by night; it was cold and dark. When we drove further into the city and saw the canals and all the lights reflected in the water the cold suddenly disappeared. Everything looked romantic and ‘gezellig’. We spent most of our time walking around, eating and doing nothing - just what tourists are supposed to do. It felt wonderful. At the end of 2015 my employer suggested I should move to Amsterdam for a job. I wasn’t thrilled. Until I remembered my honeymoon in Amsterdam and the way it had made me feel. The following Monday I said yes to the job in Amsterdam.
My wife fell ill five days before we left. We made an appointment to see a doctor in Amsterdam and went to see him as soon as we arrived. The minute we arrived in Amsterdam everyone was really kind and helpful. I think that’s the moment that I realised I loved this city. While I tried to carry our luggage and help both my son and sick wife, strangers immediately offered to help carry my luggage. The taxi driver even walked with us to the right floor at the hospital.
My wife spent five weeks in hospital, and the entire time I was there I only ever met friendly and helpful people. Fortunately the outcome of her stay is a positive one; my wife is pregnant and in July 2016 she is going to give birth to a new resident of Amsterdam. My two year old son is already integrating well. He already speaks Dutch and says ‘’ kijk eens…’’ and ‘’dit is van mij.’’
The biggest adjustment that I have had to make is in terms of eating. I’m used to eating a hot meal twice a day and taking the time to do so. Here, it’s very different. At home we take our time eating dinner at the weekends. Eating at 6 p.m. doesn’t really work for us. We have had to compromise and now eat at around seven thirty.
The weather is also quite difficult for me. I miss the Spanish sun. It takes me twenty minutes to put on an extra layer of clothes in the morning. I put on two pairs of trousers; one top of the other; three T-shirts and a sweater. It’s ridiculous that when I go outside wearing all of this, I’ll sometimes see people walking by wearing T-shirts.
For me the most beautiful place in Amsterdam is a spot near the Olympic Stadium; there’s a little bridge with a lot of boat-houses. It reminds me of the harbour in Gran Canaria. Here those elements come together: water, light, sun and reflection. It doesn’t exactly take me home, but those are the same elements I grew up with, and they make me feel good. “
4.574 people in Amsterdam have the Spanish nationality.