“I wasn’t born here, and to call myself an Amsterdammer would be, in my opinion, disrespectful to born and bred Amsterdammers. However, I do belong here. I’m not at all homesick for Switzerland. I don’t even feel like I have any ties there, even though I was born there. I think this is because my mother is Jewish. I must admit, however, that I still have my Swiss passport.
I have two children; a twenty-one year old daughter, and a seventeen year old son. They, I think, really do feel like they are genuine Amsterdammers. Or maybe you should call them Nieuwmarkt kids. These are kids who have kind of alternative parents and grow up in the town centre, with more freedom than the average kid. They come into contact with whores and criminals at a very early age, and are rather blasé about it all.
Even then, their youth is not much different from my own. Even though Zurich is perhaps a little more provincial. Amsterdam gave me a sense of freedom. I think I’m one of the few craftsmen in the centre of town; my offering for the city. I’m a bow maker and have my atelier in the Oudeschans. It would be wonderful if other craftsmen worked in the centre, as it would add energy. Before, the centre of Amsterdam housed craftsmen such as blacksmiths and carpenters. Now there’s nothing, which makes it dull.”
430 people in Amsterdam have the Swiss nationality