Reinke Grandma was the first local we considering to interview, as she and her husband used to live in plenty of countries worldwide.
They worked and lived in many places just as locals there. And they have observed and experienced the world’s rapid changing during near half-century.
They are very modern and open-minded, like to use the latest electrical devices and keep updating their knowledge. But they said that decades ago, the transportation was not as developed as today, and traveling was not that easy. There was no Internet, so they got news from newspapers and communicated with friends by writing letters.
After coming back to Amsterdam for years, we believe she has many insights and stories about the world especially Amsterdam.
Q | After living worldwide, why did you select Amsterdam to settle down?
I was born in a little hamlet in Friesland (think about black and white cows) the most northern province of the Netherlands with its own language.
I’m an OAP (old age pensioner) now, but when I was young, I had this dream about moving to Amsterdam and as soon as possible I could I applied for a teaching job in Mokum.
Later on, in life, I was lucky enough to live in different parts of the world, such as Russia, Argentina, India, South Africa, Iran and so on because my husband worked there. But every time we moved back to the Netherlands, I was so excited to be in Amsterdam again.
Q | How long have you lived in Amsterdam & what changes in this city have you experienced?
I lived on and off in Amsterdam, in total for 13 years. Amsterdam is like what it always has been: an open, tolerant city with hundreds of nationalities.
The attraction of Amsterdam is, I think, it’s anything but a big city. In the inner city, most of the attractions like museums are in walking distance. Unavoidably the city has become much more busy over the years. Almost everybody wants to be in Amsterdam.
Q | What pop attractions would you like to highlight for travelers?
2019 is the “Rembrandt Year” in Rijksmuseum, most certainly worth a visit.
Also If you take the ferry behind Central Station to visit the Eye, you'll find an exhibition center, a theatre and a big lounge overlooking the water. And next to building Eye, you can find Amsterdam Tower (22 floors) with restaurants and on top a panorama floor with a magnificent view over the city. You also can have a go on a big swing there.
Amsterdam has so much to offer, and it’s impossible to mention everything.
All the museums, the Heineken Brewery and of course the really really beautiful canals with all the big houses dating from the Golden Century which have existed four centuries.
Also, Jordaan is worth a visit. It’s an old area with restaurants and little shops.
For shopping, there’s de Bijenkorf and Hudson’s Bay, not far from each other.
Q | What "secret" places would you like to recommend travelers to visit?
1) Het Begijnhof is unique and very close to the Kalverstraat.
2) The garden of the Rijksmuseum.
3) A little bit further away is Frankendael. It’s more in the eastern part of the city. Frankendael used to be a manor for the wealthy Amsterdamers. Now it’s a restaurant with a beautiful garden.
4) “Ons lieve heer op solder” a secret church during the time the roman catholic church was forbidden in the Netherlands. You can find it in” the red light district” in Amsterdam. | TripCell