Interview with an expat

Where do you come from and where do you live in the Netherlands?
I am from Germany and I have been living in the Netherlands, in Amsterdam, for 4 months now.

What’s your job/business?
I am working at 5PM in the International Marketing Team. 5PM is a full-service YouTube agency. Our team consists of the best YouTube experts and we help our clients to maximize their reach and turnover as well as optimize and manage their own YouTube channels. My main responsibilities include managing the German PokerStars channel and helping to develop the best strategy for 5PM’s internationalization, especially on the German market.

What was your first time in the Netherlands?
In summer 2016, I came to the Netherlands with some friends and we had a great time doing the typical tourist excursions.

What is the nicest thing about the Netherlands?
What I really love about the Netherlands is that everyone rides their bike everywhere. It’s so nice to get some fresh air and also to stay fit and healthy. I also love being so close to the sea. It always feels good to escape the bustle of the city and enjoy some hours at the beach.

What’s the worst thing about the Netherlands?
That the sun shines too rarely.

Do you have Dutch friends?
I have my colleagues at work and count them as my friends. Due to Covid we have online after-work drinks every Friday, which is nice to keep in touch with everyone. They all have super nice insider tips on where to go and what to see during my stay. Julia, who also works with me, is a really nice and enthusiastic tour guide and showed me some cool places as well as typical Dutch food.

What do you like about Dutch people? What don’t you like?
I only had good experiences with Dutch people so far. Everyone is super friendly and helpful. I also felt really welcome when joining 5PM and enjoy being around my coworkers.

Do you have a favourite restaurant in your city?
I was fortunately able to visit a few restaurants before the lockdown. I liked the atmosphere and the food at Mamas & Tapas in the Jordaan district best.

Where do you prefer to relax in your city?
Although it’s super crowded on the weekends, especially when the sun is shining, I like to relax in Vondelpark.

What’s your favourite Dutch store?
During my first week living in Amsterdam, I discovered the fashion store THE STING, where I found beautiful pieces to wear. They have many stores with fancy and creative fashion for men and women. And I really like that the stores in the Netherlands are open seven days a week. In Germany all the stores are closed on Sundays, so it’s super nice that you have the possibility to shop all weekend here.

What do you like to do on the weekend?
I like to spend my weekends with my friends or roommates. We usually go to the Albert Cuyp market on Saturdays to buy fresh food and cook a nice dinner in the evening. If it’s not too windy outside, we also like to go to Zandvoort or Scheveningen for long walks on the beach.

Who is your favourite Dutch person?
As I really listen to music the whole day, I can say that I like the Dutch DJ Martin Garrix.

What would you recommend a visitor to do and see in your city in the Netherlands?
I would always recommend renting a bike as it’s the best way to explore the cities. Also, probably the most beautiful activity in Amsterdam is strolling along the canals or doing a canal cruise, where you can discover the city from the water.

What is your favourite Dutch food? And what Dutch food do you dislike?
Bitterballen and freshly made stroopwafels from the street markets are my favourite Dutch foods. I don’t like broodje haring.

Do you celebrate Dutch holidays? What is your favourite?
During my time in Amsterdam, I celebrated Sinterklaas on 5 December. My friends and I had little gifts and creative poems that we gave to each other.

Where do you like to go out?
In the evenings, I like to go out to the Pijp, which is probably the liveliest part of Amsterdam. I love the high density of cafes and restaurants in the neighbourhood and the multicultural atmosphere.

What famous Dutch place should you really go and see?
I would also recommend the beaches, as the atmosphere definitely feels like you’re on holiday.

Best-kept secret in your city?
I wish I knew. Covid and the lockdown kept me away from finding out secrets in Amsterdam.

Written by Marla Thomson