I have a new place to live! Although unplanned, I am actually happy about this, as it’s nice to think of having lived in two different areas of Amsterdam during my year here. But the question of why I have changed accomodation probably requires explaining if you are aware of HOW nice the place I was living last semester was. Literally!
Over christmas I began to worry about whether being on a year abroad was the right thing considering the state of my health: still with bad fatigue and everything else I described (see About Me page). It was presented to me that most people with an ongoing illness take time off from studying until they are better, and that I didn’t have to keep going or pushing myself. Eventually I decided to drop out of UVA (Universitiet van Amsterdam). Flying back the weekend before the second semester began, I packed up my apartment, said goodbye to everyone and came home again. I felt an overwhelming feeling of regret as soon as I arrived in London and I spent a week at home resting, but feeling frustrated that I had let Amsterdam go, when there wasn’t a guarantee of my getting better any quicker by doing nothing at home. There’s only so much greys anatomy you can watch before things get bad, right? So, after one week, I was on the phone back to the university, who by a stroke of luck had not processed my de-registration. That could have been awkward! The main thing was finding a new place to live before I could get on a flight, since my room had been immediately given to someone else- unsurprisingly!
This is where I lived before:
Ok, I didnt live on a balcony. This was the top floor of our apartment, where our shared kitchen opened onto this balcony with an amazing view of the neighbourhood’s rooftops. I shared the flat with 2 other girls and 1 guy, and we got the apartment through the university. The area is the Jordaan, the infamously chic, pretty, and pretty-expensive region, north of the centre of Amsterdam. It is very well connected; I was 3 minutes from the Centraal Station, and a 3 minute walk from the most beautiful streets and shops. It is ridiculously hard to find good quality accomodation in Amsterdam near the centre at a reasonable price, and it doesnt get any better than the Jordaan. Any Amsterdammer will tell you so!
Haarlemerdijk, full of quirky shops, boutiques and cool restaraunts, organic stores and generally everything you could need is just off Prinsengracht, so I was lucky enough to live a few minutes walk from one of Amsterdam’s most important canals, and probably my favourite too, but I think that is just being biased as i have walked along it so many times on the way back to the apartment that it feels like home! It is famously home to the Anne Frank House among other things, so the mile long queue is a constant feature unless you are passing first thing in the morning when only the savvy few know to go.
Anyway- I don’t have any photos of my room anymore due to doing a large scale cull of my photo library, as I think my iPhone was about to give up the ghost from memory-overload. Turns out that wasnt the best decision for the purposes of this blog. However, it was brand new, airy and nice, I can tell you that! Here is the view from my window, and you can almost see the dock in the background to the right, which at night glows with the reflections of all those apartment lights on the water and the boats look so majestic.
It was actually quite strange how vividly we could see eachother- the people living opposite and me. Definitely felt like living in a Hitchcock film, just without the murders. At least there was someone always there looking out for me, and who was always keen for a non-competitive staring contest
….So all in all, you can see I was a lucky person for my first semester!
But to the now! During my frantic week of deciding to u-turn on my dropout decision, I managed to come across a girl who wanted to someone to take over her contract at an independent accomodation for international students in Amsterdam West. It is a ‘concept’ accomodation, and simultaneously a hotel, which means things are all in nice shape. I am on a corridor with 7 guys and 6 girls, and we all share a big kitchen which is fun although with 13 people it can get a liittle messy.
So that’s the acccomodation. In terms of the actual area, I am basically living in the hood now, but i like it. Its an interesting contrast for sure, and its also a direct tram ride into the centre of town and to uni, so its still easy to get to where I need to be.
So there you have it, my neighbourhoods of old and new!
If anyone reading this is coming to study in Amsterdam and not able to find somewhere through the university I would definitely recommend where I am staying now- it is sociable, relaxed and good quality accomodation, although the general area may not be what everyone is looking for. Message me if you want to know more.
Thats all for now anyway- till next time!
Love O xxxx