Monday, 5 July 2010

Journey to the West, Part 6: Amsterdam

My journey to the west ended where it started, back home in Amsterdam.  We've lived here for a year and a half, and this is the longest I've been away in that time.  There's a phrase written on the underside of a bridge near Central Station:

"Terugkomen is niet hetzelfde als blijven"

I've always translated that as "coming back is not the same as staying put".  I'm not sure if it has a double meaning in Dutch, but I feel it can either mean that the journey is worth it even if you end up in the same place, or that being home is something to look forward to as much as travel.

Even though I've had a great time getting to know my colleagues around the world (and seeing a few old friends along the way), I'm glad to be back in Amsterdam.  It's a great place to live even when the weather is bad (and it often is), and I returned to find that summer had finally arrived, the weather was only a few degrees cooler than KL.  It was literally a warm welcome, and perfect weather to walk off a bit of jetlag between fits of napping.

On the way home, I found myself with a little time to spare just as the Brazil-Netherlands World Cup match began.  I watched as long as I could (and probably a little longer), and then ran for my flight.  The Netherlands was still a goal behind when I boarded, I didn't get to find out until the next day that they'd managed to come from behind to win the game.  I'm not much of a soccer fan, but I think it's time to learn.  I look forward to watching the next game in Amsterdam, surrounded by teammates, friends who aren't also teammates and thousands of excited Netherlanders.

Of course, there are always things to look forward to here, which is one of the reasons it suits us so well.

No comments: