Want to mix business with pleasure? Meet Andreas from Denmark, Creative Coder at Circus Family, who’s in Amsterdam for just that reason.
FinchFactor: How do you generally feel about Amsterdam?
Andreas: I like it a lot! It is very similar to Copenhagen in a lot of ways – bikes everywhere, people speaking strange languages and shitty weather. But Amsterdam city has a lot more life and way more things to explore. There is also a bigger scene for, and more openness towards, experimental and artsy computer based stuff, which is perhaps the main reason why I am here.
FinchFactor: A preconception people tend to have about Amsterdam that isn’t actually true?
Andreas: It’s all true! You should never stop believing what you hear.
FinchFactor: What drives you crazy about this city, and how do you refresh your memory to the things that make you want to live here?
Andreas: I guess it’s really cliché-ish, but I can’t stand tourists walking on the bike path. I’m also not a big fan of the whole red light district thing you’ve got going on, I find it quite repulsive actually.
But the people, the canals and buildings plus the general vibe makes you want to stay. It seems like people here believe that most stuff is possible, so there is a great energy!
FinchFactor: They say ‘don’t mix business with pleasure’, are you here for business or pleasure?
Andreas: I am actually in Amsterdam to try to blur the distinction between the two in my personal life. At my workplace, Circus Family, I have a lot of freedom to explore the topics and learn the techniques I want to, so coming to Amsterdam is an attempt to bridge the gap between business and pleasure, and make the stuff I used to do for fun, into my livelihood.
FinchFactor: When in Amsterdam …………
Andreas: Try to find strange meetups for people that do stuff you might also be interested in. It is a great source of inspiration and a nice way to meet people – especially if you are not originally from here. There are a lot of small communities around niche topics (Creative Coding Amsterdam, Hackers & Designers and Interactive Storytelling just to name a few of the ones I like) and so far all the events I have attended have been very nice. Drinks also tend to be dirt cheap (free or 1€), so if the speakers aren’t that great, you can always get a good buzz going.
FinchFactor: One thing that will surprise you about this city if you move here
Andreas: The smell of weed occurs at locations where you least expect it. Also Dutch food culture has a lot of (more or less pleasant) surprises.
FinchFactor: What makes you feel like an ‘Amsterdammer’?
Andreas: I have only been here for little more than a month, but the other day I heard somebody talking about bloemkool [cauliflower] in dutch and I kinda understood it! Biking to work through Vondelpark also feels very homely.
The Creative Rolodex is a series collecting tips from the many creative souls of Amsterdam to help us see the city through new glasses. Amsterdam has always attracted talent from beyond a map of the Netherlands, and this series will give you insights from both ‘locals’ and expats.