Doei Doei Amsterdam!

After almost 2 years living and working in Amsterdam it is now time for a change. As of July we (I & the Girl) will move to Basel in Switzerland. Exchanging Pannekoeken for Basler Lakerli, Dutch for SwitzerDutch (sounds almost the same) and Kings Days for Carnaval.

For those who don’t know Basel: This city is the paradise of Pharma Industry (!), dry sweets (!!) and Vitra chairs (!!!). Don’t worry, from July on I will share pictures.

If you have any contacts in Basel: they are more than welcome. For us is Basel almost like a new country.

PS: “Doei doei” means “Bye Bye”

A litte retrospective in pictures

amsterdam-1
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No News / Good News

Wow, 1 year! Almost a year I did not write a single line on my blog. This is baaaad. My activity on Twitter has reach a near zero level (not even talking about G-Plus). But I did just pick it up again. I only did keep up with Facebook and Instagram.

Since almost a year I have been working at G-Star as a E-Commerce Project Manager. Selling premium apparel over our different websites. I had to learn a lot about e-commerce. I needed also to get used to the slightly different way of Dutch working. A very good experience in a rapidly growing environnement (I try to write a post about the Dutch & Work, but later) !

On the personal side, I have now spend more than a year in Amsterdam. Not enough to know every street and feel really at home. Enough to know the good places to go and start building habits. The good thing when you are an expat is that you are some sort of never satisfied tourist. There are so many things to discover.

Sorry, but I must go, discover a new place! But I promise, the next post won’t be in a year. 1 years !!!!?!?

No news / good news : do you actually say this in English or in other languages? Or is it only a French expression?

Top 10 – Amsterdams’ best creative agency websites

A couple of years ago I did a Top 10 of the best website of agencies in Romandie. Here is the new version with the Amsterdammers agencies. Don’t get me wrong, I’m judging only the website and not their actual portfolio. It’s my personal and subjective view. But I was a little be deceived buy the overall quality.

Curious about the Dutch agency landscape? Have a look at the Amsterdam Creative Agency map.

A few rules

  • You are using Flash ? Sorry, you’re out.
  • Your website is not responsive / adapted to mobile? Not good.
  • Don’t complain, it’s my top 10

1) edenspiekermann

Edenspiekermann-agency-amsterdam

My favorite! A very simple and minimal website but it goes strait to the point. And they have a great blog which I’d advise you to follow (this post about Interaction Design very interesting). Thank you Michael for the suggestion.

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Bitterballen - Creative Commons Flickr User davidkosmos

Awesome things we have in Amsterdam

No, the Amsterdammers don’t have Fondue, Mountains nor Heidi. But they have some other awesome things we should get inspired with. Have you ever heard of Bitterballen?

REAL Bike lanes

Come on Switzerland, you can do better. Of course, it will be impossible to beat Amsterdam. But still you can improve. Almost every street has it’s bike lane,  mostly separate from the road. Just great. If you plan to travel around the Netherlands you should try the Fiets Route Planner. A great tool which lets you find the best routes (race, nature, chill).

Canals

These a great for rowing, ice-skating and borrels (apéros). This might be a bit tricky to build in Lausanne, but you have that awesome lake. I guest the lake wins, I would definitively not go for a swim in those canals. Even if princess Maxima (!!!) did it.

Free Ferries

FREE public transportation, this is awesome! Cross the IJ by day and night without a penny. You will find them just behind the central train station – More information here. Are there any place in Switzerland where you can find free public transportation? I can’t think of any.

The Museumkart

One card to rule them all. Visit virtually any museum in the Netherlands for free. Yeah, actually you’ll have to pay 55 euros first. Beat that Switzerland and your Federalism. Get yours on their horrible website. If you are living here it is worth it. After 2 month we already “amortized” them.

Songwaiter

The jukebox for iphone! Via you iphone you can choose the music that should be played in the bar. This is a great idea even if old jukeboxes look so much better than your new iphone C. But with the jukebox, you can’t do this.

Bakfiets

A wheelbarrow for you child, actually for your 6 children. Only possible in this flat land. Try riding down le “petit chène” in Lausanne with this. This is a Bakfiets

Bitterballen

Most awesome food ever invented by humanity! Yeah, at least by the Dutch. They are usually not so much of big chefs you know… But if you come to the Netherlands, you have to try this. Fried, deeeeep fried… stuff. No idea what they put inside, but it’s served with mustard. Yummy.

There are also thing that should stay in the Netherlands like Broodbeleg for example

Amsterdam Creative Agency Map

Over the past weeks I’ve been searching a lot of the creative / communication / digital / 360 / PR / Unicorn agencies in Amsterdam, visiting their website, looking at their work. I gathered a few addresses on a map. So I thought I would share them with you. I’ll try also to setup a little Top 10 of the best websites, there are some really nice ones.

and here is the Map

View the map in full size – I know 520px wide is too small. And the “full screen” button on the embed code doesn’t work yet. Map Engine is still in beta version.

And of course I haven’t listed them all, share your tips in the comments please. You can also embed it somewhere else if you want: <iframe src=”http://mapsengine.google.com/map/embed?mid=z5PzciJmnfps.k_UQ0e2LDsXA” width=”640″ height=”480″></iframe>

PS: The new Google Map Engine Lite is pretty awesome. You should try it. I found it much handier to use than the previous google “my maps” crappy stuff.

 

Impressions of Amsterdam – Instagram photos

If you follow me on Instagram you have already seen these pictures. It’s a general impression (kaleidoscope?) of Amsterdam through some random photos (mostly show while biking).

Art Zuid exhibition – A giant skull which contains a jacuzzi (I think)
Art Zuid exhibition – A giant skull which contains a jacuzzi (I think)

Rowingclub

A little picture of the TopRow rowing club.
A little picture of the TopRow rowing club.
The Nemo, a strange building, and I didn’t catch WIIFM
The Nemo, a strange building, and I didn’t catch WIIFM
A cool place to go, if you like to climb of course!
A cool place to go, if you like to climb of course!

house-rules gummi-bootli from-top-of-oba Foggy-run

Ahhh the canals!
Ahhh the canals!

eetereij-de-pisse

Girly shop, with coffee, cupcakes and knitted cupcakes!
Girly shop, with coffee, cupcakes and knitted cupcakes!
Girly shop, with coffee, cupcakes and knitted cupcakes!
Girly shop, with coffee, cupcakes and knitted cupcakes!
A typical Amsterdamer weather, sunny but cloudy, dry but rainy, still but actually windy (and the nice flag). None one could explain me yet why there are those 3 crosses.
A typical Amsterdamer weather, sunny but cloudy, dry but rainy, still but actually windy (and the nice flag). None one could explain me yet why there are those 3 crosses.
In Amsterdam you can encounter some interesting people on bikes…
In Amsterdam you can encounter some interesting people on bikes…
Art Zuid exhibition – This helicopter is also part of the urban exhibition
Art Zuid exhibition – This helicopter is also part of the urban exhibition

How to find a multilingual job in Amsterdam

This weekend I’ve attended the Expatica Job Fair in Amsterdam. Yep, I’m a expat and I’m looking for a new challenge! So these are the kind of events where you might want to go to get these extra little tips which might help you land THE job.

But you came for tip to help you, and here they are. But first, you might also want to have a look at my previous post “How to find a Digital Creative Job in Amsterdam”. There are plenty of uselful links.

First tip

Learn Dutch, ha! Even if everyone speaks English, for a lot of jobs they need Dutch speakers… I’ve seen job opening where the recruiters where looking for people who’d master 2 languages and Dutch. If you need help with this? Then start by reading this post.

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Apprendre pour comprendre – Amsterdam J+9

amsterdam-fondue-modif2
Une fondue ça peut pas faire de mal!

Voilà, ça fait presque 10 jours que je suis un habitant d’Amsterdam. Alors je vous envoie quelques nouvelles.

Et là je suis en pleine phase d’apprentissage. Comprendre Amsterdam, ses quartiers, ses rues, ses habitants. Comprendre le néerlandais, comprendre les néerlandais. Chercher des cafés, chercher des cafés avec internet, chercher des cafés avec une bonne connexion internet qui dure plus d’une heure. Apprendre l’aviron, apprendre le freinage “torpédos” (vous vous rappelez?), apprendre à connaître ses nouveaux spots de running dans le parc, découvrir les nouveaux supermarché, des nouveaux produits surgelés, des nouveaux type de pains tranchées, emballés, calibrés, découvrir des nouvelles caisses où l’on peut que payer par carte de crédit. Découvrir de splendides bibliothèques, des canaux, des pistes cyclables avec scooters sur-speedés. Apprendre comment se déplacer en ville en vélo sous une pluie battante, apprendre à faire du vélo avec un parapluie et comprendre qu’il faut acheter ce “stromparaplu” comme ils l’appellent.
Apprendre que pour avoir internet à la maison il te faudra patienter 30 jours. Réapprendre à lire des livres le soir. Comprendre que sans internet c’est quasiment impossible de postuler pour un nouveau job. Comprendre qu’il te faudra télécharger un update de 900 mo pour pouvoir de-simlocker ton iphone et ce avec ta clef USB 3G…

Mon cerveau explose avec toutes ces langues (le français à la maison, l’anglais avec les gens à qui il faut expliquer quelque chose, l’allemand et l’hollandais qui se mélange constamment, et le portugais qui ressort quand les camarade ce cours parlent en espagnol!). Alors voilà, j’écris en français.

A plus sur l’fiets (<= vélo)

Creative Commons Nestlé

I’m moving to Amsterdam for 2 years

As some of you may already know, I’m moving to Amsterdam for 2 years! My girlfriend found a job in the Netherlands and I’m really happy to experience living and working from abroad. Switzerland is nice, but sometimes you gotta move! So I’ll be leaving Lausanne by the end of August for the big-bike-friendly city.

Usually I’m writing in French on this blog, but I want my new readers (the Dutch…) to be able to understand my posts too. So get used to it! Hey Romands, you’d prefer me to write in dutch or what?

This is the introduction post. I’ll try to describe my transition to the flatland on a weekly basis. Because there is still a lot of thing to do before even getting there.

The checklist

Below you’ll find my checklist. I’ll try to write a post about each of these items. But I can’t promise anything,

  1. Inform myself about the country (culture, cheese)
  2. Know the admin stuff (immigration laws, taxes, etc) – the annoying stuff
  3. Find a flat
  4. Find a job (or a digital one)
  5. Find friends (?)
  6. But first of all, LEARN DUTCH!

Since I’ve never been to the Netherlands and (almost) don’t know anyone there, don’t be shy. Share your tips, your connections, the name of your favorite Gouda shop! See you soon in Amsterdam.