Five days back in the Netherlands and it feels good to be somewhere so familiar and dear. I’m recovering from two jetlags, having never really processed the Australia batch. My energy levels are all over the place, my moods oscillate wildly, my desire to socialise has plateaued completely.
 
These next two weeks will be the first time I’ve stayed in one place for that long since January. I’ve had the most revelatory, beautiful travels and learned an inordinate amount. Now I’m glad for the opportunity to get some admin stuff sorted and relax in my own introverted company. 
 
Happily, after an extremely cold stopover here four weeks ago – the weather was HIDEOUS in early May – summer has kicked off in Amsterdam. And temperature is, like, really important in this town.
 
Amsterdam has often felt to me like one of those people you date who runs completely hot / cold. All or nothing. Super confusing. 
 
In winter – which can last 11 months – it can be moody, distant. It lies on the couch for days watching old episodes of Friends. It doesn’t return calls and gets narky with no warning. Despite occasional bursts of beauty, it basically relies on its beguiling melancholia to retain your interest. 
 
Then, just when you’re about to dump its sorry ass, summer hits. And Amsterdam in summer is one charming motherfucker.

Amsterdam in summer is full seduction mode: on. It buys you flowers, writes you songs, tells you how beautiful your eyes are, makes your favourite food and takes you amazing places which it has sought out carefully, dying to impress you. Your mum loves Amsterdam: so polite! So witty! So damned attractive! And you can’t fault her. Amsterdam is everything you were looking for in a city and more. Right?
 
These days, even in summer, I can resist Amsterdam’s charms. Yes, I love this place. But I need the ocean and nature and sun, lots of sun, PILES of sun. I need things Amsterdam cannot deliver. 

But today, our involvement is platonic: Amsterdam and I are close friends and this works for us both. We’re not playing games anymore. I care about this amazing place, a city that manages to be both bustling metropolis and tiny village. Amsterdam and I are lifelong mates, for which I am deeply grateful.