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Comparative culture

Ignored in Amsterdam

Autumn 2000 —

If I knew before I came to Amsterdam what I found out when I got here, I would have thought twice.

Amsterdam is not like America, and I did not expect it to be. Well, I didn't know what to expect....

The most disturbing feature, for me, is being ignored. I am learning to accept it. Sometimes, people "won't see you" in Amsterdam. Many times I have spoken directly to a person and, having not gotten their real attention, been ignored.

Oh, you don't think so? Try it; you'll see.

I've come to accept it, more or less. More sometimes, less others. Overall, it's tolerable — and tolerance is the way around here.


I lived in Amsterdam from May to December of 2000.