crisis

So 2020 Happened

Last year has been a lot to process. I am still not done and I will need more coffee to go through January, that is certain for me. But first of all happy new year, for what it is worth. I guess a fresh start is better than nothing.

After the Summer of 2020 I could not bring myself to blog any more. Fatigue was not the biggest issue. Ideas yeah sure plenty of ideas. Life though was becoming more frustrating by the day. Even when ignoring the news and headlines, it was hard to ignore the smell of panic and fear mixing and forcing its scent in every conversation. Even when staying completely rational, I could not help becoming more frustrated with how things were going.

For me 2020 started okay. I worked at Vapiano. Now if you think “how is that relevant?”, I will tell you. You see working at Vapiano was quite fun and I was learning a lot, fast. Fast forward to March and then the first Covid19 cases entered the Netherlands. Our prime minister and cabinet did not take it seriously. Me and some of my close friends were quite worried. The events around the world were worrisome to say the least. I knew that if proper measures would be taken, then my job was on the line (hospitality, catering and retail suffer under quarantine measures).

Well on March the 15th there was the first press conference on national T.V. and the restaurant had to close. I had a very bad gut feeling so I knew I had to start plan B and plan C. I mean in times of crisis prepare for the worst case scenario. On the 16th, a fucking Monday restaurants had to close and I was almost out of a job. Now my employment contract with Vapiano was a 0-hour contract, I knew what that meant. No hours to work, no money coming in to pay bills and save up for future plans. I was already job-hunting like a hungry bear waking up after a long Winter sleep.

On the 1st of April I had a new job with a better employment contract. I was lucky to quickly find a job and it was a decent job to boot. My hours were fixed and my salary would not depend on a 0-hour formula. It was not my dream job but fuck it, in times of crisis you want stability more than fun times at work. I was lucky, I actually made some friends there. It was a tough job but I accepted the challenge and I have learnt a lot. From April 2020 to October 2020 I worked there.

In times of crisis, a manager from one of my former jobs invited me back into his team. This manager happened to be a good friend so the least I could do was to visit him in person to talk. Even if I would refuse, I owed it to him to meet him in person. So yeah, in September 2020 life was changing again. Even better, the new job allowed me to move back to Amsterdam.

Imagine this, Amsterdam is the kind of city where many people want to live. Usually after May or June Amsterdam is flooded by tourists, expats and students looking for roofs over their heads. Well during the quarantine measure there were a lot less tourists, expats and students in Amsterdam. As a regular working person you had a chance to find something affordable in a city that is usually impossible. I am not joking. It is a joke and a curse we Dutchies in Amsterdam share about how lucky we sometimes are in finding our housing. If you do not have the right connections or not on the top of some waiting list, you need a bag of money and timing. I was very fortunate.

In November 2020 I started at my new job in a team with old friends and life was a lot more fun. My new team is filled with old friends and we have known each other for years. Despite the fact the Amsterdam is very quiet these days there are still jobs. You can still make it if you adapt and get on with it. There are almost no fun jobs right now because almost every job with personal interaction is not allowed under quarantine measures.

On the 31st of December Amsterdam was kind of quiet. When the night was becoming darker you would hear more fireworks. Fireworks were forbidden but people have been fed up. Even Christmas was a lonely affair for many people. No, celebration for the end of the year? No, people want to celebrate, especially when the year has been hard. A lot of fireworks and clouds smelling like gunpowder. In the last minutes of the year I was proud people celebrated the passing of time. Life is too short.

At the time of writing I started at January first 2021. Right now it is the second day of the new year. MF Doom is playing because well he deserves to be remembered. I might as well continue writing. 2020 happened, make 2021 a better year.