At a borrel the other night I met the brilliant Robin Pascoe who invited me to do an interview for their Dutch News 10 Questions feature on their website; dutchnews.nl.
The results are below! With a few extra photos for illustration purposes … I can’t help myself! I am a photographer after all.
Where do you live?
Amsterdam for now. Amstelveen from 2015.
What do you do?
I’m a leading independent photographer covering mainly Corporate conferences / Congress events & weddings here in the Netherlands and across Europe. I also spend quite a lot of my time taking portraits which I love.
My work can be found on www.benjaminarthur.com
How long have you been in the Netherlands?
Twitter name (so we can alert you when your entry goes live)
How did you end up in the Netherlands?
My wife was offered a job to work for a boutique executive search firm specialising in filling marketing positions. At the time we both thought Amsterdam would be a great adventure. Happily, we weren’t wrong and now we can’t imagine living anywhere else. This city is insanely brilliant.
How do you describe yourself – an expat, lovepat, immigrant, international etc – and why?
If lovepat means we love Amsterdam then lovepat! We certainly don’t lead an expat lifestyle and I’m not even sure I know what that means anymore. We try to be careful not to define ourselves in this way.
How long do you plan to stay?
Do you speak Dutch and how did you learn?
No and learning the language has got to be next on the agenda after our recent house purchase. It is extraordinary to think that we could stay here for the rest of our lives and, thanks to google translate and the amazing linguistic talents of the Dutch not have to take a single language class. We won’t do that but we could.
What’s your favourite Dutch food?
That’s a toss up between Bitterballen with mustard and Vlaamse Frites slathered in Satay saus & Zaanse mayonnaise.
You didn’t expect me to name something healthy did you?!
What do you miss about back home?
Hills – Britain has the most wonderful countryside on the planet and we all too rarely appreciate it.
How Dutch have you become?
I like brown shoes with a dark suit more than is acceptable for an English gentleman. And, oh, what’s a car?
What’s your top tourist tip?
Any time you are here on a Saturday be sure to spend at least the morning in and around the Noordermarkt market. Breakfast in the Finch café (Croque Madame every time) or munch on herring and have a Broodje Beenham for lunch down the Lindengracht. Chat to the stallholders. Get some nuts from De Nootzaak Gotjé. Browse Timbuctu’s books and even buy a couple. When we have a future with no markets and only amazon left, life will be dismal. Slink off for a quick beer in Cafe Papeneiland. Its heaven.
If you had just 24 hours left in NL, what would you do?
Mourn. Hope it was Saturday and do all of the above (see ‘What’s your top tourist tip’!) Then I’d take a long bike ride around the canals and end up in the Vondelpark.