Lifestyle

The 99 Problems With Amsterdam

Amsterdammers are skilled and expressive complainers, and as incredible a city as Amsterdam is, they can still somehow find fault in it. So let's get it out there: Amsterdam's got 99 problems, and here they are...

1. Not every day is King's Day
2. Lots of people don't even know what country it's in. Or that it's not its own country.
3. Outsiders think locals are all prostitutes and drug users. But only some of us are.
4. It rains here. A lot.
5. And hails more than should be normal
6. It's super windy too
7. Sometimes you find yourself biking sideways
8. Days get reeeally short in winter
9. And summer doesn't offer too many good beach days
10. OK, the weather just sucks
11. And everyone's constantly complaining about it
12. People who obliviously stand around in the middle of bike paths/roads

13. The tourists who come just to get stoned
14. The locals who complain about the tourists who come to get stoned. (Um, cha-ching?)
15. The stag parties... that forget people actually live and (try to) sleep in the center too
16. The Noord-Zuid Metro line. (We'll believe it when we see it.)
17. Belligerent football fans
18. Tons of empty apartments...
19. ... but housing shortages
20. The rent is too damn high here, too
21. The Red Light District cleanup controversy
22. The city's changing attitude toward squatters
23. Formerly legit squats-turned-art centers that might have to shut down
24. Historic coffee shop closures
25. The coffee shop's “illegal back door” system
26. Anyone who pits expats vs. the Dutch
27. Mice
28. Allergic to cats? Don't bother going out in public.
29. The ATM machines are way too frequently out of cash

30. Bike parking
31. Bike theft
32. Open drawbridges when you're running late
33. Unexpected dead ends without bridges
34. Few 24-hour club licenses
35. The nightlife vs. residents battles all over the city
36. The city's battle with Uber
37. The often unsavory city cabs that are the alternative
38. The ridiculously high cab prices from Schiphol to the city (unless you book in advance)
39. No pedestrian respect for bike paths
40. No bicycle respect for pedestrians
41. No respect for cars
42. Crossing the street is like playing a game of Frogger
43. Those 4-5 hours a night the trams and buses shut down and it's snowing or you have a broken leg but wanted to go out anyway
44. Night buses are fricking expensive
45. And sometimes you wait half an hour and they don't show...
46. The city's best beach is on IJburg... but that's, like, really hard to get to by bike
47. Most buildings built between 1960 and 1990 are pretty ugly
48. Tulip season crowds
49. Finding car parking
50. The price of car parking
51. Drivers getting stuck behind bicycles (for both sides)
52. People who live here for years but refuse to learn Dutch
53. Other people who won't shut up about how much those people suck
54. Hipster overload
55. No matter how hard people try to make it happen, Amsterdam North is still no man's land. (Except NDSM and Buiksloterweg. As long as the ferries are in sight.)
56. The beer bikes. Or the complaining about the beer bikes.

57. The line at the Van Gogh Museum and the Anne Frank House
58. The crowds in every museum
59. Before The Fault in Our Stars, the best-known movie set here was Deuce Bigalow 2
60. The Fault in Our Stars
61. Oliebollen and kruidnoten are only sold in the winter
62. Too many restaurants, too little time
63. Splitting the bill between eight different PIN passes
64. Limited food delivery options if you don't want pizza, Turkish, or Asian fast food
65. The frequent lack of distinction between different styles of Asian food. Or Turkish and Italian.
66. Speaking of Turkish food... the kapsalon was invented in Rotterdam
67. Which hurts because let's face it: Amsterdam really does think it's a little better than the rest of the country
68. Sandwiches. For. Lunch. Every. Day.
69. Breakfast too
70. The tourist-trap “clubs” around Leidseplein
71. Pirates, everyone's favorite tourist-trap club, shutting down
72. Outdoor toilets for men only (or anyone brave enough to whip out a female urination device)
73. Hey, who cleans up the dog and horse poo anyway?
74. The Brouwerij 't IJ windmill brewery closes at 8pm. Even on nice days.
75. Boat parking
76. Boat maintenance
77. Realizing you can't afford a boat
78. Explaining the Red Light District to newbies. Patiently.

79. Trash collection in the shopping streets. So what if you have a job? You better put it out during the hour given -- no earlier, no later.
80. Walking down the Damrak
81. Tourist restaurants that (illegally) try to refuse you tap water
82. People who respond in English when you speak to them in Dutch
83. Places and services that refuse to speak English despite operating in a city that goes out of its way to attract tourists and expats. (We're looking at you, Belastingdienst.)
84. Old converted warehouses = fifth floor walk-ups
85. Slanted walls that no furniture can be placed against on the top floors
86. Not having your e.dentifier/Random Reader with you when you want to make money transfers (shout out to the ABN/Rabo customers)
87. Paying for public toilets
88. Even in bars where you are spending a ton of money on drinks
89. And sometimes have even paid a cover charge
90. Waiting for your number to be called at the gemeentehuis
91.Out-of-town visitors always want to go to the Heineken Experience
92. Bars that don't serve food
93. When locals and expats mingle, how many kisses should there be? Any?
94. Awkwardly going in for that third kiss when the other person stops at two
95. Biking in the winter
96. When you've got five minutes to switch trams, and you don't know where to find your next tram's stop
97. Getting your bike wheel stuck in the tram tracks. And going down. Hard.
98. Life-threatening wet leaves in the bike path every autumn
99. There should be way better bike-sharing programs already