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Marianne - more -

Now, Marianne focuses on the Keizer Karelpark newsletter, which she helped to start up two years ago.

‘I really enjoy it because you get to go everywhere,’ she says. ‘One day you’re in a school for intellectual little kids, the next time you’re in a new baker’s shop that’s opening up, and then you’re on the road with the mayor. That’s what keeps me busy at the moment.’

 

Marianne has lived in Keizer Karelpark for ten years, after relocating from Amsterdam. ‘I’m glad I’m out of Amsterdam because it is such a mad house in town now,’ Marianne shares. ‘I’m so happy I found this house. There’s free parking here, I’m living on the water, there’s no traffic…. I’m really happy to live here!’

There are many things Marianne enjoys about living in Amstelveen, particularly the Friday market. ‘It’s the best market in the whole of Netherlands,’ she assures me.

She also tells me about the fantastic museums here, including the Museum Jan van der Togt. ‘There’s always a variety of art, which is the nice thing about it,’ Marianne explains. ‘The previous director of the museum is an artist, so there’s a whole lot of things he made himself to see in the museum. And there’s a lot of glasswork too, which is really fantastic.’

‘There’s also the Amsterdamse Bos, which is great,’ she continues. ‘A lot of people in Amstelveen call it the back garden. I think you’re really rich when you have that in the back there. You have a place that big – why, you can do everything there. Then of course we also have the parks here, with all the different sorts of flora, which is why, last year, we were called the greenest city in the whole of Europe. That’s how green it is here! The greenest city of the whole of Europe. So I’m a happy citizen.’

It’s clear that there are plenty of great things about Amstelveen, so I ask Marianne if there are any downsides to living here. ‘Not yet,’ she replies. ‘But don’t advertise [Keizer Karelpark] too much, please!’

Her advice for those looking to move here? ‘You have to have a lot of patience and/or a lot of money,’ she explains. ‘It is pretty expensive here, and I heard it’s because Amsterdam is becoming impossible to get a place for a normal price anymore. So the prices are really rocketing sky-high.’

When I ask her if it was easy to make friends and meet people in Keizer Karelpark, she explains that she’s never had a problem with meeting people due to her Amsterdam roots.

‘I’m a real Amsterdam person,’ Marianne laughs. ‘Amsterdam people always immediately say what they think and Amstelveen people are a little bit more reserved. So I have a job to do here – to break the ice!’

She finishes the interview with a great piece of advice that I think we can all benefit from. ‘The most education you get is just by talking to people,’ she tells me. ‘That’s the best thing. Talk to everybody and then you learn the most.’