I was asked to join a work delegation to Amsterdam to attend a conference on Reshaping Work. It was a rather last minute arrangement and the whole thing caught me by surprise. Nevertheless, after sorting out the pre-trip arrangements, I was off with my other colleagues.

Wednesday, 12 October 2022

It was my first international trip ever since Covid started. The flight route given by the travel agent was KUL – London – Amsterdam. The first leg to London took us about 13 hours plus.

During the transit in Heathrow, I took the opportunity to visit one of my favourite cafes, Pret. Despite being a short transit, it felt really good to be in the UK and seeing familiar brands such as WHSmith at the airport.

The second leg of the trip was a short 1 hour flight via British Airways from London to Amsterdam. By the time we exit the immigration at Schiphol Airport it was around 11PM. From the airport, we took a taxi, which turned out to be a Tesla.

Kimpton De Witt Hotel (photo from http://www.iamsterdam.com )

For this trip, I stayed at Kimpton De Witt, located near the Central Station.

Febo fastfood restaurant

By the time I checked into the hotel and settled in, it was around 11PM. I was feeling slightly hungry and decided to head out. I spotted a local fast food joint called Febo near the hotel. I decided to give it a try. You can order food from the counter, or you can choose the ready made ones which were accessible via automated shelves (photo above). All you have to do was scan your credit card. It was quite a cool experience.

Thursday, 13 October 2022

The conference event starts later in the evening, so I had some time in the morning to look around the city.

Breakfast at hotel

I had breakfast the hotel. They had a small buffet, which seems to be the standard for most European hotels.

Damrak Street

After breakfast, I started exploring the nearby area. I went to Damrak Street, which is one of the commercial areas in central Amsterdam. I found a gift shop and took the opportunity to get souvenirs for the family.

Palace Dam Square

I walked south to Dam Square and explored the surrounding commercial area. I also got myself a local Vodafone sim, but it seems the 5g connection isn’t as good as what I had in KL (I was using YTL 5g).

In the afternoon, I met up with my colleagues and we had lunch together.

At 4:30PM we attended the networking event for the conference. We gathered in front of the venue, the Rode Hoed.

Networking event venue – a canal cruise!

The networking event was done in a canal boat. It was quite exciting for us as we’ve never done this.

Networking event

I was seated in a table with a French lawyer, a German researcher, and an EU official from Brussels. It was an interesting set up. During the 1 hour boat ride, I heard the various concerns they had on the gig economy.

Van Puffelen Restaurant

Later in the evening, there was a networking dinner at Van Puffelen Restaurant. We were seated in different tables, hosted by different companies. The food was tasty and everybody had a good time networking.

Red light district

On the way back to the hotel, I took the long route to view the night scenes in Amsterdam. I passed by the red light district and surprisingly, it looks more like a tourist attraction. It was a busy place with cafes and people passing by.

Related posts: Amsterdam part 1, part 2, part 3