Lifestyle Asia


There was something quite different in the atmosphere at the Amsterdam Centraal Station. The pronounced and never-ending shoes-to-tiles clacks courtesy of both visitors and inhabitants seemed oddly faint and distinctly sporadic; and the usual vibrant noise coming from the row of restaurants and cafés near the entrances had been toned down to an almost melancholic rhythm. This uncharacteristic silence only makes the chilly winter breeze ever colder. “It is quite surprising to see the sparse crowd in Central, especially during these times. This has never happened here before,” says Filipino-Dutch John Van Doorn. "You may think that at one point it may be good because people are staying out of public spaces, but there's something bigger that is happening here,” he continues. Apart from the absence of the busy noise, the vending machines that were once sources of quick treats for the weary and rushing travelers now also sell non-medical facemasks. These scenarios are some telling indicators that there is a change in the dynamics of economics.

Pre-pandemic, the city of Amsterdam

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