The Uptown Hostel Amsterdam party

Meet the Flying Pig Uptown Staff - meet Nadya

Nadya with Linda
Nadya and Linda

One of our oldest (and famous) Pigs in the business at this moment. Born and raised in Amsterdam, she is an original 'Dam' girl, who moved houses within the city almost as many a times as she did studies. There is not much that she does not know something about ;-). It even got to: “Oh and then I did…hmm what was that one called again?” All the more surprising (and flattering) that she started at the Downtown in 1997 and still works in our Head Office in 2008. That first year she left Pata Negra (famous Spanish restaurant in Amsterdam) to work at the Pig fulltime and she keeps going strong! In those 10 years Nadya has seen reception and bar, became assistant manager and even manager of the Downtown. Nowadays she works out many a project that the owners come up with. Mother of two great kids, (trust me I know a rotten one when I see ‘m) she still often shakes that booty in the bar!

But right now we are sipping lattées in the Blue teahouse, while the Dutch sky is pissing on the park.

Question 1: Most beautiful country in Europe?
“Spain. Without a doubt. I guess it is the combination of the people, the food and its nature. It offers so much that every time you go back, there is something new to discover”.  

And in the world?
“Nepal, for it’s mountains. Argentina for its waterfalls. I mean, I have not been there yet, but they just seem so beautiful to me”.

Who do you think is the world’s nr 1 nobhead?
“Hmm not something I lie awake wondering about, but if I had to name someone I would say Bush. The guy just gives me an itch every time I hear or see him in the media”.

Who do you respect the most in this world?
“My Dad”. No hesitation there. “Because he is just a genuinely good person. He is also my rock and knows how to put life into perspective within one phone call”.

Who would you like to have a beer with in the bar?
She gives me a mischievous smile: “When I think of the hostel bar the words ‘ wild & loose’ come up. Mind tuned to 0 and arms high up in the air. Which itself equals my top five “homie” girlfriends. With them around a Pig night is never boring!” I answer with a stupid grin and instantly our arms are moving up into the air...Stop it!  

Nadya at the beach

Back to business. What do you think the world needs more of?
“Compassion & love. If people would just not have to be so hard on one another all the time, we could be much more understanding of each another. And well, I think those two are primary needs for every human being”.

Who’s the sexiest woman/man for you?
“Eddie Vedder. Seriously, if all men would sound like this no woman would care about the face anymore!” That voice…Uh hello, EARTH TO NADYA! 

Most romantic evening in Amsterdam?
“The 3 months, first birthday date in the Supper Club. It was just perfect. The food, the relaxed place and the company. An evening where time really flew”.

If you could be anything for one day, what would you be?
“A playful baby-monkey. It just seems like such fun. They always look like they are up to mischief, and they can pull any stunt (or tail) cause mum is watching over them. They might get a smack from her but they are on adventure again a minute later. That “no worries innocent bliss of monkey youth”.

You are Dutch. Do you smoke pot every day?
“No, never have either. I used to smoke here and there but with me it has an all too relaxing effect I think. I smoke, I smile, I eat (a lot!) and fall asleep. Not much fun really”.

As a real “Amsterdammer”, what makes someone a city local?
“Hmm tough one. A croquet!” Oh no, that’s not only Amsterdam”. Sigh.. city girls, I tell ya! “Oh I know! A black ‘oma’ bike without lights on it!” Haha too right, and with 3 locks of which only one works!

Have you ever stolen a bike?
“No. That’s what junkies are for! Haha. No, don’t put that in Lin, my dad would kill me if he found out”. Uh…oeps?

What typical Dutch characteristic do you hate?
“The agenda life-style. Where you call your friend 3 weeks earlier to decide that you want to see each other in 21 days, there, at that time. And then on that day you have this feeling of obligation, like seeing your friends is something you have to. It just drains all spontaneity out…I am really allergic to that, maybe that’s why I only have friends without agenda’s. By the way what time is it?” No idea. “Hmm. Another coffee?” Why not.

Nadya at party

And what do you think is great about the Dutchies?
“The one on one contact. The Dutch have real conversations, with content. I really don’t know many shallow Dutch people, we all love thinking and talking about life and its ways”.

What is the biggest change between the Pig then and now?
“It is just a little, tiny bit more organized then back then! Haha”
I see! A wee, tad, itsibitsy…sorry..ahum.

What is the funniest situation you can remember when you were working at the Downtown?
“Well there was this guy a couple of years ago that stayed in the hostel for ages. Everyone knew him, but he did not particularly stand out in any way. Then one day I asked reception: “You know what room that guy is in? He has been here a while”. Nobody knew. He always kept to himself so nobody had taken real notice of him. Thus I went up to the man himself to ask his room number. He looked at me, turned around and stormed out to never return. Later on we found out why. We had this cupboard in the hallway that didn’t have much use. When we opened it we found a mattress jammed into it, there were candles, books, breakfast stuff etc. in it. The guy had lived in that tiny cupboard for a month!” No way, that puts a whole new perspective on ‘coming out of the closet’! Haha

What have you done between working at the Flying Pig?
“I’ve been away once, for two years. It was when I moved to Madrid for love, and came back a proud mum! Oh and right before I started at the Pig I went to Spain too. But back then I decided, out of the blue, I wanted to learn Spanish and within 3 weeks I was standing in Malaga with only my backpack and ’Ola’ in my vocabulary. 4 Months later I spoke Spanish and was hooked on the country”. Ole!

Which nationality do you think is nicest to accommodate?
“Australians and South-Americans, because they are hot! Never can wait for winter because the eye needs something too you know”.
Right. It’s all content and depth with this Dutchie!

To you, after 10 years, what does the Flying Pig stand for?
“The Pig brings together such different people, whom you would never meet in everyday life. Everyone is unique in their own way, and if you would try to find an Amsterdam pub or club to everyone’s liking, you would not succeed. But the Pig pulls it off and it gives you friends for life!”  

If you could change anything about the Pig, what would that be?
“It’s the classic other side of the medal. The Pig life-style can be really intense. It gives you a lot but it is also easy to loose yourself in it. It will be a life- experience but at one point people need to go back into reality and that can hit them hard”.

But you are here for 10 years, so what is the key to your Pig ‘survival’?
“I don’t know really. I think it is vital to have a life outside the Flying Pig too. Friends that have nothing to do with the place, or ones that are not working there anymore. They are your connection to the real world I guess”. The Pig gives you the opportunity to explore a whole other side to yourself, but you should never forget your old you. Because in the end, you are both!”

A famous quote from Nadya?
“Me? No plans. So see you tomorrow. Or not”.
And for the Dutchies; “Hou op, schei uit!” (sorry guys, just not translatable).