An expats guide to Amsterdam
Having safely returned from Het Gooi, the Shallow Man paid a visit to an exclusive HiFi store to look at upgrading his state -of -the -art home entertainment system. The store is so expensive that they offer their customers a glass of champagne on entering. They also have private listening rooms where one can listen to various HiFi components in comfort. I entered one of the demo rooms and the salesman explained an array of complex and reassuringly expensive gadgetry to me. “In front of you, sir, you see a pair of state -of -the -art front speakers. In the middle, a pre-amplifier, power amp, Digital Audio Converter and a streamer.” Next to all of this equipment, sat in the corner was a dog wearing a gimp mask, and covered in leather. It was chained to one of the amplifiers.
“What’s that?” I asked the salesman.
“That, sir, is a subwoofer.”
A subwoofer is a type of loudspeaker dedicated to the reproduction of bass frequencies, (bass) that are not advisable to have in many Amsterdam apartments, due to the volume causing irritation to neighbours. Which brings me to the subject of today’s post.
The Shallow Man guide to Amsterdam
The notoriety and reputation of the Shallow Man for guiding and advising the expat community of the Netherlands has spread far and wide. I can barely access my inbox, so full is it from requests for advice from not only people based here but also from those who are about to move to Amsterdam.
I’m honoured that my advice is well received, regardless of the consequences to my perfectly tailored self. Recently, the Shallow Man has received a number of questions about that fair city to the North of Holland, Amsterdam. I’ve been asked: “Shallow Man, I will shortly be moving to Amsterdam, and, while probably not worthy of living in the same neighbourhood as yourself, would at least like some impartial advice on where in Amsterdam I should live.”
While unable to provide advice for being vertically challenged (shortly moving to Amsterdam), I can indeed assist with where one should live in the city where red traffic lights exist only for decoration and jeans are mandatory.
It will not be possible to do justice to this fair city in a single post, so today the Shallow Man will focus on the following two areas of Amsterdam.
Amsterdam Zuid Oost
If you are looking to move into an area of Amsterdam where you will do a lot of sport and thus lose weight as a result, the Shallow Man strongly recommends moving to the Southeast part of the city. Due to the risk of being robbed, you will find yourself jogging or sprinting on a regular basis, which can only be good for the cardiovascular condition. “Where are the Police?” one might ask. They have a considerable presence and always go everywhere in pairs. Inside the Police station.
Whereas many parts of the Netherlands continue to feel the effects of the recession, I have it on good authority that the sales of bulletproof vests, home security and pit bulls continue to do well there. The properties in the neighbourhood are built to last, from the finest concrete money can buy. There are good public transport connections using the metro, that has the delicious smell of heavily saturated fats and fried chicken. Lekker!
There are many local artists based there, as can be witnessed by the vast amount of graffiti in just about every street. If you like football or going to concerts, the main arena and Ziggo dome are nearby. You will never be bored in Amsterdam Zuid Oost, excitement is guaranteed.
The Shallow Man was once cast out into the wilderness by an angry Russian ex-girlfriend, and, for some time (it felt like forty days and forty nights), wandered through the desolate and depressing landscape that is Amsterdam East. If like Ebenezer Scrooge, you prefer splendid isolation, then Amsterdam East is for you. The smell of Kebab and other fast food fills the air, like the smell of sweat and smoke in an Amsterdam Bar after Eleven PM. If you are female, and in need of compliments, you’ll feel right at home there, as it’s barely possible to walk from one end of a street to another without encouraging shouts of “Schatje, Schatje “(sweety) or “hoer” (whore). What’s also common is for women to be hissed at like female members of the snake family. If you enjoy being alone and would like to discourage unwanted visitors, this is the perfect part of Amsterdam to live, as most people won’t go anywhere near Amsterdam East after 7 pm. On the plus side, there is the Oosterpark, where many festivals take place during summertime. The Oosterpark is particularly popular with pickpockets, drug dealers and trainee doctors looking to get hands-on ER experience.
The Harbor Club, a place that believes firmly in style over substance, is also situated at the very end of Amsterdam East. Many fine cars can be seen driving rapidly through the neighbourhood to that location. They then drive at high speed back to the more civilized areas such as Amsterdam Zuid, the Jordaan or Amstelveen.
Next time, the Shallow Man shall provide a review of Amsterdam Zuid. Until then hou je bek!
No drug dealers, gun runners or Snakes were hurt during the writing of this article.
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