In the UK, members of parliament regularly hold meetings with their constituents, these are called surgeries. The shallow man, while not elected, feels responsible for his expat flock, so on a cold winter evening, left the comfort of his bachelor paradise and ventured out into the cold  in order to attend an expat event. The things I do for my readers!

I of course hopped straight into a comfortable Uber taxi and was chauffeured in great comfort to the Herengracht bar and grill. Being in a reflective mood, the shallow man pondered on theological matters, for example, if there is a bar heaven (the Butcher) logic dictates that there must indeed be a bar hell, which brings me to the subject of today’s post.

Some background on Expat events

Many of my readers being Dutch may not be aware of the subculture that exists under their very noses in various cities in the Netherlands of Expat events. There are too many Expat groups to even name, but these groups are usually organised by entrepreneurs looking to get their slice of the Expat Euro. The expat groups regularly arrange events in various bars and hotels, and the business model usually entails them receiving either a kickback in terms of commission from the venue in question and or charging the Expats money for attending.

The events usually feature people from many nationalities whose behavior  can often be characterised per nationality as per the examples below:

The Dutch

Curious local Dutch people sometimes attend to make sure that Expats aren’t criticising Zwarte Piet and if they are,  correct them by explaining he is only black because he went down a chimney. Zwarte Piet has nothing to do with blackface or discrimination, which is why the Telegraaf doctored a photo of Nelson Mandela to make him look like a Piet on the day he died,  and a Groen Links politician called Mandela the head Piet. I’m going off topic again. I’ll stop.

The French

The following description is also featured in my book the Amsterdam Confessions of a Shallow Man and i’ll use it again.

The French whenever they are living outside of France tend to act as if they are the last surviving members of a lost race. To see them greet each other and huddle together with their fellow citizens, you could be led to believe that France was destroyed in a nuclear war,  and thus the last few remaining French people alive must cling together, talk fondly of how good the cuisine was back in the old country and what a rotten place anywhere but France is. Again, I’m generalising.

Vive la France

Vive la France

The British

It’s a known fact that we British get very nervous at social events if we are more than four paces away from a bar. Social heaven for a Brit would be to have a bar stool that’s combined with a toilet,  then we’d never have to leave the bar. Virgin Airlines realised this which is why in their Upper Class cabins they often have a bar on the plane, sadly without the combined toilet/stool.

The Italians

Italian men believe in safety in numbers, which is why when approaching an attractive woman, they usually do so in groups of three or four. I assume that this has something to do with the ferocity of Italian women, who are very temperamental and might strike out in fury if not pleased with the tactics and subject matter used by a potential partner. A tip to my Italian compadres, the antelope here in the Netherlands don’t bite, it’s ok you can approach them alone.


Last nights event was in the Herengracht Bar. The organizer described it as fabulous and stylish to which a cruel person might respond by saying that she really needs to get out more often, but being a kind and pleasant chap, I wouldn’t dream of saying such a thing.

The Dutch have a great word to describe battery farmed chicken, Plofkip. The expat event was held in the basement of the Herengracht bar. Over 200 people were due to attend the event and duly did. Have you ever seen Plofkip squeezed in next to each other laying eggs and living in their own excrement? Well that perfectly describes the scene in the bar last night and the smell. Ok I’m exaggerating about the smell, it was more the stale aroma of Eau de sweat, but we were squeezed in together in a tiny space. Instead of laying eggs we fought each other to get to the bar, where house white wine was served that was so toxic it could strip paint off a wall.

My name is kip, Plofkip

My name is kip, Plofkip

Attendees of the party received a free welcome cocktail. The shallow man has had flu recently and was pleased to have a drink that tasted as if it’s main ingredient was cough medicine. The event had a dress code which of course the women followed and most of the men ignored. I counted at least fifteen people that walked out of the event due to unsuitably tight space and substandard location. Having had my elegant Versace jacket, recently taken out of the dry cleaners, creased by the sheer volume of fellow plofkip, the shallow man decided enough was enough and left the event.

Feedback to the event organiser

To the lady that organised the event, unless you were hoping to get in the guinness book of records for the largest number of people ever crammed into the smallest possible space, I really do not understand what in the name of Bob Marley possessed you to choose such an unsuitable location for 200 plus people. The next time you arrange an event go for the biokip experience, we chickens need room to move around.

No free range kip were hurt during the writing of this article.

For more shallow man wisdom and observations read the book, the Amsterdam Confessions of a Shallow Man available from  and Amazon