The Shallow Man, recently wrote a piece on Amsterdam yuppies. My guest contributor, known as the Parisian in Singapore, who regularly visits the Netherlands and is planning to move here, has decided to share her own observations on that special breed, the Amsterdam yuppy. I’ll take a well earned break and hand over the page to the Parisian.
How I classify the Young Urban Professionals of Amsterdam
Once you enter the adult world, you start judging people based on their professional occupation. Sad, but true.
The lifelong employees
These are employees that will enter a multinational company and work there until they either retire or die on the job. They will consider their bosses as a paternal figure that they will be loyal to, while at the same time being fully aware that they have an Oedipus complex. This will eventually lead them to kill their surrogate parent for their job title that they will proudly be able to put up on Linkedin.
The Dutch will classify their peers based on the company they work for. Indeed they have a very strong corporate culture; for them, your identity comes from the company you belong to and not really your job position, although, it is obviously linked. How many times have I heard that the dullest people on the face of the earth are those who belong to a diabolical consultancy firm, and that is why these white collars are all outsourced in the south of Amsterdam where nobody need to speak to them, and they can drown their insipidness in alcohol. It is an urban legend that I have been told by a few Amsterdammers. So don’t kill the messenger!
The Oedipidian white collars
I was very surprised to hear that the Dutch consider one international company as an institution… a law firm! As a French lady, who has worked for too long in politics, I have to say that it made me smile. In France, our relationship with the law is complex and highly symbolized by our French language: there are infinite grammatical rules and there are even more exceptions to these linguistic rules. We are educated to always try to circumvent the law . It is maybe the only characteristic which makes my people friendly, and explains perfectly why France is such a dysfunctional country.
The job of a lawyer is to pretend to resolve conflict by digging for dirt in the name of order, they earn their living by stirring up trouble and looking for punctuation mistakes, and charging a fortune per hour for doing so. I personally think that there is something awfully harrowing that a country can put lawyers on a pedestal. Life is so much more exciting with some chaos.
The suburbanites living in a fools paradise
The last category of young urban professionals you can find in Amsterdam are those “humble” people considering themselves as artists. They are painters, sculptors, or jewelry makers.
The major difference with these “artists” coming from Amsterdam, compared to those living in Paris or London for instance, is that they are predominantly composed of the most domineering, delusional and wealthy people you will ever meet, the stay at home mothers. Everything about them from their looks to their creations, will make your blood run cold. You need to be either their husband or part of their art club to admire their daubs. They act as professional artists but they have no websites or message to spread to the world, so their works of genius are limited to their hypocrite loving circle.
Fortunately, it allows the real dutch artists to become internationally recognized by for example, putting a giant rubber duck in the port of Hong Kong to inspire peace between the people. As an educated lady and grand admirer of Sonia Rykiel’s sex toys, the view of that floating duck only reminded me of the intense pleasure that her best selling look-alike product has given me for years…
After objectively describing every socio-professional category existing in Amsterdam, I am wondering if I will actually find a job there…however, I could always move to the south of the city, find a boring husband and keep my days busy by sculpting unfriendly depressing garden dwarfs that I will sell to my new friends.
Till next time au revoir.