Learn about the current top status symbols to be found in Amsterdam. Updated to reflect the reality of 2022
The Top Five Status Symbols In Amsterdam
In a country with Calvinistic roots, it’s not always easy to spot what passes for status symbols in Amsterdam. Compared to London or Moscow, where it’s easy to spot the wealthy by how they dress and the cars they drive, in Amsterdam, things are often a lot more subtle. This is why I’ve put together this handy little guide which will help you spot the signs of people of material substance. No need to thank me!
The things I do for my readers!
5. Living in an apartment that has a bath
Affordable properties for both renting and buying are so scarce in Amsterdam that if you view an apartment whose description claims to have a shower, but then when you go and view the place all it has is a curtain dividing the living room behind which is a bucket in the corner and a hose attached to a sink, don’t complain. Even a decent shower is a luxury here.
This explains why if you’ve ever swiped through Tinder, (for a friend, not for yourself), you’ve probably seen profile photos of people sitting in baths. Having an apartment with an actual bath is an incredible luxury. If the photo shows two sinks in the bathroom then you’ve struck the jackpot, they’re filthy stinking rich!
4. Hot water in the WC
Most Dutch homes have a WC or what we in the UK would call a “loo”. Inexplicably, finding a loo in Amsterdam that actually has a tap with hot water is like finding a Dutchman who doesn’t send a tikkie after a first date. Pretty bloody rare!
If you visit someone’s home and use the facilities only to find that they have a hot water tap, then regardless of how the apartment might look, you’re dealing with a person of substantial wealth and status.
3. Electric bikes
There was a time when cyclists in Amsterdam who were brave enough to wear crash helmets would have faced nothing but ridicule. But how quickly things have changed. The prices of electric bikes are shocking! (Sorry couldn’t resist that pun). They can start at 1500 euros and cost thousands more. Which is why their owners tend to wear crash helmets. It’s a subtle way of saying, “look at me, I’m not a tourist or a dumb property price increasing tax benefit stealing expat, nee! I can afford an electric bike, worship me as I overtake you suddenly at high speed and leave you with nothing but a fleeting glimpse of my perfectly shaped buttocks as you slowly pedal along like an old aged pensioner. Plebians!”
2. The former ultimate status symbol in Amsterdam
In the Netherlands, a land with more bikes, white sneakers and leopard print clothing than people, it’s no surprise that one of the ultimate status symbols in Amsterdam and the entire country is the cargo bike or bakfiets.
The cargo bike/bakfiets might look like an open coffin on wheels to the uninitiated. But in fact, this humble-looking monstrosity is a sign of affluence, gentrification and social apartheid as middle-class mummies and daddies buy properties in the ethnically diverse neighbourhoods of Amsterdam and other cities for a knockdown price and pedal their little Jeroen’s and Anouk’s as far away from the minorities with their black schools as possible to drop their kids off at schools whiter than a free Tommy Robinson rally. Echt leuk hoor!
The Urban Arrow electric bakfiets can cost up to 6,999 euros! As the Dutch would say, “dat is geen kattenpis”.
If you want to impress potential partners, don’t waste your money on a Porsche or Tesla. Just pull up outside a bar on your Urban Arrow bakfiets, and you’ll be fighting admirers off.
1. Solar Panels
Energy price increases in the Netherlands this year are practically a form of extortion. The reality for many Amsterdam residents is that they live in old, poorly insulated buildings. This, in turn, leads to higher consumption of energy. Inflation is currently estimated at around 12%, while average annual salary increases are in single figures. Many people in the Netherlands are currently receiving quotes for 400% increases in their energy costs.
The Cheeky Blinders
The only people not affected by the opportunism and profiteering of the energy companies are those who invested in solar panels for their homes. The owners of solar panels are even more envied (and despised) than e-bike owners or bakfiets moeders.
They walk (or cycle at high speeds on e-bikes) among us. While most people complain about the outrageous amounts of money, they’ll have to pay for energy. The solar panel elite can only say, “Ja, maar actually, I’m expecting a refund from my energy company this year as it’s been so sunny”.
Yes, they make you sick. You want to push their smug faces into a plate of stamppot, but you know they’d probably enjoy it. They are the new elite and possess the most sought-after status symbol in Amsterdam and the Netherlands! Solar panels!
No bakfietsmoeders were hurt during the writing of this post.
Until next time, if you don’t like it here………….