Amsterdam Is Falling Apart and Sinking

Amsterdam is falling apart and sinking

Twenty Seven percent of Holland is below sea level. Schiphol air port (the main airport for Amsterdam) is five meters below sea level. It’s only due to Dutch ingenuity that passengers don’t have to snorkel through passport control or dive to baggage reclaim.

A lot of the land that makes up Holland has been reclaimed from the sea by building dykes and pumping the sea water out. Dykes are like dam walls, except they also run through the sea and not just rivers.

This has worked for hundreds of years and is still done today. However, the water slowly seeps back in over time and it is a constant battle to keep the sea back. Since the country is slowly sinking and the ground is shifting frequently a lot of damage can occur to buildings. This is why a lot of homes in Holland lean and might also explain why the office I work in is slowly starting to fall apart.

At the start of this week we discovered a large chunk of plaster had fallen from the ceiling during the weekend. After it was cleaned up the white dust left behind gave the impression that a rather excessive cocaine party had taken place.

It is not the first time this has happened either (the cave-in, not the cocaine party). About a year ago a large mass of plaster fell directly onto a co-worker’s chair only a few moments after they had gone home for the day. The falling debris also damaged one of the over head cable trays and caused a small electrical fire a few days later. It was like being in the plot of a ‘Final Destination’ movie. A domino effect of seemingly random events was taking place just like the incidents in the film but luckily for us no one died as a result.

After finding the most recent cave-in, other patches of plaster started to randomly fall from the ceiling during the course of the day and yet more cracks were forming (including one above my desk). At this point the decision was made to move us to another room and call in the builders before any more of the ceiling came down and we found ourselves unexpectedly working much closer with the team on the floor above. In an unrelated event the lift has also been breaking down almost every day due to the heat (but no one has beaten my record yet).

It is because of these events and the fact that the country is slowly sinking that I will be suggesting a new office safety strategy and dress code to the management. Under the new guidelines every employee will be required to wear a hard hat, snorkel, water wings and/or life jacket at all times. Inflatable escape slides will be installed on every window of every room and Ray Mears will be hired to give a speech on office safety and survival in extreme conditions.

15 responses to “Amsterdam Is Falling Apart and Sinking”

  1. marycub says:

    Ever been to the dyke museum? Many a happy day spent there zzzzzzzzz

  2. Keith says:

    Holland has a problem, but we hear have a problem with Eire. It has been described as “geographically incorrect”. It is above sea level!

  3. Keith says:

    Damn that bloody spell checker! I assumed I meant “hear” instead of “here” (see last comment).

  4. Keith says:

    Jesus! It did it again! It should have been “It assumed…..” (see above). I give up, I’m going to bed….

  5. matt says:

    the whole sinking country thing is crazy. how far is the water from the top of the dam? I’d be like checking everyday. Do you have dingy tied to the fence in the backgarden?

  6. zoe says:

    i hope you also have oxygen cylinders. you simply never know, do you ?

  7. nothing really matters says:

    It took them that long for you guys to be moved!

    So will you all be moving out of Holland soon?

  8. Invader_Stu says:

    Marycub – It sounds like hours of fun. I think I might have passed by that area.

    Keith – Don’t worry. I am the grand master of typos and spelling mistakes.

    Matt – That’s why I set up a 24 hour web cam set up to check the dam.

    Zoe – I don’t have oxygen cylinders yet because I am saving up for a submarine.

    Nothing really matters – Na. I’ll just find a really high hill* to stand on. Then I’ll be safe….. oh bugger

    (*Holland has no hills)

  9. Bonestorm says:

    This falling debris thing might be a convenient way to take out your boss. If you were so inclined.

  10. Keith says:

    “Holland has no hills”. So what do the Dutch Mountain Rescue Team do to pass the long, wet, “sinking feeling” days then?

  11. marycub says:

    I’ve cycled up some pretty tough sand dunes… dutch hills can be steep.

    You don’t live in a flat do you stu? We did for a year and ended up with sheep, ducks and chickens upstairs because the woman’s farm had flooded. Along with her 8 dogs and 6 cats that she already had there, oh and her prat of a son.

    I like houses best.

  12. Invader_Stu says:

    Bonestorm – An interesting idea. Much easier then the plan I had.

    Keith – They operate on the borders with other countries that have hills and get into constant arguments about jurisdiction

  13. Rose says:

    I thought Dykes were ahh hell never mind.

  14. Invader_Stu says:

    Marycub – That sounds like it was interesting. Farm Flat :p

    Luckily I live in a house.

    Rose – This is Holland so you never know :p

  15. Worm says:

    This is an opportunity for you to convince your boss the whole building staff should be working from home, for safety reasons.

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