Churches in Holland are all quite empty. It doesn’t matter which religion they cater: many Dutchies have been smart enough to get past those fairy tales. Unfortunately, a new one seems to be on the rise.
Maybe such a topic doesn’t really belong to this blog, but the opening of a new Apple Store was the mesmerising event of the week in Amsterdam and I couldn’t help thinking about it.
The grand opening was scheduled on the third of March. As you might know, every Apple Store opening attracts a bunch of slightly deranged people that camp outside its doors in order to be the first ones to get in the following morning. Please note that there is NO INCENTIVE WHATSOEVER to do so, like a discount or some brand new product that they don’t already have (** see Edit below). Amsterdam was no exception, and I was really curious to see it with my eyes. So we went there around 2am on the night before the opening, and indeed we found what we were looking for.
Among them, a couple of what I guessed were father and son, who had come all the way from Cologne, Germany. A flag was proudly exposing this, without being afraid of being taken away by the Mental Health Police.
When they found out that we were Italian they cheered even harder. I wonder if they assumed that we had come from so far to camp along.
You might also know that the Apple Stores’ clerks are called “geniuses”. They come in obscene quantities, and for this event they all gathered next to the building and made a run for the opening. Literally. Check this video out and I hope you can understand some Dutch as the comments are priceless.
I came around again in the early afternoon. The line was massive. You can shoot amazing panorama pictures, but it’s hard to capture the entire line of a freshly opened Apple Store. I rather went to drink tea with my friend Eva.
Later on I made it inside. Hoards of geniuses were smiling and craving for my questions. Which felt actually nice for a change, in the country with the lowest rate of customer care satisfacion. And obviously there must have been footwear freedom.
Funnily enough, I couldn’t find what I was looking for: a simple power cord. They only sell it in combination with their pricey adaptor. No worries, Amazon has it for 5 euros–shipping costs included.
What do I think about all this? I am myself a quite enthusiast fan of Apple products, but this religious madness is sickening. On its first day of existance, the Apple Store of Amsterdam was a temple of consumerism and money-spending. The geniuses welcomed each customer with an applause, like in the lowest appliance scam for lonely grannies. Don’t get me wrong–Apple products are top notch, the quality is unparalleled and I would hardly be able to live without. But for as good as an object can get, it remains an object. Beautifully crafted, sure, but still an object. The situation here was of pure idolatry. Maybe it’s because people don’t have anything sacred anymore, I don’t know. But for sure this place resembled a church more than a shop.
** EDIT: one reader, Fulvio, sent me a message to point out that there are actual benefits in entering first the new Apple Store: “[…] you get a free limited edition Apple T-Shirt with the store name and the chance to buy an “Apple Bag“, a sealed bag costing 100 euros (if I remember correctly) and containing Apple products for a value ranging from 150 euros to over 2000. Not sure if this was the case in Amsterdam, but it is pretty much standard practice for Apple store openings worldwide.”