Plug Sockets

Why on earth do the Dutch place their plug sockets so high? To protect the electronics from the inevitable flood?

You’re at a house party. You arrived nearly three hours ago, and the initial awkwardness of sitting in a circle at your Dutch friend’s house sipping Pils has worn off as people begin to venture into other corners of the room (the four-euro Martini bottles from Jumbo probably helped). You walk into you friend’s room.

So this is where the magic should happen. You look around. The walls are laced with beer mats, and the floor… what floor? Clearly their underwear supply dictates their laundry schedule. Then, you spot something: silhouettes of snakes swinging in the moonlight. There are loads of them!

Wait, are they snakes? Perhaps they’re pieces of rope… Maybe this is where the magic happens. You move closer… What the Faraday are they?

Plug-sockets. Wires protruding from plug sockets. Thing is, these sockets are higher (up the wall) than the guests are after their ‘space-cake sesh’! Most Dutch plug sockets are (in)conveniently high up the wall, as opposed to the common ground-level sockets, particularly in student houses. Whilst this means that you avoid having to bend down to plug in your PlayStation (because such effort in itself defeats the purpose of game-consoles), it does mean that in every room in which you have sockets you have wires weaving down the walls.

And the sockets aren’t covered by anything! It’s like an electronic jungle, with wires hanging down from all over the room like vines or ivy-zip lines (or, handily, washing lines!). They’re perfect for children to pull-off, swing-on, or, hey, even hang themselves! Luckily, most of us students won’t have to worry about that kind of thing happening until two-beers-balls-out Bob attends the next party.

The conventional cap on the socket-height in homes is 47 inches from the floor, but the Dutch certainly exceed this in most cases! Some have suggested that it’s to accommodate the tallness of the Dutch, and that I should put a socket in it…

Others claim that Dutch plug sockets are placed high up on walls to better protect the electronics and wiring when the inevitable flood arrives; although, this doesn’t explain the nipple-height sockets dotted about our fifth-floor apartment! If you have any grounded (!) ideas as to why this is the case, write them below, no matter how shocking!