Netherland, also known as Holland, maybe a tiny country but there is more to it than meets the eye. It is beautiful and has lots of wonders for a tourist. Then there is a court! The International Criminal Court (ICC) is located in Hague, one of the two capital cities in Netherland. So you don’t have to be a tourist to think of going to the Netherlands. Maybe you have a case to answer, or you are going to visit a friend or relative in such a situation. Whichever way, you need to learn some basic facts about this country:
It’s a land of the Dutch
A citizen of Netherlands is officially known as the Dutch, not a Netherlander or “Netherlandist.” If you want to look well appeared, say Dutch.
It’s a Lowland
Netherland means “lying low” in Dutch. And it is not far-fetched, for the country is literally low. Only about half of it is more than 1 meter above sea level. Out of this, the highest point is only 321 meters above sea level. So if the sea level were to rise 2 meters overnight due to a tsunami or something, half of Netherland would be submerged. Fortunately, the area is not prone to tsunamis. Netherland is also flat. Ironically, while the land lies low, the Dutch are the tallest people on earth. The research has revealed it’s due to proper nutrition and DNA. Other reports have attributed it to their high consumption of dairy.
The country has two capital cities, as already stated. The first is Amsterdam, which is the official capital by the law. Then there is Hague, the terror of the wicked. It is the seat of government and was initially the first capital from 1584.
The Netherlands has liberal laws some of which might not make the holy pope happy. Some controversial drugs like marijuana are legal in the Netherlands. But they are only sold in licensed drug stores. The people are, however, free to grow cannabis in their farms for personal use. So although Netherland lies low, it is the perfect place to get high.
Prostitution is also permitted in the Netherlands. The prostitutes only need to be at least 18 and their clients at least 16 years. You can also legally abort a pregnancy at any point from conception. The law has been in existence since 1981.
Well, the holy saints of the earth will say this is a wicked city, but that’s even before they hear that this same country is the largest beer exporter in the world! If you suspect Americans look drunk much of the time, blame it on the Netherlands. In 2001, the beer companies in the
Netherlands exported 1.3 liters of beer. Half of this was shipped to the U.S. So how can Americans be sober? If you are a beer lover, then Netherlands can only be your natural home. But the Dutch are not drunkards, as you may conclude. While they make the world drunk on beer, they are known as the world’s biggest coffee drinkers. The Dutch drink more than 145 liters of coffee annually.
Prisons Are Empty
The international court is located in the Netherlands. While the court is busy jailing the world’s lawbreakers, the Dutch themselves are the most law-abiding citizens on earth. The crime rate in the Netherlands continues to drop to below 0.9 percent per year. For this reason, a third of the country’s prisons are empty. Many prisons have been closed. About 1,900 prison workers once feared they would lose their jobs for lack of criminals. The Netherlands has had to lease some of its empty prisons to Norway and Belgium. Now you understand why the international court is located there.
Now you have a better idea of which country you are visiting. Enjoy your trip. Take time to enjoy ‘Hollandse Nieuwe,’ which is the Netherlands’ most famous food. Now, in case you are wondering what it is, it’s fish. Take time to learn how the Dutch eat it. It can be served raw together with chopped gherkins and onions.