It’s interesting how once you get interested in something or something becomes relevant to you, you seem to notice it and information on it everywhere, isn’t it? Selective perception it’s called I believe.
I am noticing more information on Holland lately 🙂 And I read this CNN post advising tourists on what’s legal and what’s not in Amsterdam, with interest.
Holland is an amazing country in terms of freedom and tolerance. I have tremendous respect for these qualities of the Dutch. Not many nations, including developed countries, can boast the level of tolerance that you find here. And I absolutely agree that whenever you ban something, you create high interest to it – forbidden fruit is what we lust after. So Dutch are quite pragmatic in allowing things – it’s just easier to control them.
Dutch tolerance to some forbidden things, like Absinthe, drugs and prostitution unfortunately for some Dutch leads to high international interest and many tourists who come to Amsterdam come specifically to experience the forbidden. This must be quite upsetting to locals. There probably is a popular tv show about trials and tribulations of the Amsterdam police policing the tourist areas, and if there is not, it should definitely be made.
If you don’t have time to read the CNN post, here are top 3 take aways:
1. In Amsterdam, cigarette smoking in public is banned, however it’s ok to smoke pot in small quantities, however not in Maastricht. Mushrooms are OK in very small quantities.
2. If you run into a bicycle, Dutch law places the responsibility on the driver of the car (UK should so adopt this approach!)
3. There’s much more to the Netherlands than coffee shops and red lights district, so if you are travelling to the Netherlands, please make an effort to see and explore the city and the culture that made coffee shops and red lights possible in the first place.