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This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

Xwingace: you'd figure the Netherlands and Amsterdam were different countries.

Is of course a vast exaggeration, but Amsterdam is a lot more licentious, and a lot more goes on there than in most of the rest of the country. Admittedly this is largely due to tourists and the tourist industry playing into the Hollywood image, but still...

Morgan Wick: This entry made me realize that you rarely have a story set in Monaco, even though it seems to me to be the Vegas of Europe. Is it? If not, is there a place that would be that sort of equivalent? (I mention it here because it seems like Amsterdam is treated as the Vegas of Europe for the debauchery part, and that's the part of Vegas Hollywood really cares about.)

Xwingace:I'm not really the one to answer that, never having been there. But I think Monaco is aimed a little more than Vegas solely at the very rich, not at the gambling tourists. Besides, if someone in Europe has to go abroad to gamble and be debauched, then they might as well go to Vegas directly...

Space Ace: Xwingace, watch this video. People are stupid: http://www.dumpert.nl/mediabase/18396/9a3ff86f/index.html

Xwingace: Space Ace, ouch. That was painful. But what does it have to do with the point I made that Amsterdam is fairly different from the rest of the country?

Space Ace: Well, it isn't. Amsterdam isn't the only city that offers whores and weed. I live in Leiden, and could name as many coffeeshops as burgerjoints. Admittedly, I can't find any brothels, but I know they're there. There might be a bit more of it going on in Amsterdam, but it's all just the result of liberal laws that affect the entire country. But the point is that Hollywood often only mentions Amsterdam without including the rest of the country. Consider Pulp Fiction. Vega went to Amsterdam, then he went to France. For some reason it's always just Amsterdam. Which is quite strange, considering the entire country is smaller than the average American state.

Apollonia: Exactly. I've spent a good few years in Rotterdam, which is different architecturally and sees fewer tourists, but offers a fair bit of coffee shops, prostitution, and crime. In most smaller towns you'll be able to find ways of having a good time, though if the town is really small certain kinds of fun may require a trip to a nearby city. I once knew some Chinese girls who looked at me blankly when I said I was from the Netherlands, but when I mentioned Amsterdam they knew what I was talking about.

Mo G: One funny thing - I heard that the Netherlands also have a "Bible belt". Who knows more?

Lua: There's a few regions and specific towns that are known for being very conservative and orthodox, with the tiny town of Staphorst being weirdly famous for it. I'm not sure how to translate, but it's generally defined as the places with the highest percentage of votes for the SGP (rough translation: reformed political party). Wikipedia has a chart :) Hilariously, drug and alcohol abuse are apparently way above average over there. I can't say for sure, I was raised very liberally so I'm not really an inside source or anything.

Apollonia: The location of Bible Belt can also be nicely showed by linking a map of vaccination percentages across the country (DTPP vaccination in children under two from 2008) since many of the strict Calvinists think vaccinating children is against God's will. There have been polio outbreaks as recently as 1992. Due to large communities with low herd immunity, there is a real risk of this happening again if someone manages to import it. However, since these people tend to keep to themselves for the most part, you don't really notice them much.

Trouser Wearing Barbarian: @Space Ace Vincent Vega said that he went to Paris, not just "France."
Antheia: Moving this question here (it's generally not a good idea to put comments at the bottom of a page):

What about the mayonnaise?

Eye Chan: What, about eating fries with it? That one's true. Way better than ketchup. ;)

Apollonia: Indeed it is. I'm surprised this is seen as this exotic and strange exclusively Dutch/Low Lands (Belgians seem to like it as well) thing.


Sofos: I suggest splitting this trope in two: Freestate Amsterdam (about Amsterdam) and something like Tulips And Windmills (about rural Netherlands). What do you think?