We are in Amsterdam now, and what stands out to me are the windmills and tulips and marijuana. Some areas of the city smell like my college days. Pot is not legal, but it is TOLERATED. Amsterdam had such a bad drug problem in the '60's that they localized all the drug dealing to one part of the city, and looked the other way when it came to enforcing drug laws. A "coffee shop" here means that they sell recreational drugs. Cafes are where you buy lattes. The way each country uses its natural resources gives it character. In Ireland the farmers cleared their fields of the many rocks, and then built fences out of them. In Amsterdam flooding is an issue so the Dutch have built dikes and canals, and use the water as fences to enclose their animals and delineate their property. It feels a lot like Venice to me. The canals are lined with daffodils and quaint bridges.
Sometimes my students don't want to get involved in politics, or even register to vote when they are 18. People here are very interested in politics Before the war, the Dutch left politics to their govt. They learned that you couldn't always trust the government to do what's right
The internet connections aren't great, so I'll have to add pictures later!