After finding himself stranded in the Netherlands, Ben Coates called up a local girl he met some months earlier and, after staying for dinner, kept on staying. He not only fell in love with the girl, but with the country as well. In this travelogue, Ben explores his adopted country, struggling through the morass of what it means to be Dutch, the world’s smallest country, how its complex relationship with water has shaped its character, and much more.
Why the Dutch are Different: Into the Hidden Heart of the Netherlands is the best kind of travel memoir – witty, entertaining, thoughtful and thought-provoking, and deeply revealing of the country it’s exploring. If you’ve ever wondered why the brothels in Amsterdam are going out of business or who really killed Anne Frank, this book addresses those questions and many more in this ode to the Dutch by an Englishman who became one of them. Deeply personal, but with a broad scope that sweeps the entire country – even the world – this exploration into the Netherlands covers a vast array of topics and perspectives, coming to some interesting conclusions and never quite losing sight of that skinny Dutch girl peeking in at the edges.
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