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The Netherlands sits on the North Sea and is bordered by Germany on the east and Belgium on the south. Netherlands means something like low land because about a quarter of the country is below sea level.
I'll be living and interning in The Hague, or Den Haag. It's about 45 minutes from Amsterdam by train. Though Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands, The Hague is the seat of the government, the royal city and the legal capital of the world. Or so they say. All I know is that I hope it's the closest I ever am to war criminals.
Good Chuck Taylors
Bad Chuck Taylor
And no, I don't know whether there is a red-light district or legal marijuana in The Hague.
So the Netherlands or Holland? The Netherlands is the official name of the country, but it is often used interchangeably with Holland. I read somewhere that this is because most of the trade was done in the provinces of North and South Holland so foreigners started referring to the nation as Holland. I don't know if this is offensive to people who aren't from one of the Hollands, but I intend to personally find out.
But here's what the Netherlands is really famous for:
Windmills and tulips
I think I can fit right in with that crowd.