Use Your Words - Hiding in plain sight

Today’s post is a writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once, and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

My words are:

Atlas ~ Shoes ~ Hiding in plain sight ~ Ridicule 

They were submitted by The Bergham Chronicles - thanks, Jules!

As part of "10 Days of Heat", a writing challenge I was taking part in this August, I did some (fictional) travelling in order to collect specific items like bear droppings, mukluks (a very unique kind of shoes made by Inuit people) or a pressed penny:

My journey began in Tokyo, Japan where I did what every decent Japanese person must do once in their lives: climb Mt Fujiama. 

I moved on to Alaska where I experienced the Northern lights and learned how to behave should I ever encounter a bear. 

Lastly I ended up in New York where I found out I should live on Staten Island if I ever decided to move to NY City, learned about immigration back then and today, crossed the Brooklyn Bridge with a panda, and ultimately hunted down a dollar pouch in the NYNY Casino in Las Vegas. 

Today we're taking yet another trip. I'll show you on the atlas where we are going:

Photo Credit
That's right. the Netherlands. 

Anything you (think you) know about this country? Here's what I put together, in no particular order:
  • People are usually super friendly and down to earth, probably (among) my favorite Europeans!
  • One thing though: because their country is so flat, they never learned how to drive in mountainous terrain, so they're a bit helpless in my country, going very slowly and causing delays. There is a joke that goes:
    Q: "What happens if a Swiss person fails the driving test three times in a row?"
    A: "they get a NL sticker and a trailer as punishment." (NL = NetherLands)
  • Also they're known to be financially prudent. Appparently in the English language there is a saying "going Dutch" which means splitting the bill. It's also common in other Western European countries, so I'm not sure it's exclusively a Dutch thing.
  • The flag looks like the Pepsi logo.
  • Their soccer national team's jerseys are orange. I remember in 2008 the European Soccer Championship was taking place in Switzerland. Whatever city the Dutch team was playing, the streets and places would turn orange because it was crawling with fans. See below, the bridge is in Bern, Switzerland:

  • Soft drugs (and prostitution) are legal - as a result they have less addicts and less criminals.
  • They were the first country to allow guy marriage.
  • The main means of transportation in Amsterdam is a bicycle.
  • About two thirds of the Netherlands lie below sea level which makes it vulnerable to flooding. However, impressive systems constituting of dikes, pumps and sand dunes are keeping people safe.
  • There are plenty of tulips and windmills.
  • The Netherlands used to have colonies in every continent and were also instrumental in founding New York, formerly called New Amsterdam.
  • People wear clogs that to us look like an object of ridicule.
  • Gouda cheese, poffertjes (buckwheat pancakes), appeltaart (apple pie) and Heineken are probably the most popular foods and beverages.
  • The Maastricht treaty created the European Union in the early 1990s and led to the introduction of the Euro currency.
  • The Hague / Den Haag hosts the International Court of Justice.
  • Van Gogh, Rembrandt and Mondrian were famous Dutch painters.
  • Many international companies have their (EMEA) headquarters in the Netherlands: Nike, Tesla, Philips, IKEA, Adidas, Unilever,... Starbucks used to be in Amsterdam with their European coffee roasting plant and administrative headquarter but moved the office jobs to London a couple of years ago.
  • Amsterdam has been developed around canals called grachten to accommodate increasing numbers of immigrants in the 17th century.

Map Source

After doing so much research we deserve a break. I suggest we go hiding in plain sight  - meaning we enjoy happy hour at an award winning bar in Amsterdam that goes by the name of hiding in plain sight! 

Are you with me?

Before you leave, please go and check out my blogger friends' posts: