In a country where you can get a sex change on the national health scheme, and where Hilde and her two dads can share a joint to celebrate that she likes boys too, why does the washing up always get done straight after dinner?
The Netherlands has managed to combine liberal attitudes with one of the most orderly societies on earth, in a community that manages to be radical and sensible without being silly or staid. The Dutch aren't bogged in their clichés, even though bikes, dykes, windmills and blazing flower fields are pretty much the norm outside the major cities.
For travellers, the integration of the clog and the microchip works well. The Netherlands is easy to travel in and the locals are friendly and speak excellent English, but towns are still surrounded by canals and castle walls, the endlessly flat landscape which inspired the nation's early artists still stretches unbroken to the horizons, and the dykes still occasionally threaten to give way.