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The Netherlands doesn't think I'm married...

You may have noticed how frequent my blog posts have become. This is because it is getting close to dissertation-crunch-time, and blogging is a wonderful way of procrastinating. Although much of my time is spent 'procrastinating' lately, a new favorite procrastination of mine is to find out about The Netherlands, the Dutch culture, and the Twente region.

I have learned so much interesting trivia about The Netherlands in the past few months.

Grolsh and Heineken beers come from the Netherlands, as do wooden shoes and tulips. The Netherlands is part of the EU, and is near Germany and Belgium. Another interesting tidbit of information is that the Netherlands has two capitals. The political buildings and institutions are all located in The Hague; that is where the Queen lives and where Parliament meets. But according to the constitution, it is actually Amsterdam that is the country's capital.

Amsterdam is located in Holland, but Holland is only a part of The Netherlands. I think of it like Louisiana only being part of the United States. Holland is just one of many regions in The Netherlands, and is not a country in and of itself. Holland is the yellow part in this picture:

In the Netherlands, to get a work visa for longer than 3 months, you need to have a job :). That's not really very unusual. But something I had never heard of was that you need a special stamp to be officially married according to Netherlands law. It's called an apostille. In Louisiana, you get the stamp in Baton Rouge. Normally, I don't think it would be a very big deal to get the stamp. It's about 5 dollars, and I'm sure if I went to the State Department and asked them for one, they'd stamp me right there and I'd be on my way. But right now, state employees in Baton Rouge are definitely occupied with things much more important than giving me a stamp! Much of the city is still without electricity from Gustav. The webside about the apostille wasn't even up. That's really bad because it means their server's probably down... But it's cool. Plenty of time to get the stamp.