Tiny sovereign Dutch neighborhoods in Belgian town

Geoff sez, "A reader emailed me about this amazingly weird town in Belgium where, due to how the town was divided back in the 12th century, parts of the village are actually now Dutch.

In other words, you have this weird island-effect – check out the map – where pockets of the Netherlands exist within the larger matrix of a Belgian town. These sovereign pockets are only big enough to hold a few houses, though – and the houses differentiate themselves, nationalistically, by including coats of arms on their fronts. They even have separate postal services! It's like something straight out of Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49.

What's more, because laws differ in the Dutch parts of the town, restaurants apparently used to close at different times – but in some cases this simply meant that you had to move to another table, thus crossing the national border. "


(Thanks, Geoff)