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Amsterdam’s patronising ‘rules quiz’ is right to treat us like idiots

Simon Calder’s Travel

Was it stroopwafels, the delicious Dutch treat of syrup sandwiched by thin waffles, that I wanted to consume great quantities of in Amsterdam, or cocaine?

One of those hadn’t even had a sniff of interest from me – the latter, if you must know – but this is an actual question that potential British visitors are being asked by the municipality of the Dutch city.

The surprising query is part of the tourism hot spot’s latest ‘Stay Away’ campaign, consisting of an online survey titled “Amsterdam Rules”, which also asks why you’d like to visit (spoiler: the ‘wrong’ answer is stag party), whether you’d like to kick up your clogs until 5am, and if you fancy pairing a bubble pilsner with a spliff. You get passive-aggressively chastised each time you each time your plans are “going to be a hassle” (presumably for long-suffering Amsterdammers).

Signs in the Red Light District make the rules crystal clear

(Getty Images)

I didn’t think I’d be the target for such a campaign, but it turns out I am: a British man aged 18–35. Blighty has the accolade of being the first official target audience, ahead of Germany, France, Spain and Italy, which are next on the list.

The Municipality of Amsterdam is cracking down on “party tourists”, those who it says visit to “push their limits”, which “fuels the illegal drug trade” and “causes inconvenience for residents and entrepreneurs”. In fact, the very quality of life in the city centre “is under pressure”.

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The premise is solid. Those searching online using terms such as “Amsterdam coffee shop”, “Amsterdam red light district” or “Amsterdam stag do” will be directed to the interactive quiz.

It’s a humiliating and condescending approach to finding ‘better’ tourists – but the Dutch capital is entirely right to treat us as irresponsible troublemakers. We only have ourselves to blame after carefully curating a less-than-favourable image.

The De Wallen Red Light District is the largest and best-known in Amsterdam

(Getty Images)

The ‘Brits Abroad’ stereotype persists, in memory but also in reality. Before I get accused of unfairly doing down my fellow citizens, I’m well aware that we’re not the only nationality to fall foul of acceptable behaviour when savouring that potent mix of new surrounds and booze. But…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at The Independent Travel…