Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Netherlands Antilles? Really?

The Netherlands Antilles paid their first visit to Eff You yesterday. I was touched. Normally, obscure nations only come by after I taunt them and their friends say, "Um, you know, that Eff You guy is really making fun of you. You should go by so he'll shut up." I'm looking at you Mongolia. How long did it take before peer pressure drove Mongolia to come by? Actually, not all that long, so I should probably find another target. Anyway, I have never mentioned the Netherlands Antilles, yet here they are. So, without further ado, we give them the Eff You travelogue treatment.

First of all, we have some confusion as to why Google even shows the Netherlands Antilles as a visitor to this blog:
The Netherlands Antilles, also referred to informally as the Dutch Antilles, was an autonomous Caribbean country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Although the country has now been dissolved, all of its constituent islands remain part of the kingdom under a different legal status and the term is still used to refer to these Dutch Caribbean islands.
The Netherlands Antilles consisted of two distinct island groups. First, the "windward" or "ABC Islands" — Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao — are located in the southernCaribbean Sea, just off the Venezuelan coast. Second, the "leeward" or "SSS islands" — Sint Maarten, Saba, and Sint Eustatius — are part of the Lesser Antilles; they are approximately 800–900 kilometers (500–560 miles) northeast of the ABC Islands. The Dutch colonized the various islands in the 17th century and united them as the Netherlands Antilles in 1954.
The Netherlands Antilles was dissolved on 10 October 2010.  Curaçao and Sint Maarten became distinct constituent countries alongside Aruba which had become a distinct constituent country in 1986; whereas Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, and Saba (the "BES Islands") became special municipalities within the Netherlands proper.
Please note that the entire entry is in the past tense. Apparently, the past imperfect is making my future tense. According to Wikipedia, at least, there no longer is a Netherlands Antilles.

We're not going to let that bother us, though. The Netherlands Antilles date to when the Dutch were still kicking ass and taking names:
Spanish-sponsored explorers discovered both the leeward (Alonso de Ojeda, 1499) and windward (Christopher Columbus, 1493) island groups, but Spain founded settlements only in the leeward islands. In the 17th century, the islands were conquered by the Dutch West India Company and were used as military outposts and trade bases. From the last quarter of the 17th century, the group consisted of six undisputedly Dutch islands: Curaçao (settled in 1634), Aruba (settled in 1636), Bonaire(settled in 1636), Sint Eustatius (settled in 1636), Saba (settled in 1640) and Sint Maarten (settled in 1648). Before, Anguilla(1631–1650), the present-day British Virgin Islands (1612–1672), St. Croix and Tobago had also been Dutch.
Really, I don't want to get into why and how and whatever when it comes to whether the Netherlands Antilles still exist as a political entity. What we have here is a new visitor to Eff You that is fucking gorgeous. Doubt me? Try this:

Or this:

Or this:

Face it. It's cold outside, this looks pretty good, you want to go. So do it. And when you get there, give them a big Eff You welcome, and tell them to come back soon, and bring their friends. From Belize, for instance, who still has not come by. Or Antigua, which might not even be a country. I don't know. Anyway, go there, and start shaming their neighbors into coming to Eff You.

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