Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The satisfaction of foreign license plate spotting

I've got a little obsession. It's about number plates from cars and trucks. Wherever I go, I basically spot all foreign license plates I come across. I guess it all started when I was a little younger, maybe around 12 years old. The library in my home town Emmen sold some books they wanted to get rid of. For twenty eurocents I bought myself a very nice educational book about Germany. It was rich on illustrations and interesting facts. It also gave a brief explanation on German car signs, and that you can discover from the first few letters where in Germany the owners of that particular car live. On foreign travels I always tried to figure out the origin of those white German signs looking rather pale besides the canary yellow Dutch ones. Slowly but steady my field of interest expanded. "Oeh, that one with the tiny letters is from Switzerland". I even spotted one from China in Riga once. And in Kaunas one from the Isle of Man. When being in the Baltics I always smile when seeing Dutchmen, and when happily proclaiming that to my fellow students they always frown having no idea I'm talking about the truck that just passed by. The same counts the other way around when driving through the Netherlands. I won't leave it unnoticed when passing trucks from five particular countries. It always starts with a notable "Hm.." followed by a decisive Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland or Russia. Well, everybody has its own strange obsession. I guess this is quite an innocent one. 

 I furthermore like nice words on license plates, this one is both my last name and 'forest' in Dutch

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