Even without a map as you approach a border you can sense it is coming. Im not sure why but it is the small nuances that perhaps explain. A geographical ridge in the distance, moving in more perpendicular angles to the direction Im going, changing features of the surrounding houses and buildings. More cars with exhibiting D on their registration plates. The real give away the local man who says ‘speken zi deutsch?’ which I am pretty confident is German as opposed to Dutch.
I know that Borders in the EU are lax but to my surprise there is nothing, no line, no sign, not even any patriotic graffiti. The map said I had crossed but once again mum I don’t really know where I am.
Although the next couple of miles are a bit fuzzy, entering the next village it becomes clear that I am now in Germany. BMW’s rather than bicycles, Wurst shops rather than cheese, new and not very pleasing on the eye yellow road signs, maybe even different types of Jeans. The list goes on.
I wonder for a moment if these people on the borders of places with no border line have any problems knowing they are German or Dutch. As I cycle on the characteristics, culture and Identity all become glaringly clear. Ive not seen a single German in a pair of wooden clogs.