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7/11 ÷ 2

· Updated:

The town of Baarle-Nassau on the Dutch/Belgian border might be "the most complicated border town in the world" — many houses and buildings straddle the border line (and pay their taxes depending on where their front door is).

In the best of times, this leads to some confusion. In the worst of times — such as a pandemic that shuts down non-essential businesses — it leads to a whole lot more. And currently, the Netherlands is allowing non-essential businesses to remain open, while Belgium is not — leading to a curious situation for this store:

While the store has moved essential items to the Dutch side of the store, you're out of luck if you want to buy something on the Belgian side:

The border splits the shop in two, with its Belgian section closed following the Belgian directive for all non-essential shops while its Dutch half remains open for business. This meant that customer Onno from Baarle Nassau, who wanted to buy 'two night shirts' at the shop, was told by staff the shirts were officially situated in Belgium and he could not cross the border which is marked with a police tape. 'I had a good laugh,' Onno told the broadcaster, 'but it does show how strict the rules are.'


And if you're still curious about Baarle-Nassau (it is, indeed, very curious), Great Big Story did a great video about the town a few years ago:

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