This is a postcard from the Netherlands! I can’t really tell by the postmark when this was sent to my family (at the time being my dad, my brother and me), but I would venture to guess early 2000s. It was sent by my Uncle James, who was sitting in Brugges, Belgium at the time he wrote it! He complimented Brugges for having the “best beer and chocolate in the world”! So this card here has a pretty common site in Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands – it’s the amsterdammertje! Pronounced sort of like “AHM-ster-DAHM-er-chyeh”, this is more commonly known as a bollard, which is a post made of wood, stone or metal that separates vehicular traffic from everything else. As one source described it – it’s anywhere that cars shouldn’t be. They can be found in many places outside of the Netherlands – if you pay attention to them, they’ll make themselves very evident! Anyway, amsterdammertjes spread in Amsterdam during the 18th century as a way to protect one’s property from rogue drivers. It wasn’t until around 1915 that they started making the cast iron ones in the semblance of what you see here, which is shaped kinda like a lighthouse. You may be wondering why there are three X’s on each one – if your mind is as impure as mine, you might first think it bears an X-rated meaning. Rest assured! This card passes the “family friendly content” check on APFY. These are known as Saint Andrews’ Crosses, which have been on the city’s coat of arms since the beginning of the 1500s. St. Andrew, during his time (1st century AD) was a martyr who was crucified on a cross. So, these have been a symbol associated with the city for a long time. Thank you tons for sending us this awesome card, Uncle James!