If you have ever been to the Netherlands, you probably know that the Dutch are not very good at sticking to rules. Smoking not allowed in bars? The bartender will gladly offer you an ashtray just before closing time. Can’t park your bike because of some pesky no parking sign? Just ignore it like everyone else! In a similar vein, I figured I’d walk right past a sign last Saturday that said “In der Residenz Würzburg und in der Hofkirche sind Foto- und Videoaufnahmen nicht erlaubt.” Mind you, it’s not that I don’t understand German. In fact, I once had a very strenuous internship in Düsseldorf that involved typing telex messages, buying cigarettes for the sales manager and mysteriously disappearing for two-hour lunch breaks. But I digress, ja?
Now, breaking the rules the Dutch way is a subtle affair. If photography at one of Germany’s top baroque castles is not allowed, you leave your camera in the car. Instead, you keep things nice and simple and bring something less conspicuous like, say, an iPhone. Just pretend you’re typing away on a fascinating text message and then when the guard isn’t looking you start snapping away. And don’t forget to put your phone on mute – you don’t want anyone to hear that clicking sound every time you use your camera, now do you? Oh, and one last piece of advice from a pro: If you do get caught just shrug your shoulders and say: “Sorry hoor, ik spreek geen Duits!” with feigned indignation and then walk right along as if nothing has happened. It works like a charm every time. Ich wünsche euch noch einen schönen Tag!