Venlo, the Netherlands

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Venlo is possibly one of the most pointless towns on Earth. It only exists to exploit a border which isn't in any real sense there any more. It has a dozen sex shops and no decent supermarket. It is impossible to walk beside the river in the evening without being offered drugs by teenagers with Errol Flynn moustaches and Imran Khan haircuts - and if you try to walk away from them, they follow you on mopeds to make sure you don't buy drugs from any of their competitors.

Although it is in the Netherlands (but not in Holland - ask a local), the shops price everything - or at least everything they have to sell (coffee, cigarettes, pornography) - in D-marks. The locals are constantly torn between their hatred for the Germans, and their desire to take all their money off them. They take out this frustration in typically Dutch ways, such as riding bicycles with no gears (for is it not written, 'Where there are no hills, there shall ye have no need of the Sturmey Archer'?) and incessant gardening.

All you need to know about Venlo is summed up by the fact that although you can buy drugs and pornography all evening, you can't get a burger after 10pm, and until recently you couldn't get a pizza after half past eight. Then Pizza Hut closed down, so now you can't get one at all.

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