14th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Natural World
Sleeping bird on a wild plassen.

I am an American who moved to Amsterdam in 2016 with my no ex- husband's company. After a few housing catastrophes, living in an illegal apartment and having a crazy French roommate, I decided to buy a van and live in it! The solitude and simplicity was worth the stress of not bathing for days and the concept of wild peeing or in dutch wild plassen. One night while parked in Pumerend, a village north of Amsterdam I braved the cold and humiliation of peeing in public as a woman and came across this bird resting in the branches. A lot of people asked me, "well, living in the van sounds fun but how do you, a WOMAN, take care of business without a toilet onboard?" The truth is, the same as a man! It's quite freeing actually.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 10.2016
Date Uploaded: 10.2016
Photo Location: Pumerend, NL, Netherlands
Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Copyright: © HMG Burger