Some of you may know that I am an exiled Fleming / Belgian (pick which ever means anything to you) in England. This is not usually very relevant, I have learnt the language as any immigrant has an obligation to do and I pay my taxes. My children barely speak Dutch anymore. Now the holidays have finally arrived I am simultaneously exchanging emails with my family about Christmas preparations (they will be coming over here) in Dutch and trying to write a blog post. My brain is doing strange things to me, mixing both languages and coming out with creations that would probably appear absurd to you good readers. To me it makes sense though, I understand it all. That lovely Ciney Blonde I’ve drunk to ease me into the holidays will not have done much to unscramble the language area in my brain, I suppose. It seems to free-associate better though. More connections than clarity.
Now might be a good time to play multi-language scrabble with my kids: any language goes, as long as a dictionary can prove the word exists. Or with anyone else who cares to join. Husband hates it: he pretty much only masters English. But, we all have stuff to get done. I shall have to leave you with a picture of my lovely Belgian beer paraphernalia instead:
And here’s some Belgian humour for you: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9OIJRMqYAA0
Husband is all out of luck. The BBC news site carried a story about polyglots the other day. It claimed that Dutch is the easiest to learn language for native English speakers. Husband is English, yours truly was raised in Dutch. Husband fits the cliche that English people are linguistically challenged, but now that excuse is too thin to hide behind.
He agreed to learn two new Dutch phrases every day. I never minded that he didn’t speak it, but am finding that I really want to teach him now. While I try not to roll over laughing.
Dear reader, teach your children languages! Lest they embarrass themselves later!
We decided to sit down with a beer and enjoy the atmosphere before strolling back along the river and rejoin the mayhem. We found a table with a marvelous view over the river and the quay opposite and ordered 2 Kriek Boon beers. One 500 ml for two – just a little bit more than if we’d ordered two separate ones. The place is cosy and a bit naff, with an old stove in the room and a few low slung oldfashioned wing chairs in the corner. Every chair is taken, many by Dutch day trippers.
When the beer arrives all of its 0.5l comes in one huge glass. The waitress, thinking of the shopping she still has to do or the party she is going to in the evening – anything to take her mind off what she is actually doing right now, tries to argue with me that this is what I have ordered and I should just make do. All I want is for her to bring me another small Kriek Boon, and we’ll have both. Never too much of a good thing, especially one you just can’t get anywhere else. Rolling her eyes she speeds off and eventually returns with another beer for the morons. Wonderful.
When it is time to leave I shake out my smallest euro coins and build a pile that pays our bill. The Dutch guys behind us are grinning. My husband is shrinking. I pretend not to notice. I never claimed I was a nice person.