While we were thinking in leaving in Netherlands we’ve started in Bucharest a dutch for beginners course. I always thought that a new language is a good exercise for the mind, so I tried as much the time permitted me to be there or to learn at home. The fact is that any language is like maths – if you don’t practice it, you will forget it. And here I am and everybody says that in Netherlands you don’t need to know dutch, because everybody knows english. Yes, that’s true, but you will miss a lot if you don’t know the language.
In some mornings I meet with a old lady in the bus station. She starts talking with me, I catch some words, but it’s really hard to express myself. She says “geen engels” and I understand in her eyes that she would like to find somebody to chit-chat in the morning. Sometimes I tell her “Het is koud” and she starts explaining about the wind in Netherlands and so on. In one morning the bus driver was really funny and he was speaking at the microphone. Everyone in the bus was laughing and I was just annoyed that I couldn’t understand what he was saying. Of course, when I catch him making signs to people on the street I also laughed. Another frustrating experience is when you are in the train and the guy says that the train will be late, but if you want you can change at another line for a faster connection. In time you will be able to understand this kind of announcements, but at first you simply look at the people leaving in hurry the train.
But the big and the most annoying is when you go shopping. Not to say that in the first week, when we were looking for cleaning products, we were like “WTF? 100 stores ground closed at 6 pm?!”. It was a shock to find almost all the stores closed after 6. Now we got used with it and we found it better this way: at least when you want chocolate in the middle of the night you can’t find any store to buy it 🙂 It is good for your body and health. Going back to the language: when we want something special, we search the word in dutch and simply go to the store and show the dutch word. Because it’s more easier to find the products in this way. But when you want to try something new, it’s horror: you don’t understand what’s the product in front of you, what contains and what the taste should be. So until now we bought many stuff that afterwards we throw out because the taste was so bad that nobody wanted to eat it.
So yes, you must learn it. Even if you can manage it with english, it is better if you want to fit in. Because it sounds more funny “Doei” (it’s like “duuuuuuuuuui” 🙂 )instead of “Bye, bye!”.