Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Below Zero Netherlands

It’s been antartica here in the Netherlands. For 2 weeks already. This is what it’s like living inside the fridge.

My lease car from work died on me the other day. I think the cold triggered the problem. I haven’t heard from the garage yet. It looks like they are struggling to find out what is wrong with the car. In the meantime I’m driving a loaner car.

My other private car is doing fine. We make sure to turn it on and drive the car to the in-laws in the weekends so that it won’t die like the last time. If a car is left unattended for a longer period of time, especially during winter in below zero conditions, it will eventually die, albeit temporarily.

I had a stroll with my client during their lunch break. In Dutch we call it, ‘We gaan even een frisse neus halen.’ This means, ‘Let’s go get some fresh air.’ However, if literally translated it should say, ‘Let’s go get some fresh nose.’ Hehe.

These things, the nuances in the language, you only get to learn in time. After 10 years in this country, my Dutch is fluent. I conduct business in Dutch. I think in Dutch. When I speak English, I throw in Dutch words. But I still learn everyday many things... from new words, new sayings to ways of expressing and writing my thoughts in proper Dutch. Of course, I have an accent, and I have grammar blunders and insecure moments too.

But if I compare myself to other foreigners who have been here for 10 years and more, I think I did very good. My clients and business partners do not believe I’m just 10 years in this country, so that is a good sign. But I tell you, getting to this level with my Dutch wasn’t an easy walk in the park. I have to work VERY HARD for it and I still am actually.

This was taken earlier this afternoon between Dongen and Tilburg.

On other news, we have finished packing about 80% tonight for our upcoming wintersport holiday in the Alps. This will be a whole week of skiing (moi) and snowboarding (Dutchman). Come Friday the holiday feeling will hopefully sink in.

Travel Period: January 2013
Places: Utrecht, Maastricht, Tilburg – The Netherlands

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