Tag Archives: kultuurverschillen

Interesting Code!

We Dutch are world-famous for our directness, so American conversations require a whole new set of skills. In my previous post, I wrote about an example of what Americans say and what they mean. There’s a lot of that. I have figured most of it out by now–at least I think I have.  But that doesn’t leave me any less mystified.

Take “That’s interesting”. Continue reading

I Love You

Another post in the “Weird Things Americans Say” spirit.

When my brand new American boyfriend T–now my husband for 18 years–first spoke to his parents on my phone in the Netherlands, he ended the call with telling his parents he loved them, apparently in response to them telling him the same.

That was weird to me. My parents and I had never Continue reading

The Meaning of Shit

get-attachment.aspxI opened my oven drawer yesterday, and was immediately reminded of a language misunderstanding I had years ago. Continue reading

Hi There!

(For my Dutch-English translating and proofreading business, please go to my D-E Translating WordPress site. Thank you.)

Welcome to my blog.

I’m an energetic, slim, reasonably pretty thirty-year-old. However, I reside in a rather shocking, obese, aching, apathetic 55-year-old body. I love living in Austin but I’m chock-full of criticism of America in general. The Rockies bring me to tears, but so does the health care system. I’ve adopted Thanksgiving, but not the Pledge of Allegiance. If I seem elated and unbearably grouchy in sometimes schizophrenically quick succession, this is why.

I love the usual: my husband, my children, my friends and our pets. I hate heat, willful ignorance, bone spurs, spiders, and walking or cycling in place.

I collect raft books and I’ve developed a weird obsession with the bottoms of bridges.

When I lived in the Netherlands, twenty-three years ago, I loved hot tea, wild camping in Great Britain, gardening, reading for days on end, and I walked and cycled everywhere. Now that I live in a pretty darn hot part of the US, with kids who have to be driven everywhere by car, I love reminiscing about hot tea, wild camping in Great Britain, gardening, reading for days on end and walking and cycling everywhere…

My blog is a crazy—some might say completely unhinged–collection of posts about any of the above-mentioned issues and then some. Nothing is sacred. I blatantly ignore all American no-nos. Which means I talk politics, religion, I don’t idolize  teachers and I swear (but not that much).

As you read my posts you might laugh, seethe, weep or shrug your shoulders. If you like a post, great. Let me know. If you hate a post, great, let me know. I’d like to think I’m always right, but don’t let that stop you from telling me if you disagree. We Dutch love a good debate.

If you want to know more about how I ended up in America and an overview of how that’s been, visit my About page.

Otherwise, have at it!

(In my posts, I refer to my husband as T, my 19-year-old son as B, and my 17-year-old daughter as R.)

Nails

I had been asked to be a bridesmaid.

This was a big test: could I do it? Could I stand in a row with five American women, in front of a church congregation, without being the odd one out?

Yes. I would just have to do it. I would just have to forget my Dutch sense of individuality and put on a dress that I was ordered to wear – the exact same dress that five other women would be wearing – and walk for several hours in high-heeled shoes of someone else’s choice.

I would have to ‘have my hair done’ – in a style, at a time, and at a location determined by others – and I would have to ‘have my nails done’ with a polish that was handed out at the bridesmaids’ luncheon.

But…

Sing Along, Now, Girls and Boys!

 

Apparently having good company for your birthday is not enough when you go out to eat. In many restaurants the personnel sings a song for the celebrant. And everyone in the restaurant will know about it. The waiters meet near the kitchen and start clapping as they walk to the birthday person’s table. Often they sing and clap their very own house-birthday song: Continue reading