Today I was mistaken for a Dutch girl. Granted, it was by the man at Albert Heijn soliciting donations to the Amsterdam Friends of Puppies (or something like that), but I still felt pretty smug. He came up to me and started chatting away. I shrugged and looked away, meaning that I could not understand a word he was saying, but he took that to mean I was just not yet convinced to donate to Lizard Lovers Anonymous. So he started back in with the Dutch, talking animatedly in what sounded to me like Sim language for thirty full seconds.
When he paused to take a breath, I gave him an awkward look and said, “Sorry, I don’t speak Dutch.” He apologized and proceeded to give me what I assume to be the same speech he just gave me in Dutch. He was really nice, though, and just asked me if I was traveling or studying. I told him I was a student and he didn’t try to make me donate anyting since I won’t be here long enough for a Cheetah Savers membership or whatever it is he was raising money for.
The funniest part about the whole thing was when he could tell I wasn’t going to donate but he still wanted me to read some literature about the plight of puppies or homeless pets. He looked around for something in English, but finally settled for a magazine that was written in Dutch.
“Here,” he said. “You can at least look at the pictures, or maybe have another student read it to you.”
Wow. Thanks. I am now aware that I have the capabilities of a two-year-old in this country. But it was funny nonetheless. I think I will send the magazine to my niece. She likes pets, and I think she’ll probably know more of what it says than I do. Anyways…Victory for Mary! My grocery shopping skills made the Dutch man think that I was at least not a tourist!
I moved into my apartment/dorm today. My room is bigger than the room I had in the Missouri State dorms, and it is a lot less gray. In fact, I have an orange floor, yellow chair, and blue curtains. I have just one other suite mate, a girl named Diana. She is Ukrainian and is finishing up her Master’s in Public International Law. She seems pretty nice and cool and showed me around the apartment and said which dishes were common, etc. She even offered me tea and coffee and called bye to me when she left. “Bye, Murray!” is how she pronounced it. It was cute.
I will take a picture of my room when I have everything unpacked and I don’t look like so much of a slob. International Student Network introduction tomorrow! I’ll drunk post tomorrow after the pub! (Just kidding, Mom. And Grandma.)