Being in a new country is so much fun, but when you don’t speak the language you really depend on signs to help you get around to learn about the city. When we decided to take this journey and accept a job in The Netherlands I was thrilled to know that almost everyone is able to speak English. Dutch is their native language but English is taught in the schools starting when the kids around 10. I’m not sure if language classes were offered in our package when we took the job, but I’m sure they were. My husband of course thought getting Rosetta Stone would be good enough for the both of us. I’ve been waiting and have yet to meet Rosetta. But I have a much better solution, Nico. Nico is the man who owns the dry cleaner where I take my husband’s shirts. He said I will definitely go home speaking Dutch! He has me counting change and saying several practical words for conversation. So, not only am I learning a new language I’m making good friends with community members. Nico calls his lessons… Street Dutch, or how real people would say or pronounce the Dutch language.
(Um... I don't know.. was I?)
But as I venture out into the city without my Dutch teacher, I have to rely on signs. A lot of Dutch words are very similar to English and a lot are extremely different. The same goes for signs, some are similar and some need a little explanation.
(We call this one .. picnic table over highway)
(They are serious about this one and yes I drove my car into a massave hole in a bus lane)
Driving to my friend Carrie's after a snow storm, I didn't notice the lane I was in as I exited the highway was the bus lane because it was covered in snow. By the time I saw this sign it was too late and I had to inch my prescious mini across this deep hole. Let Op! Ummmm Yea!!!
(The sign of youth. I asked if I could take their picture. They said yes, but they wanted to not have their faces shown. Hoodie up, mask on.. ok we're ready:))
(No Peeing! Do we really need signs for this? Yes! There are outdoor urinals that are scattered through out the cities for the men to use right out in the open. I randomly see men all the time peeing along the highway. Can they not wait the extra 5 min. to get to the gas station? Apparently not! I like to honk just to make them a little nervous. Hey if you're going to pee in public be ready to put on a show!)
(This is a street near my house. I'm not sure if I should be afraid of someone selling crack or if someone's plumbers crack will be showing! You know..... Crack can kill! .. Just saying )
(Are they kidding... do they really think I can go over 30 on my bike on the bike path? They will barely let me do that in my car!)
(The river behind my house.)
(The sign that we get a lot of rain in Holland. My free raincoat for my bike seat advertising my favorite bar... Dommel 18)
(This one I could read but I couldn't help but sing to myself.....
I guess there are signs everywhere. Some are easy to understand and others are a bit confusing. This American Girl is trying her best to block out the scenery breaking my mind... to do this, don't do that and trying to read the sign.
* Stupid signs will be ignored to the best of my ability!