Friday, March 13, 2015

My Little Dutch ABC Book D

My Little Dutch ABC Book

D

Dames ~ Women

This is a great word to know… especially if you are needing to use the restroom. One of my first “emergencies” happened while pleasantly shopping at the mall in Eindhoven. At first, I was just casually looking for the little sign pointing me in the right direction. Then I decided to go into a store and ask for directions. As this was one of my very first weeks in The Netherlands, I had zero Dutch to my knowledge. So I politely asked the sales attendant if she spoke English. She said she spoke a little. Which I came to learn is a common answer when the Dutch are asked if they speak English. So I began my request….

Me: “Can you tell me where the restroom is?”

Sales attendant: Blank Stare

Me: Fumbling... Thinking... And getting a little panicky… “Can you tell me where the bathroom is?

Sales attendant: Blank Stare

Me: Now I’m embarrassed, smiling, and a tad nervous about my request. So I begin just using one word sentences. “Restroom, bathroom…Ummmm toilet?”

Sales attendant: AHHHHH TOITLET!!!  Yes! Go this way, make left right left.. blah blah blah.. and you’re there.

Me: “Thank you so very much!” I slink out of the shop mortified that someone knows I’ve asked for a toilet.


I still haven’t gotten used to boldly asking where the toilet is when I’m lost, but I do make sure I’ve got my coins ready to pay the attendant in the restroom. And I make sure I open the door that says DAMES (Women) not Heren (Men). 


My favorite Toilet sign
at Piet Hein Eek

2 comments:

  1. Hi Lisa,

    Apologies for writing here but I hope you will respond to my message.
    I am a Lecturer/PhD candidate at University of Amsterdam and Erasmus University and I would like to invite you to participate in my research project on female expats in the Netherlands. My research investigates how female expats carve out spaces of home and a sense of belonging in their lived spaces and the role that digital media (especially blogs) plays in this process. My research aims at providing a better understanding of the migration experience of female expats and the construction of migrant identities.

    I can send you a more detailed message from my university email account if you send me your email address.

    I hope you will read my message and will be interested in my research.

    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Best wishes,
    Rhythma

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. you can reach me at ljochim3@gmail.com. I look forward to hearing from you. ~ Lisa

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