October 01, 2005

Going Dutch

[ Immediately following the illuminatory episode (see previous commentspace) one headed to the nearest supermarket to look for bread. Only after reaching the place did one remember what folks here call it. “Brood”. Yup. Connotations of utter grimness. Or baby birdies. One can’t go around eating stuff called brood on a daily basis, what? Categorically cannot.

In the meantime, one has been assiduously perusing Indian recipes online **continues to chant slow fire, slow fire **. There’s lots crammed into one’s li’l head right now. Just hoping one won’t forget how to make alu-curry. ]


“Een voor Batman Begins ”, one declaims. The lady at the ticket counter smiles and says a couple of things while she taps away at her keyboard. Small talk, one gathers from her tone. Overwhelmingly likely to be about the weather.

One gravely leans forward and nods. She continues, encouraged by one’s close attention. A pause .. evidently one is expected to say something. “Ja”, one remarks, brow suitably furrowed, an infinity of meteorological wisdom distilled into that single syllable.

Further soliloquy. A pause, again. But one is well prepared. “Natuurlijk”, one declares (rather suavely, one fancies).

But she looks alarmed. One switches to damage-control mode – vigorous shake of head, firmly repeated mutters of “Nee, nee .. natuurlijk niet”. She looks rather strangely at one for a moment, then continues her discourse unfazed.

She presently finishes tapping on her keyboard and makes a rather pointed remark. Numbers. Ah, one can do those. Zeven euro vijftig .. five hundred bucks for a darn movie .. remember Roopalee Talkies, only rupees twenty per phillum .. yeah, ma’am .. there you go. “Dank U wel”, one smiles. Now for the popcorn.

So one has learnt to conduct long and variegated conversations in Dutch without really being able to say anything much (that rhymes. Poetry next post.) But then listening was always a prized skill. Doing the same sort of thing in German, one understands, requires no substantial extension to one’s vocabulary. Joy. Now one just needs to brush up the ol’ French, and one’s a pan-European listening expert.

P.S.

Een voor Batman Begins = one for Batman Begins. Yup, one’s the sort of dude you see walking alone into a movie hall and feel kinda sorry for. Awww and whatnot.

P.P.S.

English films here are Dutch-subtitled, not dubbed. So one thankfully doesn’t have to bluff one’s way through them.

4 comments :

babelfish said...

How is one certain lady behind counter was not propositioning one?!!

You are so wonderfully funny, I'm glad I found this. Waiting with bated breath for post on poetry, pretty plis plis :)

One in a Billion said...

Well. That puts an entirely different spin on things. Hmmm ..

* picks up "Teach Yourself Dutch in 48 Hours" with determined glint in eye, falls asleep two minutes later *

* begin_dream_sequence *
And then one shall whisper sweet nothings in her ear, and bring her home, and cook her something ..
* unceremoniously_end_dream_sequence *

Thanks, Babelfish. Ever so much.

babelfish said...

linking, you funny one :)

One in a Billion said...

Thanks for linking.

[ One walks to front of class, and hesitantly (and more than a tad self-consciously) begins to recite the contents of the following post .. ]