I’ve started Rosetta Stone Dutch Level 1, and I think it is working, but here is a sign that I am now thoroughly confused: I just ordered a medium latte and was coaching myself in my head before ordering that I now know several of the key phrases for this interaction and encouraging myself to use them. The moment came, I panicked and ordered the latte in English, and then when the guy asked if I wanted the receipt, I said: “Si.”
Sometimes in my head I make lists of Things Dutch People Like. One of them is festivities, and another is repurposing the Market Square; these are frequently combined. This past weekend the entire square was temporarily repurposed into a stadium-style venue for a marching-band-esque performance called Taptoe Delft (pronounced, I think, top-two). We didn’t buy tickets but went and tried to listen if not see the performance from outside on Saturday night (and agreed that next year we should definitely buy tickets). We were in just the right place outside the stadium at the right time to see the extras for the grand finale make their entrance through a gate: a “marching” band on bicycles. People riding bicycles while playing snare drums, trombones, a sousaphone = AMAZING. (When are the auditions?) There are some pictures from the event here.
So this entire elaborate construction was staged for just two nights and then completely torn down. Today, two days later, I approach the market and discover it’s once again filled with trucks and equipment setting up for… what else: a carnival.