Why am I ridiculously proud of this mouthwash? Because I spoke a complete Dutch sentence to get it, and was understood. What follows is an example of the completely trivial interactions that can produce really frustrating or really proud moments in expat life.
I had casually read an advertised promotion that a free mouthwash available at the register came with the purchase of a toothbrush at the local Kruidvat. I paid for my items (including said toothbrush), and no mouthwash materialized. I looked at the cashier. In the shops here you see the same staff consistently, and I know this girl does not speak English because we had a looooong interaction over an overcharging one time. Six months ago I would have just walked home feeling sort of thwarted and sad. Today, I said, IN DUTCH: Is there a free mouthwash with the toothbrush? (Thank you, Rosetta Stone hygiene items lesson.) And the girl understood me! And she gave me this mouthwash.
And that’s why I’m proud of it.