A little background. I lived in the southern part of the country, which was dotted with lovely farms, thatched roofs, great little bars/pubs/taverns. In my particular neighborhood, none of my neighbors spoke English. And I was a long way from being fluent in Dutch. Trying to blend in was a trick. Apparently, word got around that an American was living amongst them and, when I had gone out to wash my windows (as was the custom), I turned to find three women lined up across the road, arms crossed, ready to critique my methods. Luckily, my near-neighbors were patient and kind and we muddled along.
The first time I locked myself out of the house, I was emptying my compost into the green bin. I managed to line up the bins and climb up high enough to reach the window and hoist myself through. Important note: This was YEARS ago - before everything seized up. My next door neighbor came out to empty her compost and watched me in amusement. "Those crazy Americans..." The second time was pretty much the same scenario. The third (I know, I know) time was almost the same - except that I was wearing nothing but the oversized t-shirt I wore to bed. As I stood, wringing my hands and trying to decide what the odds were that no one would come out and look up my t-shirt as I did my monkey routine, the same neighbor came out of her back door. Through a lot of hand gesturing and bad Dutch, I managed to convey my lack of undies and she went inside and fetched her husband. Bless his heart, he clambered up and in through the window and came down and opened the door. That afternoon, I had a duplicate key made and wore it on a chain around my neck.
These were the same neighbors who invited me over for coffee and cake for the Queen's birthday (Mrs. Neighbor had a birthday on the same day). I did my usual quasi-Dutch, explaining that I would love to come, but I was expecting a package from Fedex, so would have to keep an eye out for the delivery. They were so sweet and effused and carried on when I arrived - plying me with cake and bringing out the special occasion wine. I was very flattered, until I found out that, in essence, I had just told them I was pregnant and expecting a little one in the near future. I briefly considered punching a hole in my Dutch/English dictionary and hanging it on the chain with my key.