Pages

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Triggers

 


I was sitting and visiting with my friend, Rosie, the other day and we were talking about and comparing 'triggers' - not the horse and not the obvious ones.  I'm not going down that jungle path.  We both include math or anything to do with numbers as one of our major triggers - the thought of doing my own taxes gives me a major stomach ache.  Most of the time I enjoy triggers that bring up memories (as long as they are good memories, of course).  I was recently watching a short video by someone on Instagram that I follow, documenting the second time in a row that she had locked herself out of the house.  This brought up the time(s) I managed to lock myself out of the row house in which I lived in the Netherlands.  The only access, if one was foolish enough to lock herself out, was through an upstairs bedroom window.

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.

21 comments:

jaz@octoberfarm said...

i assume this was before cell phones so there are no videos of any of this? damn! so, do you now speak dutch?

Susan said...

Oh, yes. Waaaay before cell phones. Thank the goddess there were no videos... I would say that I speak Dutch about as well as I did when I first got there. Maybe a little better. :)

linnellnickerson@gmail.com said...

You always siege to amaze me!! Hope all is going well for you. You must be a fast healer!!

ellen abbott said...

I've never lived in a foreign country, have only visited four and two of those they speak English (the other two, enough spoke english). Never was brave or adventurous enough being pinned well under my father's thumb.

Rosalea said...

Thank you for the chuckle. I can just imagine! But, 3 times?? What kind of a closure was on that door?

tpals said...

Oh, my. Why do the awkward memories last so long? If you want to stretch your brain muscles you could learn Dutch on duolingo. I am still slowly adding to my Norwegian.

Linda Sue said...

HAHAHAHA this is hilarious! and congratulations for "delivery of package" ! What a fun post.My friend , trying out her Danish at a family event, told her mother in law that she was a pretty potato, I , trying Norwegian on my family in Norway called everyone "boy cousin"- I am sure there are worse things.

Debby said...

Oh my gosh. The pictures in my mind...what a wonderful post! Thanks for the giggle.

Joanne Noragon said...

What a dilemma. How embarrassing, including the assumed pregnancy.

Michelle said...

Now I need to know WHY you were living alone in a foreign land where you did not know the language!

Leigh said...

Great post! And I'm with Michelle, we need to hear the story behind why you were living in The Netherlands!

Mama Pea said...

What talent you have for painting a wonderful picture with words! I've only locked myself out of the house once. While carrying our three-month old infant. I set her carefully down on the grass, told her I'd be right back (!), damaged a screen on a kitchen window (first floor, lucky me) taking it off and climbed in after opening the window. I was glad we lived out in the country and the lawn area was hidden by bushes. Otherwise, who knows who would have called a child protection agency to investigate the squirming bundle on the grass. :o\

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Hahahahaha, expecting any more deliveries?

Nancy @ Little Homestead In Boise said...

Good laugh to start my day!

Florida Farm Girl said...

Ah, but the memories you have now, huh? Just wouldn't have been the same if you'd had an extra key stashed somewhere. Hope you're doing well these days.

Susan said...

I'm with Michelle, give us more.

Steve Reed said...

Ha! These are great stories!

www.self-sufficientsam.blogspot.com said...

You definitely have some tales to tell! I have been terrible about posting and visiting. I'm just getting too old and too slow! I have some tales to tell but should I is the question!?! Was this a first installment (I hope)?

Ed said...

I would never have guessed the stay in the Netherlands. Hoping for more to that story!

Marcia LaRue said...

Loved the story ... gave me a good chuckle! Well, the 3rd time was the charm and you getting a duplicate key made up ... LOL Good for you!!!

wyomingheart said...

Hilarious! Thanks for my morning laughter!