11 March 2014

How to Put Your Foot in Your Mouth in Dutch (Kind of...)

A little while back, I publicly announced my annoyance with the number of people calling at my door for just about every reason imaginable. I was even starting to think that this novelty doormat was a legitimate investment:

Available through Amazon.com


Well, folks, today is the day I come back to you and tell you about how this one post has led to me putting my foot in my mouth... and doing it entirely in Dutch.

Like many awkward moments in which you suddenly realize you have no idea what you're talking about, this story starts with me thinking I knew what I was talking about. I received a phone call a few weeks back and decided I was going to power through with my Dutch rather than apologizing and switching to English. The caller was asking (I thought) if I would be willing to make a donation to a charity when they came around the neighborhood. I agreed and waited to see if anyone would come around for about a week, and then promptly forgot about it. 

Last Thursday I received another call from the same organization, and I kept going with my Dutch. This time they were asking when they could make an appointment for (I assumed) picking up the donation. I made an appointment for Friday evening, thinking it was a strange way to do collections, but was happy I would at least have a warning about them coming.

As it turns out, I volunteered myself to do collections for Reumafonds, a charitable organization that supports the research and patients of rheumatoid arthritis. I figured this out when the appointment involved a large bag with all my supplies and a short discussion of what everything entailed. Now I've got myself a fancy collection bin and some light reading (in Dutch) and a map of my walking route.



In light of my complaining, I find the whole situation a bit karmic, but I'm going to follow through with it and have already done a couple streets for the collection. At least I accidentally volunteered for a good organization. So if you see me hoofing it around your street, feel free to call me on my hypocrisy, and please help out the good people at Reumafonds (though you may not understand what I'm saying when I try to pronounce it). Please know that in the Netherlands, you can make an online donation from the home page of the Reumafonds website.

Little Man helping on the beat.


Have you ever found yourself accidentally volunteering or agreeing to something? Did you ever do it in a different language?

11 comments:

  1. Good on you for keeping your word even if it was in Dutch!

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  2. Thanks, Liene - I figured if I was in it, I was in it. And it's not a bad lesson for Little Man in helping others

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  3. Oh man! This is just plain hilarious. I'd have definitely backed out once I realized I'd volunteered myself, so you have my kudos for following through with the torture! Good luck!!

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  4. This is both hilarious (your karma) and impressive. I'm nowhere near able to have that kind of conversation in German. It's getting better, but wow. You go girl! Thanks for linking up!

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  5. Good for you for following through! I totally would've been like uhhhh you got the wrong house! No Dutch speaking here!

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  6. I get myself into things like this, without the excuse of being in a different langauge! I got all mixed up over the phone about an educational course ... I loved this post, totally hilarious and reassuring that we all do funny things like this! :-D

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  7. Ha, thanks! Now that it's over - I can report that it went well and wasn't too bad. Though I think I'll still be more careful about agreeing to anything over the phone from now on.

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  8. Ahaha, thanks! Apparently I can't really have this conversation in Dutch, but it was nice to think it was going well. lol
    Thanks for hosting!

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  9. Hahaha. Part of me thought about doing that, I won't lie. ;)

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  10. Hahaha, thanks, Molly. I really had a good laugh at myself when the organizer left. I'm going to be more careful with my Dutch over the phone from now on...

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  11. I love using a second language and finding the mess I get myself in. Great story!

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