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I got my flatmate to pay for me, and signed up for what I considered simply an excellent and unique opportunity to practice Dutch with 25 people!
To make it more interesting though, I gave myself the challenge that each of my mini dates (lasting only 3-5 minutes) must involve talking about something completely different. I can't just rattle off the same introduction and ask the same questions or I won't learn anything.
I actually had little interest in finding the girl of my dreams (I'm leaving in 3 weeks! Doing it in a language I'm not yet fully comfortable in just made it all the more interesting 🙂 I find it incredible when people tell me that they have “nothing to talk about” when they find an opportunity to practice a language, and suggest that all you can do is discuss .
So, I'll actually tell you exactly what I remember talking about last night.
I just wanted to get some Dutch practice because they had been notoriously hard to hang out with as friends!
You generally don't meet someone up for coffee or lunch; you have to propose a time long in advance and understand the Dutch need to be organised; something which contrasts with my preference for spontaneity.
I had only ever seen it on some American TV shows, and not really thought much about it.
I wasn't interested in actually finding a date though.
If the majority of my conversations with the Dutch are going to be brief, then I decided to think of a better way to take advantage of these conversations.€32 for 25 intensive chats in the language with a drink included!That's much cheaper than the going rate for private conversation lessons!So I arrived, asked the hotel receptionist where the speed-dating was going down and found the hostess explaining how it works.
She checked my name against the bookings and gave me my booklet of girls' names.
Dutch culture is different to others I am used to; everyone has been very nice and polite to me, and nobody speaks English to me, but after a brief first conversation they tend to disappear, and there is little hope of seeing them again due to their always packed schedules. Luckily I am finally getting through to some people and starting to socialise properly, hanging out for hours or even almost an entire day, speaking just in Dutch.