Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Summer 1998 Nederland & Zeeland (The Netherlands)

The strange thing is I actually photographed more things on film in my camera while in the Netherlands than than Germany, but I was only there for a day.

I don't even remember what all the things we saw are called, I just remember that McDonald's was about every 2 miles along the highway, and incredibly expensive.

We went to The Zeeland, which has a Sea (it means Sea Land) and beaches. There was also lots of waterways everywhere, like canals.

And, compared to Germany, it's very flat. Also, unlike Germany, I would sometimes see litter on the ground, and the water was brown. Germany was pristine clean, and never any litter.

I also photographed a wedding by pure accident chance.

In 1998, I felt that the Dutch had a weird fashion sense, and all looked androgynous, with the bob haircut, and dressed like "Where's Waldo" with nerd glasses, and rust colored sweaters in the extreme hot summer heat. I often didn't know who was male or female. This seemed strange to me, because I assumed Nederland would be just like Germany... but, I was wrong.

I also wrongly assumed that Dutch folks would speak German to me because everyone told me their language was so close to Deutsch (German). So, when I went shopping, or went to McDonald's I would speak Deutsch, but once they realized I was American because I would speak to Wolfgang in a mix of English & Deutsch they would stop speaking Deutsch and speak only English.

Wolfgang was mostly deaf, and had to wear hearing aides. So, when he would ask them questions in German and they would answer in English he thought this was amusingly funny.

Apparently most Dutch people tend to be fluent in English because most of the movies, music,and television is usually broadcast in their original languages, and usually never dubbed, just have Dutch subtitles. I know they actually have their own country's media in Dutch because I have many songs in Dutch, and have watched Dutch cartoons, and comedies... but, when I was there, I NEVER saw nor heard a SINGLE song on the radio, or in a store, in Dutch. It was usually in some other language, like French, German, Turkish, and almost always in English... altho' I could hear the people all speaking Dutch all round us. I'm told it's part of the whole tolerance neutrality culture of the Dutch.

Anyways, at the time I felt the Dutch spoke incredibly good English that I wouldn't have known they were Dutch if I hadn't heard them speaking it before switching to English... Very impressive!

Today, however, I find not only do most Germans speak very good English, but most Europeans as well. Even older people have all picked up so much English vocabulary due to the internet.

Ironically, I learned to speak most of my own German from the internet. (But, I'm not very good anymore. I still listen to so much music in German.)

I have several other photos, but I can't remember which are mine, and which are Wolfgang's. And, I don't know if I scanned them ALL, and published them if it might offend him, because Germans are generally very Proper. So, if I scanned everything and published them, it might reflect badly upon me as being rude, or selfish.

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