Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Learning Nederlandse Taal

Halo,
Ik ben Annissa!
Aangenaam.

I've settled in the Netherlands. What a lovely country it is for sure (but fuck the wind!). I made friends, both from my classes and from my other class. What classes do I mean? So, I have a normal class (classes included in my program) and Dutch Class. 

Why do you learn Dutch? Is it gonna be worldwide used?
Well, I'd say No. The vast majority of Dutch people themselves are very good with their English. For instance, I am a frequent visitor of the Fresh Market, every week. I have never once used Dutch during my communication with the sellers or the other buyers. Why? Because they speak English very well. So, why would I need that, right? In another occasion, I have tried to speak basic conversation in Dutch, such as: Goedemorgen. Een kopje thee, alsjeblieft (Good Morning. A cup of tea, please). If you started with this, then you expect something in Dutch as the return, don't you? But, haha (I sometimes laugh to myself if this happens) they don't! They'll be happy to have a conversation in English with you. Presumably, I have something written in my face telling people not to speak other languages with me but English. OR my Dutch sounds terrible so they just don't want to waste more time with me struggling with my language. 

But, being able to at least make a simple conversation in Dutch would give me another plus score. And, unlike other European languages that have weird sounds, like French's /R/ or Czech's /R/ which is unbelievably difficult to pronounce, Dutch tends to be pretty easy. Especially if you are an Indonesian and you speak Engish. You obviously could skip basic classes (but you need to adapt with the spellings).

So, could you please teach me some basic or show me Dutch in brief?
Basically, the writing is like when you want to type something in English but you fall asleep on your keyboard. It appears like you type all the letters and voila! Or, if you understand Indonesian, it would be more like if you want to write down something in English but using the Indonesian spelling. For example: in de trein (in the train). 

Plus, if you are an Indonesian, you will be helped a lot by some similar words, like: gratis (free), handook (towel), rok (skirt), rawit (chili paper), or sereh (lemon grass) (though I'm not sure if the word sereh really comes from the Dutch). Oh, one favorite word that I love the most and also being used in Indonesia: trakteer!!!! (who doesn't love free food?!)

It's also not too complicated when it comes to the grammar (perhaps. so far). The conjugation is kinda easy to be processed in my brain, perhaps the basic of Deutsch, French, and Spanish helped me with this. In fact, Dutch has less variation of conjugation, unlike Slovakian root languages. So for example: mijn huis is in Groningen (my house is in Groningen). Simple, right?

But you really need to be aware of the letter /g/. It's like French r, but it's g. Get it? To me, it sounds like if you want to clean your throat. Another thing is it might have similar pronunciation with German. So if you have basic in German, it'll help you even a lot more, for sure. 

I'm gonna post some of the pictures, in the upcoming opportunity (if I'm not lazy, or if I don't forget to capture some) Teeeeheee!


Sunday, February 19, 2017

Voyager à Paris

Bonjour!

Winter break has just passed, I have to start a new semester. Excited, yet I have some concerns on how to live my new life in Netherlands. Will I have friends as I do before? Will I study well? Will I manage my time better? Those questions are lingering in my mind.

Now, I'm not going to talk any of my concerns, nor the US-Russian relations in Trump's years, nor Trump-Netanyahu-Islam love-hate relation. Too heavy, too pessimistic, too complicated.

As I read my friend's new posting about her journey to Singapore, it gave me such inspiration to write again (got hundreds of unfinished draft, actually). But now, mine is a little fancier. I'm gonna share my short trip to Paris! A metropolis in France.

This actually was my first time traveling to the far away country. After passing by in Netherlands, in which I felt like home since there are gazillions of Indonesian I could meet everywhere on the street, I was excited to finally beat my fear - to travel to Paris!

It was not my biggest dream, though, to travel to Paris. What I had in my mind was Paris might be the place where I could experience the hate-speech (because I wore hijab??). I expected to see or be in any Islamophobia cases. BUT, it did not happen. Paris is just a very Muslim-friendly city.

One day, I walked in one of the big roads which I couldn't remember the name, and I felt so 'safe'. A group of Muslim girls passed me and we smiled and we greeted each other. There were not such things as Islamophobia I found.

I had a fun time visiting Louvree Museum. With 15 Euros, you could see all beautiful things: scriptures, paintings, arts, and much more.


Look how I couldn't be apart with this friend! Tolak Angin. Paris was a bitch at that time: wind, cold, no heater. What a good time I had, huh? So obviously, I got cold and tired and homeless. Good God, I had this herbal multivitamin (or whatever that was, but it helped me a lot).


What really attracted me was Monalisa's picture. Everybody wanted to be with her, apparently. Long line to just take a picture of Monalisa. And look at the buffer zone in front of the painting and to the line, Unbelievable! 


If it was not for my mother, I might not ever in my whole life take a picture with Eifel tower!

What I loved the most from this city was Shakespeare and Co! I couldn't love more! Shakespeare and Co is a book store. A sizeable amount of book collection, unique architecture inside, wonderful place to spend all your money at. If I could just stay there for the rest of my visit, it would be one of my biggest achievement!


After spending some times in Paris, I departed to Avignon, a beautiful classic small city in the Southeast France. Here are some pictures from wonderful Avignon:



Last but not least, before I went back to Netherlands, I paid a visit to UNESCO office. Nope, I didn't manage to get in and see what's inside, just a passing by haha!



Overall, I did enjoy my trip. A lot. Remember, if you are planning to visit Paris or you are in Paris when you read this, watch your purses and other belongings. Pickpockets are everywhere. I lost my watch and my eyeglasses :(
*haha! That's exaggerated. What happened was I forgot where I put those and lost that by my own mistake.