The Netherlands

Although I am visiting the Netherlands for a very specific reason I am also really excited that I am visiting a new country, somewhere that I have never been but that I have wanted to go. It’s a shame that I won’t get to look around more but there’s always time!
My mother visited the Netherlands with her parents when she was a bit younger than I am now and has always wanted to take me there. From what I can gather her main memories come from the red light district and the bulb fields which probably says something about my mother! Mind you, she did end up getting stuck in a strip club in Yugoslavia when she visited there with her parents but I digress…
Obvious touristy desires aside, what is it that makes me want to visit the Netherlands?
Well, I guess the main reason has got to be the people. I have a few friends who are Dutch and it would be lovely to see them. Of course, this trip I’ve not really got time to do this but next time! I’ve also spent quite a bit of time with Dutch people as whenever I’ve been doing my international stuff I always seem to gravitate towards the Dutch groups. They’re probably the only people who don’t hate the English. Anyway, although I’m not stupid enough to judge people in general by my limited experience I have wanted to visit their country too. The cultural behaviours have always seemed quite comfortable for me.
The language. I really like the sound of Dutch. Call me crazy but I like it. For the last few years I have been saying that I would learn Dutch when I had a free moment because with my English and German background it seemed more than possible. Going to Castlefest I decided to try Dutch and see if I couldn’t speak it a bit out there. I think I was overly optimistic because the ‘g’ sound has scared me a bit as I can’t replicate it quite right and nor can I hear how I am going wrong. I’m not giving up though. I will learn Dutch.
And, strange as it may sound, performing arts. A lot of the musical theatre actresses I admire are Dutch and, for some reason, they have a really strong female performing artist output. I actually looked at studying musical theatre in the Netherlands (and at doing a course in circus performance but my mother would have killed me) and that thought has never really left my mind.
I also really rather like tulips…
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