23rd March 2004

Bryan and I are going to Amsterdam later this year, so I need to pick up a Dutch phrasebook. I want to learn a few key phrases like, “I seem to be bleeding from my ears,” and “I don’t speak Dutch.” Bryan points out that it’s funnier to use a more complex phrase when you’re telling someone you don’t speak their language. We kicked around a few ideas. “I’m terribly sorry, I can’t understand you. Dutch is, most unfortunately, not my native language,” and so on. We finally settled on, “I offer a halfhearted apology for not understanding Dutch. I’m American, so I didn’t bother to learn your little language. Where is the nearest McDonald’s?”