Ahh....Dutch. In order to properly play Dutch Scrabble you'd need a board the size of a fucking swimming pool.

The title of this post is the word for liability insurance.


Above is a diagram that attempts to explain the Dutch education system. I'm taking my exam for permanent residence in a couple weeks. It's kind of shit that 75% of the questions are going to be about things I've never done or had any plans to do here: buy a house and have a mortgage; join a labor union; become a doctor or hairdresser or veterinarian's assistant; have kids and raise them (which the sample tests make sound like the most complicated thing on earth); apply for unemployment benefits; apply for child care benefits; join a temporary agency; request a permit for a satellite dish; request permission to expand the toolshed in my yard; sell goods on the street; apply for financial aid.........

etc etc etc.

I don't even have any friends with kids. I don't know anyone who belongs to a labor union. I think I know one person with a mortgage.

It's true there are things I'm learning that I should've known long ago. For example, when Easter is (the Sunday after the first full moon in the spring). And because I never knew when Easter was, I was always surprised when Hemelvaart (The Ascension) came along (40 days after Easter, always on a Thursday), and even more surprised when there was another two-day holiday 10 days later (Pinksteren, Pentecost, The Feast of the Holy Ghost).

I mean and yes I should've known when the Afsluitdijk was built (1932), and how long it is (32km), and what the engineer's name was who thought of it (Cornelis Lely).

And how the government works. What the national anthem is called and who it's supposed to be about. Where the queen is when she reveals the budget for the coming year and what the name of the golden coach she rides in is (well actually, it's called "The Golden Coach", but...but...but did you know that it's not real gold? It's Javanese teak. I'm going to be SUPER FUCKING INTERESTING after I know all this shit).

But elsewhere in Nederland, other foreigners who do have kids and satellite dishes and permits to sell things on the street are frantically trying to memorize other facets of Dutch society, ones that I already know.

Some of the sample questions are so obviously not targeted at excluding my particular ethnicity/race ("are children allowed to choose their own marriage partner?"..."should men and women be treated in the same manner?") that, yes, I know if I took it right now I would be very close to passing it. I'll just feel better if my chances of failure are much, much closer to 0%.

Ect ect ect. So I'm kind of cramming.
What am I saying, I'm really cramming. I only get one chance to take it, it's in 20 days.

Unrelatedly: I would like this.


No comments: