Kind of Like German, Or Not

Standing in line at Centraal Station in Den Haag, waiting to buy tickets for a train trip to Belgium.Nederlanders queuing up patiently.

Woman decides standing in line somehow doesn’t apply to her, so she goes up to the teller at the closed window and peppers her with questions while the poor teller tries to count money.

Though it pains me to say it, I think the woman was American. Sigh…

Teller tries to ignore her, but finally decides that answering her question and redirecting her to another line is the best bet.

Woman says ‘Thank you very much,’ then asks how to say it in Dutch. Teller says “dank u wel.’ Woman asks her to repeat it a second and then a third time.

She says it a couple of times under her breath until the light bulb goes on.

‘Oh,’ the woman says breezily. ‘Just like Danke Schon in German.’

EVERY head in the station swivels around to stare at the woman. I’m sure we’re all collectively thiking ‘Oh NO she didn’t!

Note to woman, who gathered up her things and went merrily along her way thinking she’d been incredibly worldly to try speaking the language: No, it is NOT like German. How about a little cultural sensitivity?  Think about it.


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