My Dutch phrase book shows up in the nick of time – godzijdank I can now take the kids to Amsterdam equipped for all eventualities …
Laat ons Nederlands spreken = Let’s speak Dutch.
Ik wil graag vijf poffertjes kopen = I’d like to buy five small pancakes sprinkled with icing sugar.
Ik heb mijn kinderen kwijt = I’ve lost my kids.
Proost! = Cheers!
Waar zijn de toiletten? = Where are the toilets?
Mijn luchtkussenboot zit vol paling = My hovercraft is full of eels.
I’ve sketched out a rough itinerary (with the help of these books and magazines).
I’m keen to keep it cheap, so the plan includes:
- bunking up together in a cheap hostel dorm.
- taking a free ferry ride across the IJ.
- (finding out why this body of water is called the IJ).
- admiring the floating flower stalls in the Bloemenmarkt.
- feasting on fries with mayonnaise (vlaamse frites) in the sprawling Albert Cryupmarkt.
- averting my kids’ gaze as we walk through the Red Light district in search of Rembrandt’s house and the grave of his wife, Saskia, in the Oude Kerk.
- keeping up with a free walking tour (lasting 3 hours).
But I’ve already spent online for a chance to explore the house that hid Anne Frank and her family, and also for entry to the Van Gogh Museum to see the colours of his Sunflowers, and to ask whether (and when) the museum will be given back its recently retrieved paintings?
And the kids have been practising their cycling skills today in an effort to persuade me to hire bikes for us all.
I’ve agreed – as long as they learn how to ask (in Dutch) what the speed limit is (was is de snelheidsbeperking?)
Amsterdam – We zijn onderweg = we are our way 🙂