Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Going Dutch

My Dutch online is getting trickier. Gone are the days of reciting “een hond” into the microphone. Now it’s complete sentences with answers to repeat in order to keep my good grades up.

First let me set the scene… the (borrowed) laptop on which I work is balanced on our rickety old computer stand. This computer stand has made it from Joburg to Grahamstown, from Grahamstown to Cape Town, from Cape Town to Joburg and from Joburg to The Hague. The fact that we’ve still got all the pieces is a miracle in itself.

The stand is designed to fit (old) desktops, not laptops, so the seating arrangement is not ideal for my purposes. In order to type I have to stretch across the front of the stand to the keyboard and leaning forward ensures that my knees are constantly connecting with the board designed to protect a very old hardrive (hard drive? Harddrive? Whatever). And I can’t work with the laptop on my lap because of the previously mentioned problems of Ethernet connection and dodgy power connections.

So there I sit, crouched over like a osteo-patient struck down in their mid-twenties – shoulders thrust forward, my elbows leaning on a board that’s not meant to be leant on and my knees jutting away from each other like an unhappy couple – shouting into a microphone that registers exactly the same whether I announciate “een, twee, drie, vier” or hiss “een-fokken-twee-fokken-drie…” through clenched teeth. Same result.

Being a perfectionist, and with nothing else to do, I want to get it right. So I persevere. On the odd occasion I have actually managed to get the metre into the green levels (this is a good thing – it usually hovers in red or doesn’t register at all) and then I get the same rush as a good clean drive down the fairway. It’s fleeting, but damn it’s worth it.

And I do wonder what the neighbours must think. I figure enthusiasm must surely rate higher than actual pronounciation, so I up the volume in my attempts…

Computer: Staat daar een man op dit huis?
Koekie: Staaaaat daaar aaaa maaa… ah fuck.
Computer: Staat daar een man op dit huis?

At one stage, I was even lucky enough to record part of the computer stand collapsing. “Staat daaar ma… *thunkthunkthunk*… shitfuck!”

Pity I couldn’t actually save it. It made for good listening.

There will be no reference of the cricket until further notice. I’m hurting.


Peaches said...

So Koeks, let me see, you have spent 3hrs 55 mins and 16s, logged in 43 times, completed 3/4s of Unit 1 and 35 curse riddled assignments to date!

Uw Nederlands is heet shit!

Mon français est merdique

Koekie said...

Mijn Nederlands is de stomste!

Good to know Big Brother is watching my progress online...

ChewTheCud said...

More like Big Mother ;P

So "a good clean drive down the fairway" eh? I like to do that too. Especially when the fairway's just been shaved.. I mean mowed ;P

Peaches said...

Decorum please!!!