‘Oh my God, you know what just happened today? … It was just, like, incredible, I can’t believe it, you know’- ‘Ah, that’s soooo exciting, I’m so happy for you.’
And I, overhearing this conversation, get all curious and expect something, indeed, amazing, and ask: ‘Oh my God, what happened?’- ‘You know, I just had this amazing bagel today.’
Oh. Anticlimax. Once again I was reminded of my Dutchness. It often happens. When my sarcastic comments are taken seriously, for example. Or when there was free chocolate and we, Dutchies, found ourselves loading our bags with them, without realising it. When somebody asks me what my name is, and I say ‘Floor’. ‘Oh, like Flower?’ – ‘No, like Floor’. ‘Oh, Fleur?’ - ‘No, actually like the floor, where you walk on.’ and they look at me as if I’m joking. No, we’re not al-ways sarcastic.
Or when a massive snowstorm hits our town, and we think it’s ridiculous that they close the university; ‘it’s just a bit of snow.’ And that it ‘probably won’t be that cold in Montreal.’ No, weather can get extreme here. When I realise I still calculate distances in biking time. When I hear people talking about Snyder, and I think they are on about the soccer player. Of course not, they don’t care about soccer; it’s all about ice hockey. When I make a bold comment, at a really unlucky moment, like: ‘he sounds German’ when everybody is quiet and we’re talking about World War Two in class.
I feel embarrassed and say: ‘Oh, I am sorry, that’s my Dutch rudeness,’ and a Canadian girl screams out: ‘oh my Gooood, you’re Dutch?! That's so cool! I looove your accent!’
We don’t get so excited about these little things. And it’s not even fake, they genuinely are incredibly happy. It strikes me, every time.
Name: Floortje Rawee (21)
Study: second-year UCM-student
Goes to: Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada
From: 3 January until the end of May