“Tossing cookies” into a Dutch Canal

One of Leiden’s many canals.
© Stephanie Glaser

“Overgeven.” It’s a Dutch verb that translates as: “to vomit, barf, spew, puke.” It covers pretty much every way to expel your insides. And, really, it is one of the most effective verbs in any language, because when pronounced properly with a “guttural g,” the word sounds like what it is.  A global onomonopia. The result, indeed, sounds like heaving or at least clearing a stubborn popcorn kernel out of one’s throat.

Continue reading

Advertisements

In Spain: Asking for Directions in Dutchlish

Sevilla and its winding streets.
© Stephanie Glaser

Asking for directions in a large city in a foreign country is stressful. Usually, you are lost in the first place, and if the country’s citizens, understandably, don’t speak English, much effort is involved in the inquiry. Additionally, the streets of many older cities in the world were not developed with the grid system in mind.

This is the case, certainly, in Sevilla, Spain. The streets wind around and often, it seems, their names change randomly.

My mom, Judy, and I visited Sevilla during Semana Santa, Holy Week — the biggest religious celebration of the year. It was challenging to navigate since the city was so crowded. Also, impressive religious processions with large wooden floats, containing religious relics, would flood many of the streets. Consequently, you’d have to go down another street, which may have another procession coming through.

Continue reading