Dutch, General Life Tips

Afrikaans Speakers Learning Dutch

I’m writing this one specially for my fellow South Africans here in the Netherlands. Specially the new ones. Now not all South Africans speak Afrikaans so this one is only for the little handful who do. Dutch is quite difficult for Afrikaans speakers because it’s so close yet so far. You can’t get away with speaking Afrikaans to a Dutch person. Yes they might follow you a little bit if you speak real slow but it’s only going to get you so far. Same goes for an Afrikaans person trying to follow a Dutch speaker. You might get a rough idea what they’re saying if they speak slow enough and they don’t have an accent but again it will only take you so far. Eventually you have to speak and learn proper Dutch.

I recommend you read these two blogs of mine as an extra or before you read this blog.

Blog number one is my experience with the big Dutch test and how to prepare for the test. I do have to add after I wrote that blog I found out I failed two of the tests (just barely) and I just wrote those two tests back in the beginning of March. They changed the program (not that much to make a difference in the content of this blog. They just upgraded the system. It’s a lot better. The speaking test was a lot easier in my opinion.)

https://fitcouchpotato.com/2017/11/10/dutch-as-your-second-language-nt2/

Blog number two I give tips and tricks on how to go about learning a new language. It’s really helpful so definitely give it a read when you just started learning Dutch.

https://fitcouchpotato.com/2017/11/10/how-to-learn-a-new-language/

Now let’s move on to my Afrikaans speakers. So once you’re deep into the I’m going to learn Dutch process you will probably start to talk a lot in Dutch (I definitely recommend this. It’s exhausting but it’s really going to improve your Dutch.) and you will make mistakes here and there. First of all just stay strong and if you battle with a word or how to pronounce something pause and ask for help. Here in the Netherlands when a Dutch speaker hears your broken Dutch they will switch over to English for your own comfort. I know it’s rude but they mean well. Just switch back over to Dutch and be straight forward with them. “Hey I’m trying to learn here. Help me please!” It’s not going to be easy but just keep at it. You will improve. I didn’t take this course because I felt like I was a little ahead (read I didn’t want to spend money on it) but this course looks very promising — https://www.zuidafrikahuis.nl/cursus-nederlands

The one main thing I recommend is get a little notebook you can carry around on your person to write notes in when you notice your Afrikaans mistakes that consistently slip in. I call my book: “Afrikaans oopsies!” It might sound Dutch but that’s almost never the case. The Dutch language is a special language hey. It will take a few months before you learn when to use “de, ben, zijn, heb” and etc. Alright before I share some of common mistakes I made (still make) I want to share a funny story. So we all know in South Africa a bill at the cashier is called a “slippie” well here it means G-string. It’s a “bon” here so just keep that in mind.

Amper = bijna

Basically every time you want to say “amper” stop yourself because it’s “bijna”.

Ander dag = laats

Aspris = expres

Baba = baby

Bekommerd = besorgt en ongerust

I always forget this one.

Baie warm = heet

Blameer = schuld geven

Bly = woont

Dun = small

Deurmekaar = verward

They do use “doormekaar” when someone is confused over a pack of cards. A person is “verward”.

Druip = onvoldoende of niet gehaald

Daglig = overdag

Eendag op ’n reëndag = op een dag

Eenkeur = op een keur

Ek wonder = ik vraag me af

Gunstelling = lievelings, favoriete

Hoender = kip

Gets me all the damn time.

Hardkoppig = koppig

Hartseer = verdrietig

Irreterend  = irritant

In klim = in stappen

Kombuis = keuken

“Kombuis” is a boat’s kitchen here.

Kar = auto

This one always get me. Insert rage filled scream. My trick is think of a car as an automobile. This way you remember it’ “auto” in Dutch.

Kos = eten

Kombers = deken

Kwaad = boos

Kettel = waterkoker

Kleinseerig = kleinzielig

Lekker = leuk (alleen lekker kos of lekker weertje)

Awwwh we Afrikaans speakers use “lekker” for everything. It’s the way of life. When you want to say “lekker” it’s probably not the right time to say it. It’s only correct when referring to food or when saying the term: “lekker weertje” otherwise it’s “leuk”.

Lip ice = lippenbalsem

Los my uit = laat mij met rust

Min = minder, weinig

Mince = rundergehakt

Mikrogolf = magnetron

Mat = vloerkleed

Navorsing = onderzoek

Opgewonde = heel veel zin in of enthousiast

Oomblik = ogenblik of plotseling

Partykeur = soms en afentoe

Reg = goed, klaar

Here you almost never say “reg” only when you’re talking about direction (but not really it’s “rechts” and “rechtdoor”) and the law. So I know in Afrikaans we use “reg” all the damn time – “Die kos is reg!” – but stop yourself and choose another word because it’s never “reg” when you want to use it.

Sukkel = worstel/worsteling

This one was quite funny because I was like “Ek sukkel hoor!” but yeah “sukkel” isn’t a word here. “Ik worstel om dit te doen.”

Skaars = amper

So basically as an Afrikaans speaker when you want to say “skaars” its “amper” here.

Stamp = duwen

Spasie = plaats, ruimte

Stadig = langzaam

Stort = douche

Spinnekop = spin

Skottelgoed = afwassen

Sensitief = gevoelig

Tumbledryer = droger

Terg = plagen

This is when you tease someone.

Verhouding = relatie

Vervelig = saai

Dutch speakers use “vervelend” when something bad happens or a case of bad luck.

Vinnig = snel

Verskooning = excuus

Venster = raam

Vloekwoorde = scheldwoorde

Warmwatersak = kruik

’n koek in jou hare = klitten

That’s only a few of my Afrikaans oopsies. It has really helped me because now in the back of mind I knew about these words and after a few more slip ups eventually I remember the right word for what I want to say. I wish you all the best!

Thank you so much for reading and I will see you in a click!

heart-2954170_1280

PS: If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me. Ek sal jou enige tyd help waar ek kan! Lekker daggie verder!

 

Dutch, General Life Tips

Translating My First Blog Into Dutch

This upcoming week is my last full week to prepare for my second round with my Dutch test. I’m hard at work trying to study for the two tests I failed and have wracked my brain on how to incorporate my Dutch studies with my blog at least once. It’s a two birds one stone type of thing. I need to write a blog for tomorrow and I need to study. So what better way than trying to challenge myself with my Dutch writing abilities. I’m going to attempt to translate my first ever post here on my website. As I know not all of my readers can read or understand Dutch I’m going to add a little footnote of my thoughts in between parts (read sobs, rants and frustration but I will be funny about it). I will also underline what words I had to Google translate or call a friend (read ask husband). This should be interesting! Here goes!

—Body Best Friends Forever / BBFF

You are your own best friend.

What I mean with this is quite simple. When you’re feeling down in the dumps and filling your own head with negative thoughts stop yourself and ask this question: “Would I say any of this shit to my best friend?” Over my dead body honey. I will never tell my best friend they’re fat or make them feel guilty about their binge. I will never judge them for something they’ve done that I maybe don’t agree with. That’s not me so why on earth would I say any of this crap to myself?—

Licchaam Beste Vrienden Voor Altijd | BBFF

Jij is je eigen beste vriend.

Wat ik bedoelt is eigenlijk heel simpel. Als je slecht voel en je eigen hooft met negatieve gedachtes vulden, stop jezelf en vraag jezelf deze vraag: “Zal ik ooit deze slechte woorden tegen mijn beste vrienden zeg?” Oor mijn dode lichaam schatje. Ik zal nooit voor mijn beste vrienden zeg dat zij vet zijn of ze (hul?) laat schuldig voelt over een binge. Ik zal nooit ze oordeelt over iets wat hul heb gedaan wat ik misschien niet mee zaam stem. Dit is niet mij zo waarom zal ik deze slechte woorden voor mij zelf zeggen?

***

Lord that was anything but easy. I have no idea how this going but that was anything but easy. It will be curious to see how right or wrong that went…will ask Onno to rate me below…Stay tuned. That short little paragraph took me five minutes to translate. It’s nearly 11pm. Damn I’m going to be here for awhile. Okay let’s continue!

***

—When I catch myself with any negative thoughts about my body I imagine my best friend’s face and that I’m saying these words to them. In two seconds flat I’m beyond angry and over protective. I’m like oh hell to the no! Who the hell do you think you are with saying this type of bullshit to my friend? It doesn’t take me long to have a big Ahaha moment and just like that I snap myself out of the negative thoughts. I then proceed to tell myself what I would tell my best friend if they were saying these type of things about themselves.—

Als ik mijzelf betrapt negatieve dingen over mijn lichaam denken dan zal ik mijn beste vriendin voorzinnen en mijzelf zien deze woorden voor haar zeggen. In twee seconden ben ik boos en over beschermend op haar. Ik was net nee, net een groot vet NEE. Wie denk je is je om deze onwaar en negatieve woorden voor mijn beste vrienden te zeggen? Dit neemt mij niet zo lang om een goot Ahaha moment te hebben en zo snap ik mijzelf uit de slechte gedachtes. Ik zal dan doorgaan voor mezelf te zeggen wat ik voor mijn beste vrienden zal zeggen als zij deze woorden over zijzelf (ze?) zeggen.

***

Over protective was difficult to translate into Dutch. Husband got stumped and we had to Google. It really wasn’t as hard but hey it’s late and our brains are currently fried. I doubted so many things while attempting to translate this one but I’m somehow got through this one. I also feel that I cheated a little bit because Google translate saved the day twice although I only added one extra letter. Licchaam is lichaam. Negatiewe is negatieve. I’m learning hey! Which was the purpose of this post. I wanted to work on my Dutch and write a blog post. Two birds one stone remember. Is this even entertaining for you all?

***

—“I’m fat.” Fat is just a substance in your body and guess what without fat you won’t be alive. So what if you carry a little extra fat? You are soft and great to cuddle with.

“I’m ugly.” No honey those thoughts are ugly. You are anything but ugly. You are a wonderful human being so don’t you dare dill your sparkle.

“I’m a horrible person.” Are you kidding me? Serial killers, child molesters, rapist and puppy kickers are horrible people.

“I ate two chocolate bars. I basically ate all my hard work away.” What type of chocolate was it?

So snap out of it. Look at yourself in the mirror and repeat after me.—

“Ik is vet.”  Vet is alleen een inhoud wat in je lichaam en raad eens zonder vet kan je niet leven. Zo wat als je een beetje extra vet om je buik dragen? Je is zag en geweldig om mee te knuffel.

“Ik is lelijk.” Nee schatje deze gedachtes is lelijk. Jij is enige behalve lelijk. Jij is een wonderlijke persoon zo je durf niet om je fonkeling te doffen.

“Ik is een verschrikkelijk persoon.” Grap je? Seriemoordenaars, kinderen molesters, rapits en hond schoppers is verschrikkelijke personen.

“Ik heb twee een chocola reepjes gegeten. Ik heb eigenlijk al mijn harde werk weg gegeten.” Wat zoort chocola was dit? Was dit lekker?

Zo snap uit dit! Kijk jezelf in the spiegel en herhaald na mij.

***

Damn that was hard. My brain is fried at the moment but I’m almost there. Onno is questioning my constant what is this word in English but it’s too fun to write this without him knowing. I must say this is challenging but I’m getting there. Let’s get through this last part! I’m just too excited to find out how I did. I want to see my rating!

***

I’m WORTHY!

I’m BEAUTIFUL!

I’m FABULOUS!

I’m AWESOME!

I’m a magical unicorn…

Ik is waardig!

Ik is beeldschoon!

Ik is fabelachtig! 

Ik is geweldig!

Ik is een magische eenhoorn 

*** 

I laughed so hard when i looked up what’s fabulous in Dutch. It’s hilarious. Unicorn in Dutch is also pretty funny. It makes me think of a squirrel and I just couldn’t stop imagining a little squirrel with his mouth stuffed full or nuts and wearing a pink sparkling tutu and homemade DIY unicorn horn. It’s magical. Now for the moment I waited since the beginning. My grade!

Drum roll please…

“Cassandra did very well! I was very curious what was happening behind me with all the questions…Of course there is small area’s to improve in but most of it is smaller details. I give her 8+ out of ten!”

grade

Insert happy squeal! I’m feeling quite proud of my score! I’m getting better! Pretty soon I will be writing long novels in Dutch (not really) but it’s a skill I need. Dutch is after all the main language in my new home country. Oh the test is on the 7th of March so think of me on that day! Hold your thumbs please!!!

Oh here is the link to the original post if you want to give it a read without my Dutch translations. It was quite nostalgic to read it again. — https://fitcouchpotato.com/2017/08/09/body-best-friends-forever-bbff/

I wish you all the best and I will see you in a click!

heart-2954170_1280

 

Bicycle Tour, Fitness Tips

New Bicycle Training Update| Week 1 – 4

Week 1

The first week following our new bicycle training program couldn’t have gone better. The two of  us nailed the brief and the level of accomplishment after we hit our mark will surely motivate us in the next week. This week our goal was 150km and this is how it went:

Cassandra’s Training Journal                 Onno’s Training Journal

Tuesday: 34km                                             Friday: 30km

Wednesday: 16km                                       Saturday: 60km

Saturday: 50km                                            Sunday: 60km

Sunday: 50km

Cassandra’s thoughts:

The idea of freedom turned out to work really well with me. I loved being able to control when I bicycle and for how long. A quick 20 minute workout went from being bleh to yay that’s 16km I didn’t have 20 minutes ago. On Saturday I sat for 110 minutes and pumped out my 50km but on Sunday I split it up in 30 minute sessions mostly because I was hurting from the day before. Over all I think for the next week I’m going to do smaller sessions more often and pace everything out. Just to see how it goes.

Onno’s thoughts:

I really liked this week of new training, there was little pressure to work every day and instead we got to bike when we want. It did end up biting me in the butt a bit near the weekend, because I hadn’t done anything so far… It was relatively easy to catch up, only some small shouting went on during the Sunday training, just definitely next week I want to do one weekday session to make it easier on the weekends.

Week 2

The second week following the new training program I aced it. Onno not so much. The week got away from him and he basically shot himself in the foot and had bicycle his entire 150km over the weekend. It was hilarious to watch. I would like to say he learned his lesson but give it a few seconds of scrolling.

Cassandra’s Training Journal                    Onno’s Training Journal

Thursday: 45km                                              Saturday: 75km

Friday: 35km                                                    Sunday: 75km

Saturday: 40km

Sunday: 30km

Cassandra’s thoughts:

I did quite well this week. I didn’t leave everything for the weekend which is the main goal if I’m honest. Now let’s keep it up for the next week.

Onno’s thoughts:

I’m surprised I survived this weekend. I promised to do a week training but it proved too much with all the other work I had lying around. It’s no excuse I should be able to find 2 hours during the week to do some simple bicycle training, but it’s what happened. I will have to double down on this promise.

Week 3

We made a little oopsie! The week just got away from us and before we could blink it was Sunday and I had 100km left and Onno had 140km. A distance that just won’t be possible to complete in one day so we accepted our fate and will have to make due. Luckily week 4 was our planned rest week but since we only bicycled on in week 3 the two weeks can take each other’s place.

Cassandra’s Training Journal                    Onno’s Training Journal

Tuesday: 50km                                                Friday: 10km

Week 4

Second try is the charm right? So this week I have 100km to cycle and Onno has 140km. It will be critical to finish it sooner than later as week 5 is 200km and you don’t want to screw yourself over my pushing everything to the weekend.

Cassandra’s Training Journal                    Onno’s Training Journal

Thursday: 30km                                              Saturday: 45km

Saturday: 30km                                               Sunday: 21km

Sunday: 40km                                                  73km left

Cassandra’s thoughts:

Damn now this was a week. It was a lot harder to get it done but willpower is a wonderful thing. That and unlike Onno I don’t have any time to ‘catch’ up as you will. If I don’t complete the goal at end the week with –km left…I shoot myself in the foot. Next week is 200km. 200km is quite a distance on its own. I have to stay strong after all I have three weeks ‘off’ in January while I’m in England.

Onno’s thoughts:

These past 2 weeks my head has not been in the game, however with the new year coming up and Cassandra sharing her new year goals it has reignited my own ambition to strive for more as well. It can’t be too hard and it’s a realistic goal, I just have to commit and make it happen.

***

Oh so Onno has 73km left from this week. He has some time while I’m in England to catch up as you will. So while I enjoy a few days on my lonesome with the dogs, Onno has to bicycle 73km. Insert evil laughter.

 

 

General Life Tips, Story Time

I Got A Present From My Mommy Dearest | NT2 Update

My Thursday morning started with going online and fighting the internet because for some reason it couldn’t open the website or it will shut down once I click on the ‘see results’ tab. I should explain a little. So remember five weeks ago I wrote my NT2 or Dutch as a second language test. It was finally time to see the results and boy could I hardly breathe while waiting for the internet to finally get its shit together. So I clicked enter after putting in my details, closed my eyes and blocked the screen with a piece of paper. After a few minutes I grew a pair and finally checked. Boy did I get a sucker punch. Please give me a few minutes while I rant. Just skip it but also feel free to read because it’s probably entertaining.

What the actual fuck man. I mean I failed the one test (writing) with 8 points. 8 points. Throw a bitch a bone man. I mean 8 points. Now I have to redo the test just to make an extra 8 points. Like come on! 8 points. 492. That’s a lot of points. The worst part is I have no idea where I went wrong. It wasn’t a test I was that worried about afterwards. The only part that made me second guess the success of the test was the two long questions at the end. They asked for 180 words and I gave them 350 easy. It could go two ways. First they only mark the first 180 words and then leave out the rest or mark everything as is. I suspect they only marked the first 180 words. That’s the only way I could lose so many points and fail. I really can’t think of how else I lost those 8 points. It was just really disappointing if I’m upfront with you. I worked really hard and studied my ass off and now I have to redo it again. What a sucker punch.

I failed the speaking test too. It wasn’t a super close call like the writing test but 37 points from passing is still pretty frustrating if you catch my drift. The speaking test is the one that made me panic and I honestly thought I would be lucky if I get half of the stuff correct but then again it still feels pretty disappointed that I failed. I don’t want to fail. I also really don’t want to retake this test. It was fucking horrible. I hated that test so much and now I have to do it again. It just really was a blow and I know it’s not that big and all but it does change my future plans a little bit. I think the worst part outside retaking the test is just how frustrating it. I just really wanted that part of my life behind me but now I have to wait weeks before I can retake the test and then wait weeks for my results. The positive thing is I know exactly what to expect and can properly prepare myself.

The one thing that really worried me was how this could affect my studies. I’ve been trying to start my studies a few years now. I’ve been ready but there is always something that needs to be done that takes months. My studies start in March and hopefully I can still start even though I won’t have all four certificates by the time I start. Oh that’s a messy sentence. All in all. It would have been wonderful if I passed all four tests but there is nothing I can do about it now. I just need to stand up, dust myself off and make sure I don’t make the same mistakes again. I shouldn’t be too hard on myself either. The test isn’t known to be easy and at that point I was probably actively studying Dutch for four  months. I mean this test is for people who are fluent in the language. I was close, 80% fluent so it really just adds to the frustration. But anyway there is nothing I can do about it and after sulking for a few hours I’ve moved on. I will probably make the appointment for the next test this weekend. It takes six weeks so I have time to prepare.

Now let’s move on to the good stuff. So I mentioned my sulking and pity part already but the results couldn’t have came on a better day because today I was expecting a package from my mommy dearest. I went out in the cold and picked up my package, basically sprinted home, died a little carrying the package up four flight of stairs before switching on Facebook Live and digging in. Boy I was like a little kid on a Christmas morning. My mom went all out with this package. All my favorites treats. Three packets of my favorite soft candy in the world. Two bar of chocolates that’s literally heaven. Six packets of rice chips in a flavor that is home and so much more. Speculoos even got some toys and the husband is just as obsessed with his present. It was truly just what I needed to end my day and got me out of my pity party and into a yay I can’t wait to stuff my face party.

I will be honest. Its hard sometimes to be so far away from family and the country that was your home and all you knew for nearly two decades and it will probably always be hard but festive season just takes it up a notch. I get homesick and I wish I can have my family by my side as I celebrate this season but I signed up for this when I made the big move. I will find a way to deal with the homesickness I’m sure but for now I’m just going to feel what I feel and enjoy my time here with my two favorite boys. (Okay I have three but my dad doesn’t even count. I mean he is my dad. He is included.)

Here is the picture of my big present. Quite impressive isn’t it? I’m so happy right now. I already made quite a big dent in it as I’m writing this and you bet your sweet little booty by the time this blog goes online there will be another big dent in it. I can’t wait. I’m going to stuff my face.

IMG-5853

heart-2954170_1280.png

Bicycle Tour, Fitness Tips

New Bicycle Training Program

The time has arrived for another bicycle tour update where I change stuff and explain in great detail why. So as you all might know I’ve been trying to figure the entire bicycle tour out as it wasn’t nearly as simple as it seemed to be at first glance. To sum it up, at first I had a big long tour but reality didn’t quite match up with it so I changed it to a mini tour. The last hitch up was the bicycle training itself. Now back when I started to plan everything out I made a training program that fits with that tour but for some reason it never occurred to me that I should update the training schedule to fit the new mini tour. It was also quite clear the way I planned the first training program which was basically a day by day detailed program didn’t work for us. That and I didn’t take any proper rest into account. So I’ve learned from my mistakes and I can now say the new and improved training program is a lot better. Okay so here is the idea of how the new training program works. Basically it’s three weeks of training and then one week rest. I also worked in our holiday in January so I feel like this time around it’s bulletproof. So week 1 is 150km, week 2 is 150km, week 3 is 150km and week 4 is rest.

Week 1 is from the 20th to 26th November and the nice thing about this training program is I get to choose when and how much I bicycle in the week. As long as I just reach my goal for the week. It’s that simple. I got the idea from my new year’s resolutions LISS goal that I already completed might I add. It was basically to complete 1000km in LISS for the year. The reason why it worked was I got to control when and how much I did on any given day so it gave me the sense of freedom. Although freedom is kind of a bad term to use. I don’t like starting a day and having the big thing hang over my head. I want to be able to decide hey today I want to bicycle. That’s about it. So although the finish line is shorter I know it will work because well I like the idea of being in control but still getting the job done. Clearly I don’t do well with following a day by day training program. It’s like my mind just flips it a finger and I wing it and in the end fail.

I’m thinking of doing something similar with my strengthening workouts once I incorporate them again, but that I still need to figure out. It just goes to show that every person is different and what might work for me might not work for someone else and the best thing you can do is adapt to it and make the necessarily changes. I’m very excited to see how this new training program will work and I will do the usual four weeks update. Oh and when I figured out the new training program I also found the perfect time to complete the mini tour.

bicycle route website18th May to 3rd June 2018 and it’s about 850km give or take. There is 10 active bicycle days and the rest is explore days. I’m so pleased with myself. I finally feel like I figured most of the tour out. We still need to physically plan what we do on what day and where we will sleep and all that jazz but that’s something for another day.

 

Dutch, Story Time

I Spoke Dutch For A Week | Third Language

I decided to attempt a full week in my third language as that last little boost before my language test. It was quite an interesting learning experience and definitely helped to improve my skills in the language. Here is how it went.

Monday, Day 1

When I woke up I completely forget about my Dutch language promise and did the usual good morning’s with my husband. He didn’t have time to reply before my ah ha moment came and I repeated what I said in Dutch.

Goede morgen schatje. Heb je goed geslapen? | Good morning baby. Did you sleep well?

As Onno works all day I had the entire day to myself and it’s not like I talk to myself, well I do but inside my head most of the time so my Dutch really came out to play when Onno came home. I also received some disappointing news on Monday and I forced myself to tell everything that happened in Dutch instead of just throwing in the towel and switching over to English. The rest of the evening went well.

Tuesday, Day 2

It went smoothly. I remembered to speak Dutch from the get go and did just that. I made a few slip ups but you could follow me and understand what I’m trying to say. It was getting there.

Wednesday, Day 3

I started getting the hang of it, but at the same time it started getting harder to keep my concentration. I can’t really say if it’s because of all the Dutch and the level of concentration I need to speak proper Dutch, or if it was my family worries. Basically I would start speaking Dutch without any thought about it but it didn’t always end up well because my full concentration wasn’t on it.

Thursday, Day 4

Around this time I was getting a little sick and tired of it if I’m honest. It was annoying to have to concentrate and rethink every single word before you say it. Although I really can’t tell if my family worries played any factor in this. I still spoke Dutch although I was tempted to throw in the towel. Yeah. It was okay. It was difficult to keep going and try to actually speak proper Dutch and not just throw some words together.

Ate apple – Dutch when I don’t concentrate

I ate an apple – Proper Dutch when I concentrate

So you can see why I need to concentrate when I speak Dutch.

Friday, Day 5

It was a really suck-ey day and I barely spoke but the little I did speak was in Dutch so yay?

Saturday, Day 6

My normal Dutch without much concentration was improving and although my emotional state was still on the low side I was getting there. I kept to my promise by only speaking Dutch so I did have my pride to push me through my last few days.

I ate apple – Dutch when I don’t concentrate

I ate an apple – Proper Dutch when I concentrate

Sunday, Day 7

I was emotional, frustrated and just over it. I was tired of having to struggle through my sentences and conversations but I pushed through. I didn’t speak a hell of a lot but I still staid Dutch.

***

This entire week would’ve gone a hell of a lot better if my mental state was better that is clear but at the same time I still stayed true to my promise and spoke Dutch 95% of the time. 5% was when I slipped up with Onno (I would repeat myself in Dutch when I noticed) and when I spoke to family members. To explain a little, my father heard he had to go under the knife and since I’m so far away…well it’s really nerve wracking. It feels horrible to be so hopeless. I tried to stay positive but it was difficult because I knew my father needed me, I could hear it in his voice but I couldn’t physically go to him and help him. It hurts and it will never stop hurting. You always want to support and help your parents. Onno and I did step in and tried to help where we can but yeah there is only so much you can do when you’re on the other side of the world. I’m still proud of my progress I made this week. I started picking up on my most frequent mistakes and now that I know them I can try to nip it in the bud. It still slips out and it grind my gears but I almost always pick it up and fix my mistake.

For all my Dutch readers this one is for you. So my most frequent mistake that basically slips out every two minutes is “reg”. Now in Afrikaans this word can mean many things; right (you’re right) and ready. But in Dutch you won’t ever use the word in that context and that’s when I run into a wall. It’s GOED en KLAAR. I’m repeating this for myself for a little extra reminder. It’s only “reg” when it’s “regs” for turn right or when you’re talking about the law. It’s honestly the finer details that always gets me.

I’m learning slowly but I’m definitely getting there. I won’t rate myself as being fluent in Dutch but if I have to score myself then I would give myself 8,5 out of 10. My biggest hurdle I need to surpass is my confidence when speaking Dutch with complete strangers. If someone puts me on a spot I get nervous and my Dutch comes out all poop-ey and if a stranger does this it just gets ten times worse. I even struggled to speak Dutch to my mother in law the first time. I just get so embarrassed. It’s something I’m sure will pass and I’m sure once I get my results it will give me a big boost of confidence. That and when I start my job I will just have to get used to it. I’m more nervous about getting a job and speaking understandable Dutch the entire day with so many strangers than my big language test. All well. I just have to put my head in the game and get it done.

 

Recipes, Story Time

Life After One Month Of Marriage | Lemon Meringue Recipe

They say once you get married everything changes. I don’t know who this ‘they’ is but I don’t see their point. The only thing that changed is now Onno wears a ring.

Excuse me while I get sappy for a few sentences. Onno is truly the best thing that ever happened to me. I met him when I was 19 years old. I just started to discover myself as an adult and he pushed me (gently of course) in the right direction by encouraging me to always follow my dreams and never apologize for being quirky. I learned from him and I taught him a few things as well. We grew together. I’m in no way the same person I was when I met him but that’s not a bad thing. Onno once said that he had a feeling before we met. He just knew that this was it. I’m truly so grateful to have found my soul mate so early in life. Each moment we spend together just makes my life oh so much brighter and I look forward for all the memories we will make together.

You’re only married for one month once so I went all out with the celebration. My morning started with running to the shop to get ingredients for my special lemon pie and balloons. I made lemon meringue (lemon pie with meringue on top) many times before and boy did I get cocky. I didn’t feel like it was necessary to follow the recipe. Happily luck played in my hands and I managed to save the pie and follow the recipe before things went south. As the pie cooled down and cleaned the kitchen before it was time for the balloons. It was a full time job and absolutely draining to blow up the balloons and hang them with Speculoos around. He found the entire process very now what’s the word…it angered him. How dare I spend so much time on this air pumping machine and not cuddle with him? I took me a hour and a half to set everything up. My thumb is still numb from the balloon pump. Afterwards it was time to start with dinner. I wanted the food to be ready five minutes after Onno gets home as I know my husband comes home starving. I also made one of his favorites, lasagna. As the food did it’s magic in the oven I rushed to get ready.

IMG-3966.JPG

PS that painting in the background was a gift from one of my host kids (sorry for the white lie. Onno painted it a year or so ago and he doesn’t want people to know so shhh don’t tell him! The host kids did actually paint something for me. It’s in the office.)

I never did my makeup and hair that quick. Just before Onno arrived I put on a very romantic fireplace video which brought everything together. The timing was perfect. Onno arrived and boy was he surprised. I think he expected a nice cooked meal but the house fully decorated? Why would I go so far for our one month mini-anniversary? Well because I love my precious Dutch boy so much and his been so great to me. We immediately devoured our food and damn did it taste like heaven. My taste buds had a field day. It was so good. I’m not even tooting my own horn it was that good. Ask Onno. His my husband…he won’t lie. After dinner we enjoyed the fireplace and talked. It was amazing. I went on and on about babies and kids (Onno is no longer scared) and our plans for the next few months. Dessert was heaven and the perfect touch to the evening. It was truly a great evening. Private, romantic and delicious.

It’s been a wonderful first month and I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with my husband. I figured I can’t have this post without my precious husband making a guest paragraph. Hence why this is going up so late on a Friday. Onno is a very busy working man and he needs to proofread my entire blog before it can go up. Enough of me. Onno’s turn!

“I came home so surprised! This was all so unexpected but then again knowing Cassandra you could expect the unexpected. I loved the surprise and the amazing decorations in the house. Oww and the food… now that was literally the best I’ve had since I can remember. The lasagna was heaven, that lemon cake (which I now know was a close call) was a dream. I had the most amazing evening. Let me also use this time on Cassandra’s blog to echo her sentiments, I have to excuse myself for the sappiness as well. Every time I see my wife, coming home from work or just lying next to me in bed, it creates a little spring in my heartbeat. Cassandra has enriched my life with a sense of purpose and a future to work towards together. I love you so much my sweetheart”.

PS I only read Onno’s paragraph just before posting this and I’m blushing!

fireplace.png

Here is the link to the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDfjXj5EGqI

Lemon Meringue Recipe

lemon meringue

Crust

1 packet of marie biscuits. The brand isn’t that important as long as it is thin vanilla cookies.

100ml of melted butter (unsalted)

Crush the biscuits, you can make it completely fine or you can have so bigger bits in for that extra bit of crunch. Mix the biscuits with the melted butter and spread it out even on your pan. Pop it in your oven at 108˚C for 5 -7minutes. Keep a close eye on it. You don’t want your crust to burn!

Filling

1 can condensed milk

125ml lemon juice (You can buy this or you can freshly squeeze a few lemons. For a extra zest you can add some fine grated lemon skin to the filling. Do this at your own very lemony risk!)

2 eggs (You gonna have to divorce the egg yellow from the white. I’m sorry to be the bringer of bad news.)

50ml caster sugar (Super fine white sugar.)

Grab your mixer for this part! Throw your condensed milk into a bowl and add the lemon juice steadily while mixing the batch. Keep your mixer on a low speed. Mix till it’s a stiff pasta. In a separate bowl mix the two eggs yolk (yellow) and mix till it’s lightly and spungy. Mix the two batches with a spoon. Be gentle. You don’t want to disturb the mixture or mix out the air. Now add this mixture onto your crust (this after the short bake in the oven) and pop it back into the oven for 10 minutes (still 180˚C).

Meringue

It’s time to use those two eggs whites (depending on the size of the pan I will use one more egg white just so everyone has enough to go around) and caster sugar! Make sure they is no egg yolk in the batch or your egg white won’t work. Clean your mixer (oil and egg whites aren’t friends) before you start. First beat the egg whites on a low speed. Once the eggs are close to the soft peak stage you steadily add the sugar. You want hard peaks so make sure to time it all right as you don’t want stiff peaks. Spread the mixture evenly over the top of your pie and use a spoon to make little designs or peaks in the meringue. Pop it back into the oven till it’s nice and golden. Let it cool for 30 minutes before digging in. I prefer a few hours of chilling in the fridge before I dig in. Mostly because I feel it gives the crust a bit of crispiness. I hope you enjoy!

***

22 August 2017 || Never in a million years did I think I’d find someone so utterly and completely perfect, someone who would make me happier than I ever dreamed I could be, someone that would touch my life so profoundly and just give me a whole new reason to breathe. But then I found you and realized that everything I anticipated you to be doesn’t even compare to who you are.

1-P1000171