By David Mangene, 29 March 2020, Utrecht – the Netherlands.
AN OPEN LETTER TO MY FELLOW AMERICANS IN THE NETHERLANDS.
Remember back when you were contemplating your new life in the Netherlands, anticipating your upcoming adventures and getting all fired up? Remember that? Well now that you’re here, for however long you’ve been here, I bet you didn’t consider living through a 21st century plague in a foreign country, now did you?
I sure didn’t. But here were are.
Not exactly a lockdown but close enough. I haven’t left my little house in Utrecht for two days and sweatpants are the new black, know wadda mean? The Easter jaunts to Paris are cancelled. The summer vacation in France is cancelled. Hell, even Friday night at that cafe is out the window, am I right? It’s pretty rough and no end in sight. Deep, prolonged sigh commences in 3, 2, 1…
Which brings me to the reason I’m writing to you today. We’re all looking for a way to get through this pandemic thing, sanity intact. I’ve got a win-win for you: you choose to take online Dutch lessons from me, and I get to teach you Dutch online which means you learn to speak Dutch and, because I have something productive to do, the chances of me doing a swan dive off the Erasmus bridge are greatly reduced. Let’s be honest, we both need an activity that doesn’t involve Jose Cuervo at 11:00 in the morning.
In all seriousness: I have been teaching Dutch since starting my own business back in 2001. My clients for Dutch (I teach English too, but rarely to Americans 🙂 ) are people just like you: Americans and other non-native Dutch speakers who have started a new life in this fine land and want to learn the lingo.
To help you contemplate whether to choose me as your teacher, a little backstory: my name is David, I was born in Milton, Florida and we lived in seven different states before finally moving up to New Hampshire when I was ten years old. I still consider Boston, and New England, to be my spiritual home (read: quasi loathing for the New York Yankees). I moved to the Netherlands in 1993 after I graduated from the University of Northern Colorado, and I’ve been here ever since. I’m a writer, a teacher, a stand-up comedian, and a full-time Omdenker. I am the proud father of two sons, half Dutch-half American, whom we are raising bilingually. If you need any more proof as to my street cred as a Dutch teacher, check out this quote from Austin Weymouth, fellow American and co-founder of the wildly successful ‘Americans in the Netherlands’ Facebook page, “Dave, you’re the only American I know that’s completely fluent”.
So I guess I got that going for me.
And if you couldn’t care less about learning Dutch but just need to vent about how the incessant Dutch rain has stopped and the sun has been shining since the very day the quarantine started, I’m your man. Drop me a line. I’m always up for a good rant.
Hang in there, kids.