February 25, 2016

#Abitofeverything: Out of The Hat

Category: Blogging

It’s a bit of a downer for me today after a 3-hour session at the Dutch Embassy for the more difficult Dutch examination I was scheduled to take. I walked out feeling like my brain has been raped and came to a conclusion that I had not done the exam very well. 

As a non-native speaker who has never lived in Holland, it was a difficult one. The questions weren’t quite what I expected or studied for even after more than a year preparing for this exam. But just over one year of a weekly lesson is also hardly enough to excel in such a complicated language. 

The speech exam caught me and it was the first one they started me out with. Speaking Dutch fluently is not quite my strongest point and having to do that first got me quite nervous. I hadn’t warmed up. As a result,  I had left 2 questions unanswered as I ran out of time. 

The worst thing about this exam is that I am not allowed to be given any paper or pen to write or take notes while at it. So I fumbled. A LOT. For someone who needs to read and write while listening to get things into my head, that was hard. And 2 questions left unanswered is a lot of questions unanswered. Urrghhhhh!

I had thought I did (sort of) OK at first for the rest as I understood most of it; until I realised that I had misinterpreted a series of questions in a multiple choice answer in another set of exams. I.am.bummed. This sucks! I can’t help but beat myself about it. 

My verdict: I’m going to flunk out on this exam with flying damn colours!

My only consolation to that are:

  • I’ll now have my Saturday afternoons back. No more Dutch lessons! No more studying over the weekends or at night after a long and hard work day! 
  • If I fail, I can always re-take parts of the exams which I have failed when we move to Holland (Still sucks because I don’t ever want to take any exams no more!)

I can rave and rant and beat myself about it, but for now, there’s really nothing I can do except wait for the results. How long that takes no one knows!

I am, otherwise, quite heartened by the warmth and the compassion of the Dutch Mederwerker, the 2nd in command to the Head of Consular Affair who had administered my exams. Unlike the biotch not-a-Dutch-Lady whom I had encountered before, this Meneer is such a gem. He is someone whom I’d like to invite  home for coffee and a natter. He was very pleasant to talk to. Bless the guy!

(The biotch not-a-Dutch-Lady  was there when I turned up and she had pulled down the blinds almost immediately as I walked into the room, right after she saw me. I shall not pass or assume any judgement)

So on to more happy stuff we go:

Something good happened 2 days ago and I only realised this yesterday when I got notified of this tweet

#abitofeverything linky

My Ditzy Days and Doof Moments post made it to their Out of The Hat list. Woooohooooo! Who’d have thought?  I certainly didn’t but I am glad that the post resonated with quite a few people out there! It was a pleasant surprise. 

Have you heard of the #abitofeverything linky? If you haven’t, this is  one of the friendliest and most responsive linkies around co-hosted by The Anxious Dragon and Agent Spitback. That means not only do they BOTH  share any posts that have been tweeted to them using the hashtag #abitofeverything and their twitter names @MrsGrohl4 or @AgentSpitback, their selected featured bloggers also would appear on each of their respective blogs. Which means featured bloggers get twice the mentions. Ain’t that just awesome?

Hence…if you are dying to discover new blogs and get some bloggily love, head on to their latest linky roundup and check out all the other featured bloggers. You can choose to mosey on The Anxious Dragon’s or Agent’s Spitback’s post. I assure you that both are worth a visit. 

The linky runs from 10 am (GMT) Tuesday to 12 Midday Thursday, so look out for when the doors are open. 

That has been my #abitofeverything this mid-week along with a little something out of the hat.Two more days to weekend!

Posted by:    |    10 Comment
  1. Hi Ann, I applaud your learning Dutch, I have absolutely no ability to learn other languages. I blame my poor hearing, but I think that could just be a convinient excuse. Is learning Dutch a requirement of your moving to Holland?
    I am glad we cheered you up by featuring your post. Its certainly something that resonated with me. I have ditzy days all the time. Thank you very much for your kind words about the linky. We really do try to promote it as a comminity where bloggers can meet and support one another xxx

    • Thanks, Tracey – it’s nice to be featured! ๐Ÿ˜€ Unfortunately, it is mandatory to take the integration exams prior to the move for legitimate residency(even as a spouse), and because it’s all in Dutch, learning Dutch is a requirement. So I didn’t have a choice. I passed the basic but that would only buy a few years. That was just a warm-up. I then have to take the full integration exams to show that I have “fully integrated” into the society. It’s complicated – but it’s just their law to make it difficult for people to get into the country. ๐Ÿ™
      I love languages and I wish I could learn more. But Dutch is a tough one..even with someone who has no problem with hearing. LOL. X.

  2. Once you move to Holland you’ll learn Dutch in no time. When you have no other option but to speak their language, you learn fast. My motivation to learn German and English was to know what the heck they’re talking about, lol!

    • That’s what everyone told me..I hope I’ll be able to. Not just a 3YO Dutch, but fluent! ๐Ÿ˜€ I don’t mind the learning for fun; I think I learn better that way. But learning for the sakes of silly exams to show full integration and all …bleahhhh! I think you’d flip if you see some of the questions they asked too, and some questions you’d only know when you actually have lived in the country, like knowing whom, where, what to go for things like buying a house, insurance, education levels and system, government or what do you have to do when your neighbour gets married or have a birthday. Weird stuff!
      How long did it take you to pick up German and English,Jas? German is also a difficult language! ๐Ÿ™‚

      • That stuff should be a culture informational class, not an exam. Besides, you’re moving there with your Dutch husband, geez!
        I had that class, to minimize the cultural shock, before I moved to the States. With some German knowledge beforehand (4 yrs in high school) it took me a couple of months to speak my way through, but I still took German lessons for three months. What you learn in school is never the same as the slang everyone uses.
        It took me about 2-3 months to start comprehending English and maybe 5-6 months before I was comfortable enough to have a decent conversation. Believe it or not, I used to read Steven King’s book, The Pet Cemetery, (in English) with a dictionary when I first moved here. Took hours to understand one sentence, lol. OK, I talk too much…stop me.

        • Tell me about it, Jas! Laws like that are just…dumb.
          AHh! having the basics of German for four years does help. 2-3 months to fluency is an awesome time frame. Hahhaha! You must have been mad – that’s a hard book to read to start with. I cannot for the life of me read Stephen King. His books are too long-winded for me. I prefer the movies from his books instead and Pet Cemetary was a great movie. You probably should have watched the movies with subtitles. Hehehee!
          Please talk, I don’t mind. At all! ๐Ÿ˜€ x.

  3. Josephine

    I am sure that you tried hard. And maybe you did better than you think. We keep our fingers crossed.

  4. I tried German and French and was horrendous at both.

    • Oh..Linda! Those 2 are also very difficult languages! I learnt German for a few years in my tertiary days…I barely scraped by. It’s awesome you tried though! ๐Ÿ™‚


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