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Dutch for the Ireland-bound

I lived in Nijmegen for a year and-a-half, August 2003 until January 2005.

I had been in Amsterdam for about a half-year a few years earlier.

I learned a lot of Dutch in the last couple of weeks that I was in the Netherlands.

There were two reasons for this; one was that I had acquired a new proficiency with the language, and it was minimally applicable socially. I had learned enough Dutch to understand basic spoken usage, ergo I had entered a positive-feedback phase. The other was that I knew I had to become independent of the woman for whom I'd gone to Nijmegen.

Kim and I had broken up in the early summer, but continued to see each other, though, almost daily. But when she met a guy, I knew I wouldn't be seeing much of her. I knew that I would need to learn more Dutch in order to spend some time with other people.*

What I didn't know was that I would soon be leaving the Netherlands.

*It's true that the Dutch speak English — but that doesn't mean that you can participate in the culture.