Confusing and Baffling

When I first moved to Holland I quickly realized that being an expat in a foreign country meant any simple task had the potential to become confusing and baffling.

This was mainly because I was unfamiliar with the countries customs, traditions and its language. Normally these occurrences were small and easily sorted out.

However, every once in a while something so bizarre happened that I had to question weather it had really occurred. There is one such event which still puzzles me to this day. It was so strange that I had not even imagined that it might happen.

Try to imagine that you are strolling along a street one day, enjoying the weather when an enthusiastically happy looking girl catches your eye. She returns your gaze and approaches with a smile. When she is close enough for you to hear she starts to talk to you in Dutch. You smile back a little nervously and wonder what she is saying.


The language barrier might course a small amount of confusion but this does not really count as a bizarre situation yet. Imagine the scenario again but this time with a little more detail:

You are strolling along a shopping street one day, enjoying the weather when you notice a strangely enthusiastic girl being followed around by a camera crew. She notices you and suddenly runs towards you while grinning. When she is close enough to point her microphone at you she starts to say something in Dutch. You smile nervously into the camera and wonder what it is all about.


This would be more confusing but a camera crew on the street is still not a truly surreal event yet. Imagine the scenario once more, this time with all the details:

You are strolling along a busy shopping street one day, enjoying the weather when you suddenly see a strange girl being followed around by a camera crew while wearing a large fake rubber strap-on erect penis. Despite your best attempts to avoid being seen she notices you and suddenly runs at you while her counterfeit member bounces up and down disturbingly on her crouch. When she is too close for comfort she suddenly thrusts the microphone into your face and shouts something in Dutch. You look nervously at her prosthetic manhood and wonder if you should run.


I explained I did not understand Dutch to which she replied, “Oh. Ok. Sorry to have bothered you,” and skipped off in search of another victim. What would you have done in the same situation?

34 responses to “Confusing and Baffling”

  1. Alan says:

    At least it was only the microphone she thrust into your face!

  2. roxanne says:

    I would’ve definitely asked her to translate what she had just said. It would kill me otherwise to not know what the whole thing was about. :P

  3. BlondebutBright says:

    Are you serious? That is unlike anything I’ve ever seen, even with the huge number of crazy Dutch TV shows out there. I probably would have reacted like you, but would also loved to have known what she said!

  4. Deadpoolite says:

    I would either beg for mercy or ask her to take me to her leader depending on how drunk or confused I was :). This is one surreal experience you just wrote about I have to say.

    Have a good day all!

  5. be.bart says:

    This can only happen in Holland. I would emigrate to a decent country with normal people, such as Belgium.

    What?

  6. Invader Stu says:

    Alan – Maybe if I had spoken Dutch and they carried on filming “that” might have happened. *shudder*

    Roxanne – I still wonder to this day but I was just too taken by surprise to think about asking.

    BlondebutBright – I’ve never seen anything like it since either and I can only guess what it was all about. It could have been some kind of scary challenge show where they offer money to members of the public if they are will to do certain “challenges”

    Deadpoolite – If she was just a scout who knows what the leader would have been wearing.

  7. Invader Stu says:

    be.bart – I seem to have a way of attracting strange events. I don’t know if I would be safe anywhere.

  8. sophie says:

    dutch 100% crazy but funny! so they were ‘attacking’ people like that and could not translate the question to English to you??? so it was a cultural magazine maybe, just for Dutch viewers! hahaha! I cannot believe they did not want your opinion!
    I would have laughed a lot! amazing :-)

  9. Tess says:

    Stuart are you sure you were in some busy shopping street and not at the ‘Walletjes’? It’s busy there as well and people are shopping in that area too you see, most likely for the type of stuff that the girl was so eagerly promoting :9

  10. Indy says:

    Dutch camera crews seem to have something going with foreing language, or don’t they?

    Carambah… It baffles me

  11. Dragon lady says:

    I’m with Roxanne and BlondbutBright. Its going to keep me awake me now wondering what it was all about.

  12. man bag says:

    I would’ve grabbed the rubber strap-on and said, “I have one just like it.”

  13. grrlie says:

    The Boyfriend (who is, by the way, Dutch) went “Huh??!” when I directed him to this post.

    I think that’s about all I can really say, too. I’m… well, mostly speechless!

  14. ChickyBabe says:

    Are you sure she only thrusted the microphone in your face?

    what to do… take a bit out of it! :P

  15. Tenakalaz says:

    Hang on, weren’t you telling me this exact scenario when you were speaking about your fantasies?

  16. Invader Stu says:

    Sophie – Who knows maybe they still used the clip of me looking confused :)

    Tess – I don’t think I was there… unless I was having another blackout. I hope she was not asking me to help her demonstrate its use.

    Dragon lady – How do you think I feel :p

    grrlie – So was I at the time.

    ChickyBabe – Remind me to be careful about ever thrusting anything in your face :p

    Tenakalaz – Quiet you.

  17. Jodie says:

    Should it ever happen again, Stu, perhaps you should offer her a condom :)

  18. Joe says:

    You should of introduced yourself, shaked hands with the phallus, and then asked if she needed a hand(job) with anything?

  19. VallyP says:

    Stu, she was probably just trying to appeal to your feminineside ;-)

    Still, I bet you wished you’d been quick to ask her what she’d said!

  20. Emiel says:

    Weren’t you just pretending that you didn’t know Dutch? For example, if I’m in a train and forgot to buy a ticket, I seriously consider pretending to not know any Dutch, just to get out of having a fine.

  21. sophie says:

    oh yes haha! I agree with VallyP, she maybe was trying to appeal your feminine side… what she would have expected… I don’t know! maybe to make you blush…? did you? :-)

  22. Indy says:

    Yes me too sophie; I had a related experience and it did call my attention.

  23. Invader Stu says:

    Jodie – Just to make the situation that bit more surreal?

    VallyP & Sophie – Considering what she was wearing I don’t want to think about what she might have been planning to do to my feminine side.

    Emiel – I wish I had understood her… besides, not speaking Dutch has never helped me on the train :p

  24. Jodie says:

    Precisely Stu, when in Rome and all that ;-)

  25. cornish pasty says:

    “Sorry I don’t speak Dutch” is a handy phrase especially for that kind of situation. Even if you speak fluent Dutch :-)

  26. Invader Stu says:

    Jodie – Who knows where such thinking could lead :p

    Cornish – I think I used it but it’s hard to remember due to the confusion.

    Francis Simisim – Thanks :)

  27. sophie says:

    related experience Indy? my God, Amsterdam is getting harder! :-)

  28. Indy says:

    Quite a row

  29. VallyP says:

    I heard the other day that while Rotterdam has the most petty crime of all the big cities, Amsterdam has the most organised crime. The crime of this story as that it was all so disorganised so you never got to enjoy it ;-)

  30. Ash says:

    Ha ha ha. I would have definitely asked for an explanation of that one, to find out what it was all about!!! Now we’ll spend the rest of our lives wondering….

  31. Invader Stu says:

    Hi everyone.

    Just a quick message to let you all know I am still alive, just very busy. Normal service will be resumed soon.

  32. marycub says:

    My mother was always the victim like this. Whenever there was a telly crew around be it in the hague or on schevenigen beach she was always approached as if she look like the quintessential middle aged dutch woman (she’ll kill me for the middle aged bit). And then there was the dutch candid camera trick played on her… made all the less funnier simply because she didn’t understand enough dutch!

  33. Anne says:

    Hoi, Stu. I like your blog ! its cool. I have been in HOlland for a month now and I also got the situations like yours. When they talked to me in Dutch, I smiled first ( acted like I knew what they said, hahahha ) .After they finished talking, I always ask ” what did u say ? “, Could you speak English ? I am sorry, I dont speak Dutch ” , lol….for some of them who cant speak English, they left me without any more words, hahha. I think its funny sometimes, but not all the time. Anyway, I wish I will get used to people here soon and HOPE u also :) Let’s have fun and good time with DUtch people here, lol..

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