Bubble Bath

Today I learnt a new Dutch word. The word I have learnt is Schuimbad, which in English means bubble bath.

I can not really claim that it is a word that will greatly expand my Dutch communication skills. It is not really a word that gets much use in normal everyday banter. There is not an easy way to start a conversation with a stranger about bubble bath with out getting a few worried looks in return. A sentence like, “Ik vind schuimbad mooi,” (“I think bubble bath is beautiful”) is more likely to course everyone to give me more room on the tram then it is to impress them with the way I am attempting to master their language.

Despite any odd reactions I might receive, it is still a new Dutch word I now understand. I am able to take some pride in this small language victory. However, I am still aware of the slight taint on this triumph when I recall how I learnt this new word; my flat mate told me.

There is no shame in this itself since he is much better at talking Dutch then I am (something about having a Dutch girlfriend and no choice) but he taught me this new word by asking the question, “Do you realize you have been buying bubble bath instead of shower gel?” and then pointing out what the big bright letters on the front of the bottle meant.

I had to reply that I did not realize this and I had not for the past year, during which I had been buying the same stuff. We don’t even have a bath. We only have a shower and now I know why I was always filling ours with so many suds.

Mistaking bubble bath for shower gel is not really a big problem but it makes me wonder if there are other areas where my Dutch language skills might have let me down while visiting my local super market.

Could it explain the reason why my shaving cream tastes like it would go well with strawberries and ice cream or why my spray on deodorant tends to sting and kills all insects in the vicinity dead in mid air or why my favourite brand of biscuits keeps my hair silky and smooth and my digestive system worm free?

It might be a good thing that I’ve just signed up for a new Dutch course.

16 responses to “Bubble Bath”

  1. Emiel says:

    When we had English lessons in my Dutch High School, we learned about farmers, hens and henhouses. Not really practical material when you need to converse. I hope your Dutch course is more pragmatic. ;-)

  2. Invader Stu says:

    Emiel – You must have had some strange conversations while learning English.

    Shruti – Thanks :)

  3. roxanne says:

    Overly sudsy Stu sure is cute. :)

  4. ChickyBabe says:

    The question is, how do you smell? If the word ends in bad, it can’t be that great! :P

    PS Stu doesn’t have a hairy chest! ;)

  5. sophie says:

    hahaha!! this is so funny, but it’s not that bad, I guess you felt very soft using that bubble bath… good skin for sure! and courage with the course!!! attack it! (this is Spanglish, sorry). I will do the same when arrive there.

  6. Invader Stu says:

    Roxanne – I had a feeling I would get that reaction from a few of the girls :p

    ChickyBabe – Luckily my bubble bath smells quite nice. ps – Next time I’ll draw cartoon stu with a 70s porn star style hairy chest just for you ;)

    Sophie – It also means I can blow bubbles between my fingers in the shower.

  7. BlondebutBright says:

    Hee hee. I wonder why he took so long tell you? Just think – he’s been laughing at you for the past YEAR! ;)

  8. Tenakalaz says:

    In fact….. it wasn’t even “JUST” bubble bath.. it was Steam bath gel… for that aromatic bath experience. I always wondered why he was walking around with a soapy cloud following him everywhere..

  9. Invader Stu says:

    BlondebutBright – Maybe it’s time for me to start plotting revenge

    Tenakalaz – At least I know understand why I turned into a human bubble blower when ever I was in the shower… no wait… that just sounds wrong.

  10. VallyP says:

    Ah Stu, this is our invader at his best. I laughed till I cried reading this. Absolutely brilliant! You’re right though. Getting it just slightly wrong can be even more embarrassing than not getting it at all.

    Love these ‘Dinglish’ stories. More like this one please!

  11. Invader Stu says:

    VallyP – I’ll make sure I get more things wrong for you :p

  12. VallyP says:

    I’ll be watching…and waiting ;-)

  13. Ana Luisa says:

    After laughing non-stop for about five minutes (and scaring the bejesus out of my friends…), I made another “note to self” based on your posts… :P

  14. Manictastic says:

    Living in the bubble clouds is not so bad. I could have been way worse, like dog shampoo or something.

    Oh and thanks for the comment on my blog, I used it already :)

  15. Invader Stu says:

    Luisa – My next post might supply you with another “note to self” as well :p

    Manictastic – Remind me to learn the Dutch word for dog.

  16. Dykam says:

    Nice piece of writing, I like the style.

    Your sentence “Ik vind schuimbad mooi” is incorrect ;),
    you forgot the article: “Ik vind een/het schuimbad mooi.”

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