Welcome to Belgium

While in Belgium I am staying with my girlfriend in her new apartment (sort of) near Antwerp, and the other night the regional cultural council had an event to welcome all new residents of the district.  It was nice.  I didn’t understand a word, but there was free wine or orange juice, little sandwiches, and I got some free postcards and a new pen, all of which rate highly on my scale of useful items while abroad.

The mayor gave a welcome speech, which was presumably very nice, while I enjoyed myself by admiring his tie and the fact that the Dutch word for mayor is “burgemeester”.   (Be careful though, if you say it with the wrong U sound, as I am sure I always will, it means something like Farm-boss instead.)  If I am ever elected mayor of a town, anywhere in the world, my first act will be to declare myself a burgemeester.  Or maybe Anglicize it to Bergmaster.  I am the Bergmaster, here me roar.  Or at least watch me sign a civic ordinance or open a mall.  For I am the Bergmaster.

Various city organizations had booths set up around the perimeter of the room, and we visited several of them.  One of them was for an adult education program which offers classes in Dutch, but unfortunately I am too educated in my home country, so am not the target demographic.  They do have classes for other languages too, and all of the teachers are volunteers, so I left my contact info in reference to teaching an English or Spanish class.  On the way home it occurred to me that I could potentially actually be contacted to do so.  Crap.  I am utterly unprepared for that eventuality.  Oh well, if it happens, you’ll get to read about the undoubtedly entertaining process of me floundering about in a classroom while a number of serious Dutch people look at me quizzically.  Which, if nothing else, will mean I will get the chance to again use the word quizzically.

How do you say quizzically in Spanish?

But today is a particularly fine day, and my sweetie is taking a half day, so I am going to tidy up a bit and see what I can rummage up for our lunch.

I hereby wish you a good day in my official capacity as Bergmaster,

The Right Honorable Farmboss Tim Tendick