Thursday, February 14, 2013

"Dutch or Polish, NO ENGLISH!"

It's Valentine's Day in the Netherlands!  Wait, do they celebrate that here?  Yes they do.  Although, it's just starting to become a "thing."  You can tell that this "holiday" is  infiltrating the culture by the displays of heart shaped candy at the HEMA and the gigantic red and white balloon arch over the entrance to Bakker Bart.  

Now Vicki and I usually spend Valentine's Day at home, cooking a fun dinner or indulging in some Chick Fil A sandwiches, that was last year's V-Day.  Not to break from tradition, I volunteered to plan something for tonight.  So here's today's adventure.

Translation: Polish Shop in Eve?
A few weeks ago I found a Polish grocery store in our town.  It had all your staples: pierogi, kielbasa, goomkie, Żywiec, and even Polish sparking wine!  What better way to treat my Polish Princess on Valentine's day than with some Polish delicacies.  Nothing says I love you like (some one else's) home made pierogis right?

Well, snow was predicted today from about noon until early evening.  So I figured I'd try to do the food shopping early. I got to the store about 11:00; I was so excited to practice one of the three Polish phrases I knew, "Dzień Dobry." But my heart sank when I saw no lights and drawn shades.  However, all was not lost, turns out the store opens at 1:00pm.  I returned home dejected so I did some laundry to help ease the pain.  Then at 1:15pm my search for pieorgi and kielbasa continued.  

Things were going well, grabbed a bottle of Polish bubbly, had a pack of kapusta & mushroom pierogis under my arm, now all I needed was the kielbasa, this was the fun part. I stood patiently waiting to be noticed by the lady behind the counter, but she was heavily engrossed in a conversation another lady.  There was NO WAY I was breaking up a conversation between two Polish ladies.  Finally their stories concluded and all eyes were on the American in the Phillies hat with a pack of pieorgis.  

It was go time, but my mind went blank and all I could utter was, "Sorry, I don't speak Dutch." Then the woman behind the counter, said something in Polish, to which I responded, "Sorry I don't speak Polish either."  I could see a scowl beginning to form on her face.  "Okay, be cool Dan, you got this, just say 'kielbasa'."  So I tried to ask if any of the kielbasa were smoked, she then rattled off something else in Polish that ended with no English. I was stunned, like a deer in headlights.  I was starting to sweat.  I then said, to her with a smile, "Which one is your favorite?"  She replied, even louder this time, "Dutch or Polish, NO ENGLISH!"  "Uhhhhhhhh, that one," I pointed at two indiscernible links and raised two fingers, "Two of that one."  

She then bagged up the meats and rang up my other purchases. At this point, I figured let me drop some of my limited Polish on her, "Dzien Dobry?" I said, she looks, smiles and says, "Dzien Dobry." Feeling confident now, as she handed me my items, I exclaim "dziękuję!"I get another smile and a nod.  I think I'm allowed back!

Here are the fruits of my labor today. Szczęśliwych Walentynek! (Happy Valentine's Day!)

I tried to make it look like a heart.  

Photo Credit @VickiZ19

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