Saturday, May 01, 2010

Living in Europe - Yep, Parental Guidance Required!

Too often, English lyrics lose all meaning in non English-speaking countries. As an expat, it only becomes an issue when your 4-year-old (or any aged child, for that matter), fluent in English, begins inquiring about the meaning of certain phrases.

The Netherlands is a prime example of this trend. Case in point: It's Queen's Day, a day meant to commemorate the Queen and all her years of service (30 this time around, and she 's here in Zeeland to celebrate!). The boys and I are in Oudelande visiting with friends when, at a gathering of young and old, two averagely attractive teenage girls get up to perform to:

"Forget about your boyfriend and meet me at the hotel room, you can bring your girlfriends and meet me at the hotel room. We at the hotel, motel, holiday inn. She like that freaky stuff, 2 in the oh! and 1 in the ah!, that kinky stuff, you nasty, but I like your type and like TI its whatever you like. Bring your girls its whatever tonight, your man just left, i'm the plumber tonight, i'll check your pipes, oh, you the healthy type. Well, here goes some egg whites. Now gimme that sweet, that nasty that gushy stuff, let me tell you what we gon do. 2, plus 2, i'm gon undress you. Then we're gonna go 3 and 3 you gon' undress me. Then we're gon' go 4 and 4, we gon' freak some more..."

LUKAS: "Mama, what are they saying?"
ME: "Get your girlfriend and meet me in the hotel room."
LUKAS: "Oh, that's great idea!"
ME: [Not sure what to say to that. I laugh uncomfortably and change the subject.]

My, how the world is changing. Teenagers chat nonchalantly in front of younger kids (or their parents!), saying "Fuck it". A 15-year-old cheerily working a small-town-fair-style game stands wears an Anarchy shirt adorned with the phrases "Punk's not dead" and "Fuck the system".

Heck, maybe Europe has even corrupted me. Afterall, I did breast-feed in public and visit plenty of European saunas (nude) with complete strangers. [fecetious grin.]

Regardless of whether or not the sky is falling in this corner of Europe, in my mind Zeeland - specifically my almost-adopted home of Oudelande - remains one of the best places in the world to raise kids... just don't teach them any English. ;)

1 comment:

marnie said...

Your story is funny but very true. I actually found that me breastfeeding in Holland caused a few raised brows, not as liberal as I assumed. Saunas too were liberating yet odd! I was worried about being the biggest girl in it with probably a pimple or two on my bum ha ha etcetera, no one even looked but I must admit I was shallow yet pleased that I did'nt stand out at all, (but lying down in the turkish inspired sauna then trying to get up again and having to spread your legs wide to balance on the slippery tiles was a foolish foolish manouvre!!). There has been many a time where I have said that the "C bomb" is really a horrible swear word to be then met with the suprised reaction of dutch people. It is all cultural and different, it is not a criticism but i am with you! i actually liked that song and never knew the text was so trashy!