I feel it may be wise to begin this post with a pre-emptive apology. Sadly, this is not a post that will recount hilarious attempts at communication with the locals. Nor will I be sharing brilliant Dutch words I have learnt that could be incorporated into everyday usage, partly because I still can’t form a sentence in Dutch, and partly because the words I have been taught are all swear words that I plan to use on my sister the next time I’m in Australia. I’m sorry to those who might have been hoping for anecdotes, insights or education, but this post is going to be something quite different.
This post is a eulogy. Or perhaps more accurately, a eugoogooly on my ability to use the English language.
It’s a generally accepted attitude in conservatories that singers are looked down upon by the rest of the cohort. When a group of music students venture outside the conservatoire bubble to *shock horror* socialise with normal people, you can bet your life someone will pull out this tried-and-tested (read: unoriginal and boring) quip:
Normal person: Oh, so are you all musicians?
Instrumentalist: Yeah, we’re all musicians. Well, except B. She’s a singer.
In case you’re one of those “glass half full” outlook on life people, allow me to smash your half-full glass. This is in no way implying that singers are a distinct and separate category or better than other musicians. The implication is that singers are such bad musicians that we may as well not be even considered musicians at all.
For the last couple of days I have been grappling with an important philosophical question: can a bicycle accident be labelled “falling off one’s bike” if one is not technically on the bike when the incident occurs?
While humanity and general conversation skills would obviously benefit from my wisdom and clarity regarding the matter, it is very hard to focus and examine the nuances of the question when my knees are so bruised and scraped that I have to pour all my energy in to self-pity.
Rereading that last sentence also leads me to pose another question: how did I ever survive childhood?
Upon arriving in the Netherlands, one of my immediate impressions of the in habitants of The Hague was that they were pretty fat. And I don’t mean that in a mid-2000s teenage ‘ph’ kind of way, but in a literal, everyone struck me as a bit tubby kind of way. Of course, all the starving students were off on holidays and all the scary fit Dutch people were off hiking, swimming to England, wrestling bears or whatever fit people do during the summer, so the city isn’t actually totally populated by beach ball lookalikes. But for the first two weeks it seemed that way. And that’s coming from an Australian. Continue reading