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I got my flatmate to pay for me, and signed up for what I considered simply an excellent and unique opportunity to practice Dutch with 25 people!To make it more interesting though, I gave myself the challenge that each of my mini dates (lasting only 3-5 minutes) must involve talking about something completely different. I can't just rattle off the same introduction and ask the same questions or I won't learn anything.So I arrived, asked the hotel receptionist where the speed-dating was going down and found the hostess explaining how it works.She checked my name against the bookings and gave me my booklet of girls' names.They'd ask my name at the end so that they knew precisely where to mark that πŸ˜› In the first conversation, we talked about how she has to get the train back to Rotterdam so she probably won't be staying too late.Someone trying to get a date would have found it to be a bust, but I found it to be excellent travel vocabulary practice!

I should actually be speaking better than this, but not meeting many people so frequently is slowing me down.” The next girl told me how she has always dreamed of going to Ireland so I gave her some travel tips and advised her to go to Galway rather than Dublin, and the next girl was shocked to see that I was speaking Dutch at my current level after just a month.Most of them were very impressed by this, but I tried to change the subject quickly to get the best out of the time I had.This is a terrible way to make progress to be able to discuss many different topics required to be fluent in a language.While I continue to meet people that I Speed dating is a relatively new concept, apparently started by Jewish communities in the late 90s to help shy people pair-off.Speed dating just hit me as the obvious way to test it out, and I found a place that organises it and had a session for 20-35 year olds !It turns out the website (Edit: it's not available anymore) I got it through only accept Dutch bank payments (€32), so I knew it was unlikely I'd find other foreigners there, confirming how useful it would be to get to know locals.As you can imagine, she was certainly not speaking slowly for the benefit of foreigners! She pointed out the tables, shown in the photo above, and said that the girls will stay in the same place they are assigned and each time the bell rings, the guys will move up a table.You can tick off β€œJa” or β€œNee” for if you'd like to see that person again. and stood there wondering what-the-hell I was I doing, when I decided to simply approach a group of guys and girls waiting for us to start and said hi!Also, Dutch people have their set network of friends and it's turning out to be incredibly hard to break into that.If the majority of my conversations with the Dutch are going to be brief, then I decided to think of a better way to take advantage of these conversations.

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