Friday, January 21, 2011

Speaking Another Language

A really great thing about the Netherlands, or at least here in Utrecht and Amsterdam, is that most people speak english.  This is good since my Dutch is almost non-existant.  However, I find enough similarity between Dutch and German that I recognize many words but sentence structure escapes me right now.  But there’s another language here that requires just as much study.  It’s called the metric system.  Roads are measured in kilometers, gas/drinks in liters, and food such as meat and cheese in kilograms.  Then there’s conversion of US dollars to Euros to get a sense of my overall cost.  So, when in the grocery store and you want to buy a pound of meat for dinner you're looking for something that’s just over 450 grams (453.592 gms to be exact).  Then you factor in the price (Euros/Kg) and convert to the dollar just to get a sense of price/lb.  Same with gas which is quite expensive here.  1.50 Euros/Liter x 3.785 Liters/gal x 1.3 dollars/euro = $7.38/gal.  Hmmm, Maybe I should just leave the calculator alone!

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