Nieuws - 29 oktober 2012

Looking, looking, not buying

Last Thursday I almost got punched in Bornsesteeg.

The bus stop of Bornsesteeg
I was on my way to Bornsesteeg. When passing by the bus stop nearby, I saw three Dutch kids sitting there and the girl among them was belting out a song, an impressive voice of Holland. But when she turned around and noticed me staring at her, she screamed at the top of her voice. I flashed her a disarming smile, and thought that would be the end of the story.
When going ahead and passing the last curve towards the building, however, I heard a yell from the kids, something like 'blabla loempia!'. I found it very funny because coincidently a corridor mate of mine also likes to call me Mr. Loempia.
I guessed it was just a harmless joke by the kids. Somehow I wanted to respond and I did: 'Loempia is lekker, maar kijken kijken niet kopen.' In no time another yell of 'blabla loempia' came from their side. 'Jullie zijn de echte loempias,' I talked back like a 4-year kid.
After parking my bike, I entered the building. When waiting for the lift in the lobby, I saw those three kids suddenly rushing towards me. I had the foreboding feeling that I might need the police, unfortunately I didn't remember the emergency number. Boy A, like a gang leader, pointed his finger at me and asked: 'Wat zei je?!' I knew I must brainstorm a smart answer to save myself. 'Wasabi? Sorry I don't understand Dutch,' I shrugged my shoulders and threw my hands in the air. When I was nervously waiting for A's further reaction, the other boy B whispered something to A, which calmed A down obviously, in the next second they left.
The Dutch expression 'kijken, kijken, niet kopen' literally means 'looking, looking, not buying', which reflects the Dutch and their typical shopping mentality. Although I was quite aware of its meaning, I still can't figure out how come my no-harm joke became such a red rag to those kids, which almost got me a punch.
This scary adventure reminds me another Dutch saying: doe maar normal, dan doe je al gek genoeg (Behaving normally is crazy enough). Maybe that's the real Dutch wit I should learn.
Vid of the Week: This Turkish man will teach you how to use 'kijken kijken niet kopen' in a jolly way.