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 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.
While there are major advantages of my German and my English giving me a head start thanks to many linguistic similarities, I have had a major set-back in this mission that has been slowing me down tremendously; simply finding opportunities to converse!
Dutch culture is different to others I am used to; everyone has been very nice and polite to me, and nobody speaks English to me, but after a brief first conversation they tend to disappear, and there is little hope of seeing them again due to their always packed schedules. Luckily I am finally getting through to some people and starting to socialise properly, hanging out for hours or even almost an entire day, speaking just in Dutch.
But for the most part, when I meet people I tend to have a similar first introduction conversation over and over again.
I just wanted to get some Dutch practice because they had been notoriously hard to hang out with as friends!
You generally don’t meet someone up for coffee or lunch; you have to propose a time long in advance and understand the Dutch need to be organised; something which contrasts with my preference for spontaneity.
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.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.I had only ever seen it on some American TV shows, and not really thought much about it.I wasn’t interested in actually finding a date though.