I spent some time in Belgium recently. It struck me that I stood out there as being from Not Here. I like to travel a little more incognito (despite the fact that Americans are received so well as the polite and quiet tourists that we are), so I thought it would be worth figuring out how I could go more native next time around.
I think I've nailed down a couple of things about the natives that made me stand out: eyeglasses and language.
Eyeglasses: Everyone seemed to wear the same type of glasses: narrow, rectangular frames.
Language: Being American, I'm restricted by U.S. law from knowing any languages besides English, but I took note of the types of sounds and syllables they use here. Here are some samples:
- "keivoos" (very bad),
- "keimottig" (very ugly)
- "Grote Markt" (haven't a clue what this means)
- "sneeuwwit" (Snow White)
and of course who could forget:
- "Wie got er mee ne frit steken?" (want to go get some fries with me?).
Also, when I went to a restaurant there, the waiter asked me to "Please shit down". Then my friend swore that a shop lady finished a transaction by telling him nicely "Bling blang". Clearly, faking this language will take some work, but I think it's worth the effort.
Here is my proposed disguise for any future trips to this area: