For anyone that is curious, I've been quiet for the last few days due to the fact that I've been in Belgium. I shall be returning soon and normal service shall resume presently.
In the mean time, I appear to be struggling with the Dutch language, the language of Fien's half of Belgium, to varying degrees of success. There are some interesting quirks that I've picked up on in my experience, namely that Fien occasionally forgets that I don't understand what everyone is saying and stares at me blankly when I'm desperately silently pleading for some kind of translation.
As it happens, I have picked up a fair amount. I can't really string a sentance together yet, but I can understand a lot more than I used to and I can usually pick up on the subject of a conversation, even if the content still evades me. This however doesn't make it any less un-nerving to hear my name crop up in a wall of foreign verbosity.
The more I stay in Belgium, the more I learn. If anyone is desperate to learn a language, this has to be the way to do it: Try and live in the language. Maybe this time I'll actually convince Fien to talk Dutch at home occassionally.
Incidentally, an on the fly translation for cuttlery by a couple of friends we were out with on Saturday came out as "eating gear", which I think is a much better description, even if it did conjour up images of some archaic looking diving equipment.
The project I mentioned is in its final stages. More on that later this week.