Sure, I am Always Talkin’ Food, but I teach NT2 (Dutch as a second language) on the side. Mainly to young foreigners who came to Amsterdam for or with love. For privacy reasons the names in these columns are fictitious.
For the very last lesson of this course, I ask my students to put their favorite Dutch song in our Spotify group list. During class, they will have to justify their choice.
Lara hardly knows any Dutch music, but has fond memories of the car trip to France with her Dutch boyfriend who, to increase the holiday fun, continuously played Ik ga naar Frankrijk by The Amazing Stroopwafels.
Lauren chose the Dutch Eurovision songfestival ballad, also due to her lack of knowledge of Dutch pop music. The song that Joaquim put in the list is unknown to me. The title makes me smile in surprise: how does he come up with this one?
During class I save his track for last. A wild punk song interlarded with quite unusual idiom for this language level.
It turns out that the Portuguese Joaquim knows Ik betaal me Stufi niet terug by Hang Youth and Gotu Jim through his Dutch girlfriend. She belongs to the generation of students who are the victims of the unjust Dutch student loan scheme that is now being abolished.
We are the most robbed generation (Wij zijn van de meest genakte generatie
I am forty grand in debt Ik zit met veertig ruggen schuld
Now I can show a diploma Nu kan ik een diplomaatje laten zien
But if I want a house, I am screwed Maar wil ik een huis dan ben ik de lul
I'm not paying back my student loan Ik betaal me stufi mooi niet terug)
Joaquim explains to the others what stufi means and how many euros a rug is. And I emphasize the versatile applicability of the Dutch expression mooi niet.
The women find the music too rough for their taste, but they agree with the lyrics. After all, in the US, where both Lara and Lauren studied, students are often saddled with an even higher debt than in the Netherlands.
Later that same evening, we all have a drink in the pub.
Joaquim asks Lara if she really never wants to live in the US again, as she claimed earlier.
She nods. ‘I can't. Ik betaal me stufi mooi niet terug!’
Listen to Ik betaal me stufi niet terug:
Pork bun on a stufi
If you attend the Stufiprotest this Saturday June 11 on Dam Square in Amsterdam, either as a victim of this student loan system yourself or as a supportive spouse of your Dutch partner, and you are looking for a cheap but filling bite: go to the nearby newly renovated Chinese restaurant Hoi Tin. They have an in-house bakery, where you can buy egg tarts and other sweet snacks. But you go for the pork buns. Not only are they very tasty, but for a mere 1.50 euro you get a whole meal in a bun.
Hoi Tin, Zeedijk 122 Amsterdam, open daily from 12 noon-10 AM.
Thanks for reading Always Talkin' Food! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.